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Was it a poor ski year or bad attitudes?

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Certainly the snowfall was very low for much of the US. Did it make for a terrible ski season?

I would think the skiers in the PNW had a great year. My trips to Canada were some of the best ever. Tahoe in December was exceptional. The last 45 days have delivered great spring conditions in the Sierra, winter skiing in PNW, Utah and Colorado.

Closing weekend at Mount Rose was terrific. The last few days at Mammoth, well I could not have a higher fun quotient no matter how deep or blower the snow was. I had a great year. I think Philpug who is still skiing at A Basin is over the number of ski days he thought he would get this year.

October backcountry skiing in the Tahoe area was super. It has been 6 months since those ski days and a lot of great days in between. Those that I talk to agree that the skiing was simply much better than everyone thought.

As a friend stated a few years ago after a great day, " it could not have been better than today." Another friend's response was " yes it could if it was deeper." His reply " yes it could have been deeper but it could not have been more fun."

I think we can get too hung up on the conditions versus how much fun you had.

What was your year like?
post #2 of 62
It was a fantastic ski year in Maine. My attitude wasn't too bad, either. smile.gif
post #3 of 62

give me edgable snow and its a good day. Give me snow that I can not hit bottom and its a great day. Give me snow that is deep and I can not hit bottom then its one of the best days of the year.

post #4 of 62
I'm about as stoked about the remaining days of May and early June as I have been all year. It has been a great year, Friday was one of the best of the season for me, although part of that is the kids' gear is turned back in and it is just my girl and me stealing away to A-Basin for as many turns as we can get.
post #5 of 62

I donno...I take what I can get... If I get powder day, "hooray powder!". If mash potato, "not too icy, works, and different". If icy, "that bump just bumped me 2 feet high! (I know... it's not much... just noob talking...)". For me it is about the different conditions. The difference between powder and icy to me is just like the difference between moguls and groomed. They are all just different ski conditions. I happily hone my skills (and fail miserably sometimes doing that, laugh at myself and try again) in different condition and terrain combinations. That's fun for me at least and I have learned a lot throughout. Guess I'm trying to be jack of all trades, master of none lol? (maybe one day I would like to be a master of some techniques some day but I am not going to be fixated on that)

post #6 of 62

The snow, fun factor, parties, bbqs, people and booze were 10/10. Even the PBRs tasted good biggrin.gif

Edited by veteran - 5/5/13 at 3:59am
post #7 of 62

Most of the British Columbia interior had a fantastic early December. At my home mountain, Sun Peaks, we normally get 6 metres of snow over a 4 month season so when we got 1 of those metres over a 7 day period in early December it was the best early season in decades and basically set the mountain up for great skiing for the rest of the season. And it being pre Christmas Holidays the mountain was empty.


The Christmas Holidays saw no new snow but lots of sun and piles of snow everywhere. Most of the rest of the season saw fairly normal, frequent snow storm patterns, but with less snow per storm than usual. So other than early December it was not a great year for powder, but great coverage and lots of soft snow for most of the season.


The number of days with temperatures in the village above freezing might have been a bit more than normal in 2012, but in 2013 there was no doubt that it was a milder than normal winter in B.C. and in Alberta as well.

post #8 of 62

I had some of the best days of my entire life this year.  February 22nd at Taos is one that stands out in my mind for sure.  Oh and how could I forget....May 3rd at A Basin!!!  As far as I'm concerned, the season is a long ways from over and that is always a good thing.  biggrin.gif

post #9 of 62
I'm kind of wondering what the basis of the original question was. It seems to be looking for complaints.
post #10 of 62
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I'm kind of wondering what the basis of the original question was. It seems to be looking for complaints.

Basis is ... OP lives in Tahoe. 

post #11 of 62
There was the 'glass half empty' crowd and the 'glass half full' crowd. The season started slowly in CO, but improved and continues to get better.
post #12 of 62

Well it was definitely a better season than 2011-2012 just about everywhere.  I hope the weather gets crazier and we have some epic record breaking global warming fueled dumps this next season.

post #13 of 62
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I'm kind of wondering what the basis of the original question was. It seems to be looking for complaints.

Basis is ... OP lives in Tahoe. 



Statistically, it looked like a "bad year" for us, but I felt we had more "powder days" because of the way it seemed to arrive.  Instead of an inch an inch an inch, it was more WHOOMP, even though fewer storms.  I will say we had way more fog than usual.  

post #14 of 62

Tahoe pre New Years was amazing.  Post New Years sucked.  I mean, the least snowfall for January through March in over 100 years since they started keeping track and not a single resort open past April 28th?  I think that pretty much sums it up.  I still had a fun season but have high hopes for something much better next year.


The amount of vacation time I have left at work for this time of year is shocking.

post #15 of 62

As Bob Barnes says:  "There is no bad snow; just good snow and snow that is good for you!"


Much of our year was good for you snow.  It got much better late in the season.  Still, I had a great season.  With the terrain closed and groomers open, I worked a lot on technique.  I think it paid off...



post #16 of 62

It's all about context. My first ski season was 2007 when the temperature didn't even hit freezing until mid-January in Ontario. People were walking around downtown Toronto in shorts and t-shirts in December/Jan. So relatively speaking, having moved to the west coast, this season was pretty good. 

post #17 of 62

A very enjoyable year. Some stellar pow days at Vail, Steamboat and Copper. Nobody to blame but yourself if you didn't get the goods! 

post #18 of 62

2011-12 was bad in historical context. 2012-13 was below average.  I've just started collecting final data; my guess is that it was a ~90% season overall.  Per DanoT's comments, western Canada is almost certainly the best region at ~120%.  The Pacific Northwest was above average and probably the Northeast also by a small margin.  All other regions were below average but only California could be as low as 80%.  Subjectively the Sierra was not that bad because most of the snow came in December.  December was the snowiest month in most other regions.  We know from last year that's much better than having it mostly come at the end.  In Front Range Colorado most of the snow did come in March/April.


One's personal experience often does not correpond to the overall weather of the season.  As I've mentioned before 2011-12 was my best season for powder and even just considering lift service it was far above average.  This year I didn't have much skiing with poor conditions but I didn't see that much fresh snow either.  It was below average and would have been far below average for powder if not for my 3 April days in Utah, booked with just one day's notice based upon the weather forecast.

post #19 of 62
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I'm kind of wondering what the basis of the original question was. It seems to be looking for complaints.

I was not looking for complaints. For me it was a terrific year and I live in Tahoe which had a very low snow year. Still great skiing this year in the Sierra due to the great early snowpack which we are still skiing BC and at Mammoth.
post #20 of 62


Tahoe was terrific!

post #21 of 62

For a weekend only, pack up the kids, drive to mountains, get a hotel, kind of skier......this year gave us three days of virgin, knee deep snow overnight in the White Mountains. It all fell either Friday or Saturday night, just so we could be on the first chair in the morning. Couldn't ask for more.

post #22 of 62

Comparing seasons 2011/12 and 2012/13, skiing in Colorado this year outstanding.  It was slow to start but ramped up nicely from mid February to May 1st.  Ended the powder hunt on May 1st with one of the better days of the year at Loveland (21" in 24 hours).  In all, logged 32 days of 12" or better between GT, Wolf, Loveland, and Monarch.  The South Platte river basin is 100% of average predominately because of April and May.  Loveland closed today with light snow falling.  Very happy with the season and always looking forward to the next one.  IMHO, the grass could literally not be greener anywhere else and the fog, which I consider to be 2011/12, has lifted! 

post #23 of 62

As others have said it was a very slow start to the season. I spent most of December in the park because the terrain simply wasn't open. Horseshoe bowl in Breck didn't even really become skiable until after new years. That being said after mid January I had one of my best seasons with big powder days at Wolf and Ski Santa Fe. Did get a nice Xmas powder day at Vail though.

post #24 of 62

Was it a poor ski year AND a bad attitude for me.


I sure wish I had skied more.  Poor conditions were part of the reason I didn't ski as much, also have a young family with kiddos who are not yet ready to ski.  I'm looking forward to both better snow and a better attitude as our little ones grow into our life-long ski buddies in the years to come.

post #25 of 62

As DanoT has noted, most of the British Columbia interior had a fantastic early season. I had one of my best ski days ever, anywhere, on December 20, 2012 at Whitewater. Face shots on almost every turn on almost every run, all day.


That said, heavy work demands and a drier than normal January and February meant that I skied less than usual this year. I may also be getting spoiled. That can happen around here. ("The base is only 85 inches. It hasn't snowed at all in 3 days. It's hardly worth going. I should work on this _____ anyway.")


March shaped up nicely, and it was snowing hard on closing day, April 7. Too soon!


Bad attitude, at least partly. Should be grateful for what I've got, which is a Real Job in the middle of the Selkirks.

post #26 of 62

I had a great year thank you very much!

post #27 of 62

It was an interesting year. I moved down to make Wolf Creek my home mountain this year.


The season started very late. Wolf had nothing until a week before Thanksgiving, where they got 20" and opened with some of the most marginal conditions I had ever skied. There was too little snow to lower the groomer blade, so the idea was to pack the snow in without any shaping- tons of nastiness sticking through.  The ungroomed stuff was 20" on top of bare rock, and I saw some people getting seriously hurt catching stuff under the snow. After skiing it, I told myself I wouldn't be back until it snowed a bit more.


It didn't snow for a full month, and the local skiing public was griping hard time.  Usually I have about 15 days before Christmas, but it was a week before Christmas and I only had that one day.


Then, a week before Christmas, it snowed with one of the largest storms I've seen. We got about 3 feet of snow at our house, and Wolf Got 60" over 5 days of continuous snow.  It was insane, and amazing.


And after that the season kicked in- I found myself repeatedly skiing the deepest snow of my life week in and week out, and in terrible shape to do it- normally I have 10+ days early season skiing WROD to build my legs, this year my second day skiing was in 40" of snow, and the third day 50".  My legs were in pain.


From the until March, it was feast or famine- Wolf was trending well below normal in snowfall, but it was coming 30 and 40 inches at a time, so it sure didn't feel like a bad snow year to me. I had days and days and days of waist deep snow, all day. Heaven.


March dried up for Wolf and the storms seemed to move North after Mid March, to slam the front range repeatedly.


Wolf ended the year with 334", well below normal. In that sense it was a bad year. It was a terrible beginning to the year.


For me, it was an epic year, because of that 334," I got to ski about 280" of that as fresh blower pow. Simply amazing.

post #28 of 62

Somewhat strange season, but mostly in a good way here in the mid-Atlantic US (southwest PA, WV, MD, VA). We had a C minus type of season until about the first of March, then some of the best conditions of the winter occurred for a month or more. The bases deepened rather than melted due to frequent snowfalls and preservation was pretty good due to consistently cooler than normal temps. Many ski areas picked up an additional 2 to 3 weeks of operations beyond the norm. This coincided with an early Easter and attendant weeklong regional public school vacations adding a considerable and most unusual late season bump in business. Some ski areas amended their proposed closing dates not once, but twice!  In the end possibly the best season around here since the epic Snowpocalypse winter of 2009/2010.


Personally, my winter got a favorable boost when I rolled the dice and commited to a late Dec/early Jan two week trip to multiple ski areas in CA and OR and enjoyed nice leftovers from that big western storm that ocurred just before Christmas.  Got reasonably good conditions at the fun Northern VT Epicski Gathering in early March too.

post #29 of 62

We had a good ski year in WA. I didn't ski as many days as I hoped (only 48  this year) but they were pretty well spaced, though I don't get to ski much in November and December which had some really good skiing and a lot of snowfall.


I grade my days (former teacher showing through) and here is what I came up with:


A range: 9 days (must have powder, all but one had new snow of 8" or more, good visibility, weather is usually cool and calm, but not always, reasonable to non-existent crowds)

B range: 30 (must be really fun, snow soft, off piste is good skiing, visibility can bring an otherwise A day down to a B, can have some, but not lots of new, not necessarily powder)

C range: 9 (fun, decent snow to edge into, visibility and weather can be marginal)

D and F: I payed attention to the snow report and weather forecast and dodged these.

post #30 of 62
Originally Posted by veteran View Post


Tahoe was terrific!


Great vid!!! It really captures the true essence of skiing which is a whole lot more than just great snow.

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