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I can work anywhere this season

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

hey guys, last winter I worked in Telluride. It's the only ski resort I've been to and I loved how chill it was there, like music playing at the lift lines, really cool and relaxed coworkers, laid back management...didn't feel like they were constantly trying to get us in trouble for stuff. Management was our friends, and they were there to ski and have a good time...not to go on power trips and boss people around.

 

Anyways I'm thinking about working somewhere else this year, just to see what other resorts are like...I'm wondering, if you could, what resort you would all work at and why?

 

Some things I don't want is really cold temps, like if it's single digits everyday and nasty grey weather, then forget about it. I can't have fun skiing when it's single digits and/or cloudy all the time

 

I also don't want to wait more than 15 minutes in lift lines...I can understand holidays, but I heard Tahoe gets lines all the time for like half an hour or longer? That's crazy because even on the busiest day in Telluride the lines were never longer than 15 minutes.

 

Anyways the drawback of going to Telluride is I'll have to fly which is annoying to bring my skis and stuff on the airplane, it would be cool to drive somewhere, I'm from California so I was thinkin Mammoth would be cool because I can get a ride and bring stuff with me that's hard to bring on the plane...anyways yeah where should I work? lol Big Sky, Telluride, and Mammoth currently are what I'm lookin at

post #2 of 21
I can tell you Whitefish is out. Fog and cold. Big Sky is sunnier, and on the other side of the Divide. Not sure about your other requirements relative to it.
post #3 of 21

Waterskiing is what you seek. Try Costa Rica . Very sunny often with great but short lived storms.

 

No clouds and no cold but do you expect any good skiing ?  With the storms and the cold you create the environment for great skiing conditions.   You can buy great all weather gear but you cannot buy the snow you slide on. Nature provides us that.   Maybe a job at one of those awesome snow domes would suit your needs .

 

Personally I want to work at Alyeska because it has many storms, it's cold and the terrain is very impressive.


Edited by GarryZ - 7/27/13 at 4:53pm
post #4 of 21
Alta or Snowbird without a doubt. Amazing terrain and amazing snow. And, I'm suggesting them as a CO native and lover of CO skiing.
post #5 of 21

I know a young man who worked at an Alta lodge for a couple seasons.  He had a great time.  He was at one lodge for a season and another the second.  He had little trouble making friends who showed him how and where to ski without waiting in lift lines.  Midweek is rarely an issue except for a fresh powder day.

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post

Waterskiing is what you seek. Try Costa Rica . Very sunny often with great but short lived storms.

 

No clouds and no cold but do you expect any good skiing ?  With the storms and the cold you create the environment for great skiing conditions.   You can buy great all weather gear but you cannot buy the snow you slide on. Nature provides us that.   Maybe a job at one of those awesome snow domes would suit your needs .

 

Personally I want to work at Alyeska because it has many storms, it's cold and the terrain is very impressive.

 

FIFY

 

FWIW it's been raining a lot here...I'm worried it will impact the snowpack. wink.gif

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by phazan View Post

hey guys, last winter I worked in Telluride. It's the only ski resort I've been to and I loved how chill it was there, like music playing at the lift lines, really cool and relaxed coworkers, laid back management...didn't feel like they were constantly trying to get us in trouble for stuff. Management was our friends, and they were there to ski and have a good time...not to go on power trips and boss people around.

 

You should check out Sunshine Ski Valley in Canada.spit.gif

post #8 of 21

Mammoth is a great area and would be high on my list of places to go... BUT... they did have the 2nd most skier visits in the US last year, second only to Breck.  So there will be some lines to encounter on certain days.  On the other hand, they have such a long season that the total visitor count may be a bit misleading.  It will definitely be more corporate than Telluride, but there's a good local scene there.

post #9 of 21

Garry Z exaggerates. True, you need cloudy weather for snow, but plenty of resorts with good snow get a ton of sunshine and warmer temps. No reason you can't find that. Colorado and California are your best bets for that type of weather. Many resorts that advertise the "300 days" of sunshine also get 250, 300, 400 inches of snow. 

 

Mammoth sounds like a good option and a resort that seems like one of the best all-around spots in the country. UT has a lot of cloudy weather so may not be to your liking. Steamboat is a fun laid back resort with great snow, great people and plenty of sunshine, but the terrain doesn't hold a candle to Telluride/Mammoth and would still be a long trip. 

post #10 of 21
Quote:
UT has a lot of cloudy weather

I ski there a lot and disagree.  If it's not snowing it's usually sunny as in California and Colorado.  The chronic overcast by my observation is largely latitude driven, at least during midwinter when I'm doing destination trips.  The Northwest, western Canada, Montana, northern Idaho have chronic cloudiness.   In Wyoming Targhee has a foggy reputation, Jackson much less so.

 

At Mammoth you will not have much fog, but you had better be prepared to deal with wind.

post #11 of 21
I ski there a lot, too. I also live here. It's cloudy throughout much of the winter, storm or not, much more so than CO. If u don't want to believe me, note that UT doesn't advertise 300 days of sun the way CO, and to a lesser extent, CA resorts do. I'm sure they'd love to tack that alongside "greatest snow on earth."

CityData.com is an easy place to compare. Under weather, they list a graph of fully cloudy, partly cloudy and cloud-free days. There's even an overlap of what cloudy days bring precipitation. Since they list cities, not resorts, look at Alta and Park City, both of which are above inversion level. They list in the high 50s to 60 percent range for fully cloudy days and only 20 percent cloud-free days through the heart of winter (Dec, Jan, Feb). I looked at Steamboat, Aspen and Breckenridge for comparison - Steamboat has the highest number of fully cloudy days at around 40 percent, Aspen has just under that, and Breckenridge is in the low 30s. Aspen and Breck have 40 percent cloud-free days and Steamboat has 30.

UT's fully cloudy days are on a downward trajectory in winter and into spring and summer (our summers are super sunny, typically) while CO stays stable or rises a bit, so it's not quite as pronounced by March and April, but there's definitely a difference.

You're more familiar with CA, so you can check some equivalent towns there, but it's pretty clear from a CO v UT standpoint. I'm guessing UT is probably not as cloudy as the PNW and maybe neighboring areas like ID, but it's not CO or CA, either.
Edited by JoeUT - 8/8/13 at 1:18am
post #12 of 21

I have a lot of ski time in Utah, but most of it is in March, and the locals joke to break out the sunscreen when I'm visiting.  The Salt Lake midwinter inversions are notorious, but in my limited experience the mountains are usually above it.

 

There will always be an issue of whether city data corresponds to nearby mountains.  I think I found your info at http://www.homefacts.com/weather/Utah/Salt-Lake-County/Salt-Lake-City.html .  I checked Park City and Alta and became suspicious when the sun percentages were identical to 4 decimal places.  Then I checked Salt Lake and it matched too.  I'll bet plenty that the underlying stats are from Salt Lake.

 

Your reference was city-data.com.  It presents the cloud info in graphic form and note that Salt Lake and Park City are identical http://www.city-data.com/city/Salt-Lake-City-Utah.html, likely using the same numbers as homefacts.com.

 

In general I'm leery about using one's own anecdotal experience due to small sample size and high weather volatility.  But I have 165 ski days in Utah since 1981 and I'm fairly sure I'm right about the cloudiness compared to other regions.  I also have 130 ski days in Alberta and interior B.C. since 1997 and it seems chronically overcast in winter.   There's a Canadian expression "sunny breaks," that I had never heard until I started skiing up there.

 

I have 78 ski days in Colorado and find the weather there a bit colder with storms of similar frequency but less intensity as Utah, probably similar cloudiness.  California (588 ski days) is known for highest intensity storms but longer sustained dry periods, likely highest sun percentage.  It seems that mountain data collection can be quite comprehensive for temperature and precipitation, but I don't see much of anything about cloudiness, even at extensive sites like this one for Alta http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ut0072 .

 

Long time locals can often be informative.  Sibhusky from time to time comments on Whitefish's cloudiness, which I consider a positive due to much south exposure and abundant tree skiing there.  I know a lot of Utah locals and they bitch about the Salt Lake inversions but I never hear complaints about chronic cloudiness in the ski areas like I do from PNW and Canadian locals.  If Utah ski areas are any cloudier than Colorado's, it would be by no more than 10% IMHO, maybe similar to Steamboat.

post #13 of 21

You admit that most of your 165 days are in March, which I indicated was the time when the difference between CO and UT begins to shrink. April and May are also sunny, so if you skied in UT solely during those months you might think the resorts are the sunniest on Earth.

 

I provided the best data that I could find to support what I already know, data that shows that CO has twice as many sunny days and considerably fewer overcast days. The data varies rather drastically by CO town, so it doesn't seem like it's all just pulled from the largest city. Maybe they did that in UT, but Alta has its own weather station no? In Alta, you get more storms and less inversion than SLC, so I could see it being comparable.

 

Anyway, unless you have other actual data, I don't see that you have ground to debate. I have a similar number of days in UT, but days that are spread throughout the entire season from Nov. to June, not just, or mostly, in March. I also have a solid number of days in CO (about 60), and many of them were sunny - Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar and April. I always respect your snow stats and the effort you put into them, but you're wrong on this. Locals have no reason to complain about it A. because it snows more here than elsewhere, so the cloudy days are often snow or a predictor of snow and B. UT has some of the sunniest, driest summers in the west - they just come with cloudy winters. 

 

One thing you didn't address is the advertising. "300 days of sunshine" is a cliche in skiing and tourism. Google that phrase and you'll get pages worth of official CO sites, both ski resorts and elsewhere. Google it with "UT" in the box or "Park City", etc. and you won't get anything official, except for southern UT spots like St. George. Again, they would use it if they could, just like every other ski resort does. So why don't they? 

 

My contention isn't that UT is the cloudiest ski region in the US, or that it compares to the PNW, just that it's not as sunny as CO or CA, which is exactly what I was comparing it to to begin with. And our frame of references are different, as I lived in CO and UT, so I compare the two against each other, whereas you have traveled more extensively around, so are more accustomed to other conditions, including those places that are more overcast than either. Maybe UT is closer to CO than to PNW, but there's definitely a difference, and the OP was looking quite specifically for a lot of sunny whether, so he should go where there's the most of it: CO and CA. 

post #14 of 21
Well, we all agree he shouldn't come here. :-D
post #15 of 21
If you want big mountain skiing, small crowds and a fairly laid back management, you should take a look at Big Sky.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
I provided the best data that I could find to support what I already know, data that shows that CO has twice as many sunny days and considerably fewer overcast days. The data varies rather drastically by CO town, so it doesn't seem like it's all just pulled from the largest city. Maybe they did that in UT, but Alta has its own weather station no?

I did not check the Colorado data, but the Utah data is completely invalid because it's only from Salt Lake.  Yes, Alta matched Salt Lake too in that data to 4 decimal places. 

 

I had an extended debate with the Utah locals on First Tracks about the "inversion season."  Their premise was that the inversion season contributed to longer sustained dry spells within January than other months.  By that logic January would have more sun at Alta than February or March. 

 

I demonstrated using data from http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ut0072  the incidence of varied levels of precipitation at Alta (none, 1/4 inch water, 1/2 inch water and 1 inch water content) did not vary much by winter month December - March.

 

Quote:
In Alta, you get more storms and less inversion than SLC, so I could see it being comparable.

If January has more storms than March, yes it would likely have fewer sunny days.  But there's 50 years of Alta data telling us that January and March snowfall are essentially the same, both in total quantity and in number of days with no snow and with a lot of snow.  So I think we should assume that cloudiness in the Wasatch is the same throughout the winter unless someone can produce hard data from a mountain location otherwise.

Quote:
Maybe UT is closer to CO than to PNW, but there's definitely a difference, and the OP was looking quite specifically for a lot of sunny weather, so he should go where there's the most of it: CO and CA.

If there's a difference it's max 10% vs. the massive difference vs. the PNW and western Canada.  The complete OP post:

Quote:

Some things I don't want is really cold temps, like if it's single digits everyday and nasty grey weather, then forget about it. I can't have fun skiing when it's single digits and/or cloudy all the time.........

 

 

UT is warmer than CO (easy to find stats to back that up), probably more than an offset to a very modest difference in clouds. 

 

Quote:
Anyways the drawback of going to Telluride is I'll have to fly which is annoying to bring my skis and stuff on the airplane, it would be cool to drive somewhere,

Not sure why the OP didn't drive to Telluride.  On my last trip there from SoCal a friend drove in 11 hours; it took me 10 by air with a shuttle to Montrose and going through 3 airports. At any rate LA-SLC is an easy 10+ hours, all interstate, that I do every year to my timeshare.

post #17 of 21
Quote:
I had an extended debate with the Utah locals on First Tracks about the "inversion season."  Their premise was that the inversion season contributed to longer sustained dry spells within January than other months.  By that logic January would have more sun at Alta than February or March. 

That's a bad assumption that I'm surprised you'd make. A dry spell doesn't mean sunny weather. January, like the winter at large, has many overcast days that are not snowing. The fact that water levels don't vary is equally irrelevant to the conversation. We're not talking about storms, we're talking about cloudy weather. 

 

Look at the greater data set for Alta v Salt Lake and many of the factors, such as average temp, vary the way you'd expect. Whether they pulled the same exact data for the sunny v cloudy days, I don't know, but they clearly have at least some independent data, and you have nothing that refutes the sunny v cloudy set. And you admit that you didn't even bother looking at the CO set. Your own experience is incidental and limited to "mostly March", and the data you have provided is entirely irrelevant. Your "10 percent" is essentially pulled out of a hat. Maybe I'll keep a cloud journal this season to show you what I'm talking about.

 

I don't mind disagreement, but you're gonna have to do better in supporting it. And you can start by explaining why UT resorts, unlike their CO and CA counterparts, don't advertise sunshine. We know that UT and CO have sometimes-fierce ad competition, and sunshine is certainly a positive ad point, so why doesn't UT utilize it? I realize this isn't hard evidence, but it does speak to the fact that UT simply doesn't experience the same type of sun during ski season. In the absence of data we can agree on, you at least need to address the point. 

 

I did find a Park City business that advertises "240 days of sun," but couldn't find much support of that figure. That would be 20 percent less than CO resorts, and considering that UT receives more sun in the spring and summer, it'd probably end up closer to 25 or 30 percent in the winter. That sounds about correct to me - the significant difference I've experienced between resorts in the two states. 

 

It's been entirely my experience here that clear, sunny days are the exception, not the norm. Often the most beautiful, sunny days are the day after a storm passes through, setting up a great bluebird powder day. Outside of those types of days, it's very often totally or mostly cloudy. 

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Whether they pulled the same exact data for the sunny v cloudy days, I don't know,

When the numbers are the same to 4 decimal places, I don't think there's any question about it.

 

The Utah locals on First Tracks post reports of nearly every ski day.   They ski every weekend and 70-100 days per season.  The winter inversions are capped at elevations rarely exceeding 7,000 feet.  Weather is typically clear above the inversions. They think January is sunnier than other winter months; I think it's the same.   

Quote:
And you admit that you didn't even bother looking at the CO set.

I have now.  Steamboat and Breckenridge match Denver to 4 decimal places, so they are just as spurious as the Alta and Park City numbers.

 

So here's Aspen (which has a very sunny reputation by ski area standards), which is different and hopefully credible.

Month % Sunny Clear Days Partly Cloudy Days Cloudy Days
January 51.61% 9 7 15
February 53.57% 8 7 13
March 51.61% 8 8 15

 

Notice the 3 winter months are similar in cloudiness

 

Here's Salt Lake City

Month % Sunny Clear Days Partly Cloudy Days Cloudy Days
January 38.71% 6 6 19
February 42.86% 5 716
March 48.39% 7 8 16

 

Get past the inversion season and March is 48% sun vs. 52% in Aspen, just about the 10% difference I expected.  During inversion season Salt Lake is cloudier but we know that during the inversions the mountains are above it.  I think it's reasonable that the winter months in the Utah mountains are similar to each other in cloudiness, as they are in Colorado.   So the outstanding question is whether the Utah mountains are cloudier (and if so how much) than Salt Lake after inversion season is over, and unfortunately we have yet to find hard data on that.

Quote:
sunshine is certainly a positive ad point, so why doesn't UT utilize it?

Because 300 is a nice round number and you advertise to your strengths, which in the case of the Cottonwood Canyons is twice as much snowfall as most Colorado resorts.

post #19 of 21
Personally, when it comes to mountain stats, I wouldn't rely on anything that isn't from the weather station ON the mountain. City-data.com is sort of skewed towards people looking at real estate, so their goal is different than what a skier is looking at. I'd be looking at WEATHER sites and checking the reporting location. A lot of data for here is actually from Glacier airport - useless. It's a different microclimate - lower, more wind in the sense of more generalized compared to the mountain, down in the valley - than the resort. WAY LESS snow, just a drive from my house in Whitefish always startles me. So, if it's not from the weather station on the mountain, I toss it.
post #20 of 21
Steamboat and Breck are very different from each other in that measure, how can they both match Denver??

I'd say that 300 days of sun plus 500 in of snow is a huge strength if true, and certainly makes a catchy tagline. At the very least it would appear somewhere in stats or general resort info.

Anyway, we can just disagree on it since we have not identified a way to objectively prove it. UT resorts vary wildly in terms of storms, so they could vary wildly in terms of clouds - maybe we're both right since we spend our time at different resorts.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Personally, when it comes to mountain stats, I wouldn't rely on anything that isn't from the weather station ON the mountain. City-data.com is sort of skewed towards people looking at real estate, so their goal is different than what a skier is looking at. I'd be looking at WEATHER sites and checking the reporting location. A lot of data for here is actually from Glacier airport - useless. It's a different microclimate - lower, more wind in the sense of more generalized compared to the mountain, down in the valley - than the resort. WAY LESS snow, just a drive from my house in Whitefish always startles me. So, if it's not from the weather station on the mountain, I toss it.

+1  Whitefish certainly strikes me as squarely in the PNW/western Canada weather zone I call "the Great Gray North."  But I agree that the mountain at Whitefish is even cloudier than the town.

Quote:
Steamboat and Breck are very different from each other in that measure, how can they both match Denver??

Because the homefacts.com website is being lazy and just using the data from the nearest big city.   In fairness, city-data.com, which just shows the info graphically, has modest differences among the Colorado sites in question.  Unfortunately in the case of Utah there is no discernable difference to the eye among Salt Lake, Alta and Park City when any local can tell you that the differences are significant during inversion season.

Quote:
Anyway, we can just disagree on it since we have not identified a way to objectively prove it. UT resorts vary wildly in terms of storms, so they could vary wildly in terms of clouds - maybe we're both right since we spend our time at different resorts.

It's probably going to be difficult to find cloud stats from on-the-mountain sites.  I would hope with some digging that we might get something better for the mountain towns, at least for the Park City-sized ones.  I'm quite confident that the "January is much cloudier than March" phenomenon applies only to the Salt Lake Valley and not to the Utah mountains.  The relative cloudiness of Utah and Colorado mountain towns needs more research.

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