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Champagne Powder: Only in Steamboat - Page 3

post #61 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post


 

Ummmm. No.

 

Colorado is fun and all. I've  certainly had some good snow there. But no way is it first tier with respect to snow. I say this based on reasonable experience and looking at historical data. If I wanted to bet on blue sky, CO is a top contender. If I want early season skiing, the WROD scene is a solid bet. But if I'm placing a bet on connecting with powder - especially meaningful amounts with enough substance that it is not just eye candy - CO is no way on the list.

 

Its reputation is based on marketing campaigns. Collectively burning, at a guess, tens of millions of dollars a year. Clever ones employing techniques like trademarking "Champagne Powder" and producing western themed posters. And for most places in the state - blowing lots of snow. While I admire a good professional set of marketing campaigns, I'm not gonna get roped in just 'cause.

 

While CO hit the jackpot in 10/11, on average it is just not a winner when it comes to snow. Simple as that.

 

I do agree with you about Monarch though. Awesome hill. 


That's just wrong. The snow in Colorado is definitely some of the lightest, driest around. It's not as abundant as other locations, but the quality is not just marketing.

 

post #62 of 75

Spin, you are def' off on this one. If I only skied the boat, that would be one thing but it's for real.  a couple of seasons ago I had some friends up who ski all over the world, they had never skied Steamboat. We hit a pow day, they both were amazed on how light and dry the powder was. These are guys who have skied in Nesiko, AK, BC, SA and regularly ski in Utah.  

post #63 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post


 

Ummmm. No.

 

Colorado is fun and all. I've  certainly had some good snow there. But no way is it first tier with respect to snow. I say this based on reasonable experience and looking at historical data. If I wanted to bet on blue sky, CO is a top contender. If I want early season skiing, the WROD scene is a solid bet. But if I'm placing a bet on connecting with powder - especially meaningful amounts with enough substance that it is not just eye candy - CO is no way on the list.

 

Its reputation is based on marketing campaigns. Collectively burning, at a guess, tens of millions of dollars a year. Clever ones employing techniques like trademarking "Champagne Powder" and producing western themed posters. And for most places in the state - blowing lots of snow. While I admire a good professional set of marketing campaigns, I'm not gonna get roped in just 'cause.

 

While CO hit the jackpot in 10/11, on average it is just not a winner when it comes to snow. Simple as that.

 

I do agree with you about Monarch though. Awesome hill. 



Too many ways to qualify -- or quantify -- what "good" is. He didn't say snow in CO is the best ever. Snow in CO is usually good. It's not usually great. It's not usually horrible. We don't get glop, we don't get ice. Neither do we get very many 3-ft dumps. But we do get a lot of small refreshers of light, dry snow. It's consistent, and people who travel like that, because it minimizes risk.

 

(All that is out the window for this season -- and last, too.)

post #64 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

Spin, you are def' off on this one. If I only skied the boat, that would be one thing but it's for real.  a couple of seasons ago I had some friends up who ski all over the world, they had never skied Steamboat. We hit a pow day, they both were amazed on how light and dry the powder was. These are guys who have skied in Nesiko, AK, BC, SA and regularly ski in Utah.  


Spin didn't actually say that your snow isn't light. He said that your chances of hitting it on a storm day aren't as good as in other locales. Whether that is true or not, I don't know.

post #65 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post



Too many ways to qualify -- or quantify -- what "good" is. He didn't say snow in CO is the best ever. Snow in CO is usually good. It's not usually great. It's not usually horrible. We don't get glop, we don't get ice. Neither do we get very many 3-ft dumps. But we do get a lot of small refreshers of light, dry snow. It's consistent, and people who travel like that, because it minimizes risk.

 

(All that is out the window for this season -- and last, too.)


This.

 

Yes, no place in Colorado gets over 400 inches of snow. Most years, the PNW and Wasatch will get more snow. No argument there, its one of the things that is easiest to quantify when talking about what makes "good" snow.

 

The benefit of Colorado snow is it almost ALWAYS comes down as blower. The elevations pretty much dictate it. At the higher elevation ski areas (Monarch, A-Basin, Loveland, for example), the snow is usually so light that it doesn't even groom into boilerplate for days and days after a storm- the snow came down too dry to pack, the temps are too cold for it to unfreeze, so it just gets groomed over into several inches of exceptionally soft corduroy day after day. Its one of the things I noticed when Sunlight and Aspen became my home mountains- the groom is harder because the elevation is lower.

 

This also helps the powder that does fall stay good longer. During the heart of the season, generally if it is unskied, it is still as soft as the instant it fell- even if that was a week ago.

 

Again, I'm not making any type of argument that Colorado gets the "best" snow. A lot of the Squaw lines would never be skiable in Colorado because we'ed never get enough snow to make them anything other than barren rock.

 

But, the only ski locations in the lower 48 that get more snow than Colorado areas are the Wasatch and PNW, and 350-400 inches is nothing to sneeze at.  Especially when you can count on the 350-400 inches to come down as absolute blower almost everys ingle storm.

 

post #66 of 75

And Tahoe gets more.  And Mammoth.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

But, the only ski locations in the lower 48 that get more snow than Colorado areas are the Wasatch and PNW, and 350-400 inches is nothing to sneeze at.  Especially when you can count on the 350-400 inches to come down as absolute blower almost everys ingle storm.

 



 

post #67 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

And Tahoe gets more.  And Mammoth.
 



 


Tahoe I was including in PNW, which may be a stretch, I don't know.

 

If I am to believe this page hosted by mammoth's own server, http://www.mammothmountain.com/_ecomm/past.years.snowfall.cfm, the average snowfall is just under 350 inches, which puts it squarely in line with many Colorado areas (Monarch, Loveland, A Basin, Steamboat, Telluride) and Wolf Creek bests all of those.

 

I don't think this should devolve into a pissing match over who gets more snow. There certainly is no such thing as "xxx place gets ENOUGH powder," as more snow (assuming it actually falls down as blower and not cement, rain, etc.) is pretty much unquestionably better.

 

But a 350" average snowfall, nearly all of which comes down as blower, is nothing to turn one's nose up over.

 

post #68 of 75


Oh Contra-ire Buff Pass's average annual snowfall is over 500 inches.......http://www.steamboatpowdercats.com/buffalo-pass-colorado/ 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post


This.

 

Yes, no place in Colorado gets over 400 inches of snow. Most years, the PNW and Wasatch will get more snow. No argument there, its one of the things that is easiest to quantify when talking about what makes "good" snow.

 

The benefit of Colorado snow is it almost ALWAYS comes down as blower. The elevations pretty much dictate it. At the higher elevation ski areas (Monarch, A-Basin, Loveland, for example), the snow is usually so light that it doesn't even groom into boilerplate for days and days after a storm- the snow came down too dry to pack, the temps are too cold for it to unfreeze, so it just gets groomed over into several inches of exceptionally soft corduroy day after day. Its one of the things I noticed when Sunlight and Aspen became my home mountains- the groom is harder because the elevation is lower.

 

This also helps the powder that does fall stay good longer. During the heart of the season, generally if it is unskied, it is still as soft as the instant it fell- even if that was a week ago.

 

Again, I'm not making any type of argument that Colorado gets the "best" snow. A lot of the Squaw lines would never be skiable in Colorado because we'ed never get enough snow to make them anything other than barren rock.

 

But, the only ski locations in the lower 48 that get more snow than Colorado areas are the Wasatch and PNW, and 350-400 inches is nothing to sneeze at.  Especially when you can count on the 350-400 inches to come down as absolute blower almost everys ingle storm.

 



 


Edited by Finndog - 4/5/12 at 1:33pm
post #69 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post


Oh Contra-ire Buff Pass's average annual snowfall is over 500 inches.......http://www.steamboatpowdercats.com/buffalo-pass-colorado/ 
 



 



I'm referring to lift-served areas, and I think with that qualification, I made an accurate statement. I don't know any ski area in Colorado that claims over 400 inches.

 

post #70 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

Again, I'm not making any type of argument that Colorado gets the "best" snow. A lot of the Squaw lines would never be skiable in Colorado because we'ed never get enough snow to make them anything other than barren rock.

 

 

 

You are making the correct argument, though, which is that Colorado generally gets the right type and amount of snow for Colorado in terms of our general terrain, altitude, and distance from climate affecting bodies of water.

 

Many places need constant snow and base refreshing because it rains in the winter, or high water content snow goes through freeze and thaw cycles, or simply because the terrain needs more snow to cover it.  Generally not the case here.  Had March not been record breaking warm with virtually no snow, that 50" base would have been fine to support the rest of the season in most places.

 

Paradoxically, though, this is why CO is full of mega-resorts with endless blue cruisers - our snow is made for it and the big resorts capitalize on that sitting high up on our non-alpine'ish peaks.  To this very minute, those blue cruisers that got snow making in the terrible early season still have about full coverage now at mid-mountain in many cases, and a moderate storm or two with temps back down to normal would still freshen them right up.
 

 

post #71 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post



I'm referring to lift-served areas, and I think with that qualification, I made an accurate statement. I don't know any ski area in Colorado that claims over 400 inches.

 



Wolf Creek.

 

Quote:
Annual Snowfall 465 Natural Inches
"The Most Snow in Colorado"

 

post #72 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

 

You are making the correct argument, though, which is that Colorado generally gets the right type and amount of snow for Colorado in terms of our general terrain, altitude, and distance from climate affecting bodies of water.

 

Many places need constant snow and base refreshing because it rains in the winter, or high water content snow goes through freeze and thaw cycles, or simply because the terrain needs more snow to cover it.  Generally not the case here.  Had March not been record breaking warm with virtually no snow, that 50" base would have been fine to support the rest of the season in most places.

 

Paradoxically, though, this is why CO is full of mega-resorts with endless blue cruisers - our snow is made for it and the big resorts capitalize on that sitting high up on our non-alpine'ish peaks.  To this very minute, those blue cruisers that got snow making in the terrible early season still have about full coverage now at mid-mountain in many cases, and a moderate storm or two with temps back down to normal would still freshen them right up.
 

 



I don't know if I really buy the "goldilocks" argument you seem to be making. I'd love to get 500 inches of Wasatch snow, which also tends to be pretty damn light.  I won't EVER make the argument that for any definition of the term, Colorado gets the BEST snow. 

 

This whole discussion started because I made the statement that Colorado snow is GOOD, which I think is a perfectly defendable statement. Colorado gets a good amount of it, it is usually very high quality stuff, and the weather conditions also means that it tends to stay good longer than most other places.

 

post #73 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post



Wolf Creek.

 

 



Well, that probably wasn't that tough to find. :)

 

post #74 of 75

I did not say I disliked Colorado. Or that it is unworthy. Merely that the broad public image of Colorado snow is manufactured. Just like much of that snow. wink.gif  

 

In reality, Colorado's natural snowfall is "OK". Heck, maybe I overstated my initial point and you can even call it "good". But the point is that the image in people's minds far exceeds the reality. In large measure because of money spent on things like "Champagne powder" trademarks and ads.

 

The reason I contrasted it with PNW snow is because the PNW is the exact opposite of the resort world in terms of broad marketing spend. Since there is no resort industry, there is no global ad spend. And hence it has the kind of image a lack of marketing spend allows  - as demonstrated by some of the comments here. Despite the fact that there not just a lot of snow, but a lot of seriously good snow in the PNW.

 

One of the great things is that it allows both subjective discourse and great access to objective data. If you want a great pile of data, to chew on, check out http://www.bestsnow.net 

 

 

post #75 of 75

LONGER, dumber argument!

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