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Wolf Creek closing this Sunday with.....

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

86 inches at the summit and 76 inches at mid mountain. eek.gif (Abasin has only 41")

 

With only 368" total for them this season. biggrin.gif

 

This is always amazing to me. The snowpac is better now that in Nov, Dec etc.

Folks run out in masses to ski WROD in the Fall only to leave all this snow to melt off the mountain untouched through April (and maybe early May)

 

I don't get it?

 

 

Discuss  popcorn.gif  

 

 

 

snowfalling.gif snowfalling.gif

snowfalling.gif snowfalling.gif

post #2 of 24

As you know, I'm baffled as well.

Skiing from the first bell to the bitter end is pure pleasure to me.  

Heck, as you may recall, we hiked to ski patches well into July last year.

beercheer.gif

 

I LOVE skiing!!

post #3 of 24

I love spring skiing myself, but will play devils advocate-

 

In December:

Most people haven`t skied in 6+ months and are excited to do so.

Skiing seems like a better outdoor option for many than golf, biking, tennis, etc.

Skiing is a good way to get some sun exposure (Vit D), especially when factoring in reflection off the snow.

Christmas is associated with snow and the mountains.

 

In April:

Most skiers have skied recently, maybe more than they wanted or enjoyed.

There are lots of good outdoor options, many of which people may be excited to do since they haven`t done so in many months.

Skiing is a good way to get sunburned when factoring in the thin air, higher sun and reflection off the snow.

Western ski areas tend to have more variable snow conditions (including ice and slush) than they do earlier in the season- many skiers prefer packed powder. 

Easter is associated with rabbits and green grass, not snow.

 

Generally speaking, people tend to think their local weather correlates with mountain weather and snow quality...I see this a lot with front rangers in CO even though a big snow storm in Denver often doesn`t drop much in the Mnts. 

post #4 of 24

You got it.

 

It kills me every single season that people's habits make no sense, yet they dictate my own skiing.

 

For most of Colorado, this year is the exception where places are actually closing due to lack of snow rather than lack of paying customers. Pretty much everywhere else in the state other than Wolf Creek is hurting BAD.

 

March and April are usually the highest snowfall months in Colorado. Yet by mid March, the crowds evaporate.

 

The mountains will get 150" of snow on a typically solid base, making for the best skiing of the year in late March, and nobody is there.  Then, a few weeks later, the lifts stop turning, and the last day of operation still has the mountain 100% open.

 

I've lost count of how many epic powder days I have had on closing day, and how many days that a mountain got 18"+ of snow the day AFTER closing.

 

Yet, people line up in droves to ski WROD in October and November, and to ski 50-75% open terrain most Christmas weekends.

 

I know part of the issue is forest service operation permits, and many areas aren't allowed to stay open because of wildlife migrations, etc. Others simply have limits on hiow many days they can be in operation over the year, and with the need to be open for Thanksgiving, they aren't allowed to stretch the season on the other end.

 

But it is still nuts. Its like 95% of the Colorado front range stops skiing the first time it hits 60* two days in a row.

 

When I lived in Colorado Springs, pretty much every year come mid March, some co-worker will ask me what I'm doing for the weekend- When I tell them I am skiing, like every other weekend during the season, they stand agape and ask "there's still snow?"  This despite being able to look right outside at a snow covered Pikes Peak.

post #5 of 24

Fernie's has 170in snowpack and is closing in 2 weeks. cool.gif

post #6 of 24

If I lived in Denver I'd be skiing every weekend till June.  For those of us who have to plan our trips and travel long distances to ski, it is easier to target dates before mid-March.  Just safer.  I have this issue next year.  A long school holiday in early April but to take advantage of it I have to guess the right resort in advance.  Some resorts will have good snow then, others will suck.

post #7 of 24
Destination skiers pay the bills. I would ride my pass until June if I could, but that is only a money maker for me. Still, early April is insane.

I live at 7,400 ft elevation and I won't even plant new plants or flowers until mid-June. There are only two months, July and August, where it predictably never snows at my place, and I don't even live in the mountains.

I think half the people at WP yesterday were Brits. A ski school group of whom apparently had only ever skied faux snow, and were out in the soup in 2012 Colorado Summer Skiing.
post #8 of 24

Joel Gratz (colorado snow forecaster) just sent an email that the models are converging to predict a snowy end to the season mid next week through the weekend.  We've had perhaps 15 inches of snow since early March.  What a rotten end to the rotten season here in Colorado.

 

The weather on the Front Range has been spectacular.  My cycling training has been almost all in temperatures that are in the 50's-70's, with virtually no wind.  Usually, the wind is fierce, and the temps are lucky to get into the 40's.  So, would you rather go drive up to Summit County to ski some hard snow in the morning and wait for the slush?  Especially when the coverage has become pretty sparse, and the terrain is closing so there's not much more than groomers open?

 

Joel's email referenced this graph, which I also posted in another thread:

 

click?u=3153e8a717d93386c7d15e777&id=553b3c1f2b&e=19ccec35eb

I don't blame folk for picking up other endeavors.  That being said, if the weather gets bad enough, I might go up for a few turns.  Otherwise, I'll be turning the crank on my bicycle.

 

Mike

post #9 of 24

THe biggest issue for people I know around here is that spring sports season starts in March ... weekends get full. Fall sports generally end in Nov, right in time for skiing; winter sports (non-ski ones, like basketball) pretty much prevent you from skiing anyway. We have to fit family skiing in Dec, Jan, and Feb, pretty much.

 

Now, I know not everyone has school-age kids, but a lot of casual skiers I know really only ski because of the kids, and quit as soon as the kids can transport themselves to the mtns. 

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Joel Gratz (colorado snow forecaster) just sent an email that the models are converging to predict a snowy end to the season mid next week through the weekend.  We've had perhaps 15 inches of snow since early March.  What a rotten end to the rotten season here in Colorado.

 



I just got that, too; ouch. 

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

THe biggest issue for people I know around here is that spring sports season starts in March ... weekends get full. Fall sports generally end in Nov, right in time for skiing; winter sports (non-ski ones, like basketball) pretty much prevent you from skiing anyway. We have to fit family skiing in Dec, Jan, and Feb, pretty much.

 

Now, I know not everyone has school-age kids, but a lot of casual skiers I know really only ski because of the kids, and quit as soon as the kids can transport themselves to the mtns. 



what is this "casual skier" you speak of....   wink.gif

 

 

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post



what is this "casual skier" you speak of....   wink.gif

 

 


I know, right???

 

 

It's easy to be a casual skier in Denver.

 

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Joel Gratz (colorado snow forecaster) just sent an email that the models are converging to predict a snowy end to the season mid next week through the weekend.  We've had perhaps 15 inches of snow since early March.  What a rotten end to the rotten season here in Colorado.

 



I just got that, too; ouch. 


It's the MJO - only snow maker we've had all year, back for one last tour.
post #14 of 24

Yep, I feel the pain.

Snow levels at Schweitzer:

Village:  134"

Mid-Mt.:  164"

Summit:  209"

 

They close Sunday...  mad.gif

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

I do think that the areas feel that once they are down to "just" their season pass holders it's a loosing proposition financially. While this may be true to some degree, I wonder what they think if we then choose a different mountain the next year that tries to stay open a bit longer when the snow does last.

 

Destination skiers may well "pay the bills" but it's the pass holders that set the tone of the area day in and out. We also pay the bills in the off season with our purchase of next seasons passes every Spring.

 

Let us SKI!!!  hissyfit.gif

 

I'd even go for Fri-Sun skiing instead of closing if that made more sense to operations....

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Joel Gratz (colorado snow forecaster) just sent an email that the models are converging to predict a snowy end to the season mid next week through the weekend.  We've had perhaps 15 inches of snow since early March.  What a rotten end to the rotten season here in Colorado.

 

The weather on the Front Range has been spectacular.  My cycling training has been almost all in temperatures that are in the 50's-70's, with virtually no wind.  Usually, the wind is fierce, and the temps are lucky to get into the 40's.  So, would you rather go drive up to Summit County to ski some hard snow in the morning and wait for the slush?  Especially when the coverage has become pretty sparse, and the terrain is closing so there's not much more than groomers open?

 

Joel's email referenced this graph, which I also posted in another thread:

 

click?u=3153e8a717d93386c7d15e777&id=553b3c1f2b&e=19ccec35eb

I don't blame folk for picking up other endeavors.  That being said, if the weather gets bad enough, I might go up for a few turns.  Otherwise, I'll be turning the crank on my bicycle.

 

Mike



 

That looks decent for Tahoe, and great for the PNW. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post



what is this "casual skier" you speak of....   wink.gif

 

 



I've seen 'em, not sure what to do with 'em, but I've seen 'em


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

Yep, I feel the pain.

Snow levels at Schweitzer:

Village:  134"

Mid-Mt.:  164"

Summit:  209"

 

They close Sunday...  mad.gif


I was looking at the model and Schweitzer looks like its in prime area for good snow......has all winter, if I understand correctly. 

 

 

post #17 of 24

This is true for the whole country really. Spring break is the last chance for the "family" ski trip. Even the parents who want to ski can't.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

THe biggest issue for people I know around here is that spring sports season starts in March ... weekends get full. Fall sports generally end in Nov, right in time for skiing; winter sports (non-ski ones, like basketball) pretty much prevent you from skiing anyway. We have to fit family skiing in Dec, Jan, and Feb, pretty much.

 

Now, I know not everyone has school-age kids, but a lot of casual skiers I know really only ski because of the kids, and quit as soon as the kids can transport themselves to the mtns. 



 

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

THe biggest issue for people I know around here is that spring sports season starts in March ... weekends get full. Fall sports generally end in Nov, right in time for skiing; winter sports (non-ski ones, like basketball) pretty much prevent you from skiing anyway. We have to fit family skiing in Dec, Jan, and Feb, pretty much.

 

Now, I know not everyone has school-age kids, but a lot of casual skiers I know really only ski because of the kids, and quit as soon as the kids can transport themselves to the mtns. 


 

Quit?  Really?

That just makes me sad. frown.gif

post #19 of 24

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

This is true for the whole country really. Spring break is the last chance for the "family" ski trip. Even the parents who want to ski can't.  
 



 


Yes, I didn't mean it was only here ... just giving my personal, first-hand experience. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post


 

Quit?  Really?

That just makes me sad. frown.gif

 

Well, frankly, it's probably a good thing in some ways. Don't want longer lift lines....
 

 

post #20 of 24

WRsOD are warm-ups for the upcoming season and the snow quality is usually predictable.  Late spring snow pack, no matter how deep, is crust to slush with a rapidly narrowing window of skiability.   If you're there primarily for the skiing and not the tailgating, the hassle to fun-time ratio in warm weather isn't worth it.

post #21 of 24

One thing about spring conditions is that it does punish bad technique.  Those terminal intermediate tail pushers will get tired real fast in soft spring snow.  Doesn't explain those years when it is still mid-winter conditions at closing, of course.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 

I was looking at the model and Schweitzer looks like its in prime area for good snow......has all winter, if I understand correctly. 

 

Yeah, we've been really lucky this year.  smile.gif

 

I was talking to the Lift Ops. Dir. the other day, and asked why they couldn't shut down the on-mt. shops and restaurants, close the ski school, and do weekends only with only 3 lifts running and very limited grooming.  The 3 lifts would allow access to over 80% of the mt. if one didn't mind some skating and long cat-track cruises here and there.

 

He said lower mgmt. suggested much the same to upper-mgmt. last year, but they still couldn't make it work money-wise, so it's a No-Go.  frown.gif

 

To add insult to injury, they got a couple more inches of fresh this morning!  Still closing tomorrow......  hissyfit.gif

 

 

 

 

 

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

One thing about spring conditions is that it does punish bad technique.  Those terminal intermediate tail pushers will get tired real fast in soft spring snow.  not to mention how they do on the crusty conditions early

 

 

Doesn't explain those years when it is still mid-winter conditions at closing, of course.


 

sure it does- the average skier (not the ones on this board) plan their trips somewhat in advance so it is logical for them to make the assumption that there is more likely to be mid winter type of snow in Feb than in April.  The average skier isn`t going to wake up April 1 and scout out snow conditions, determine that there is still mid-winter type snow to be had somewhere and then plan a trip to go out and get it.  Even if the willingness is there, sometimes the skiing budget is all used up... 

post #24 of 24

According to their web site Wolf Creek is considering opening on weekends in April, depending on snow conditions. They have done this in the past and it has resulted in some fun late season turns in the powder and corn.  The owners seem to strive to give us the most skiing possible with the earliest and latest skiing conditions will allow.  You gotta love an area that honestly cares about delivering the goods.  Stay tuned to their web site if you are not done turning'm for the season.  I skied there a week ago and they had great coverage top to bottom.

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