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Early December Ski Trip in Colorado [beginner/intermediate flying into Denver] - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

Excellent does not mean guaranteed, as anyone who was in Colorado in December 2011 can tell you.

 

 

December 2011 really wasn't all that bad until the Christmas hordes iced up the snow and the New Years wind event blew what was left into Kansas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post
 

 

 

there is next to no chance of rain in Colorado in April.....i can't remember it ever raining in April in 25 years of living and skiing here.  I'm sure it has but I don't remember it whihc means it was sprinkle or happened on day I didn't ski.

 

It's not frequent, but it can rain at the base almost any month.  I've only seen it rain to the top once,  during Aspen's regular ski season.

  I skied Abasin 5/31/14 and it poured all the way up.

post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

 

  I skied Abasin 5/31/14 and it poured all the way up.

Yeah, but that was the end of May,  not April. 

post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post
 

 

 

there is next to no chance of rain in Colorado in April.....i can't remember it ever raining in April in 25 years of living and skiing here.  I'm sure it has but I don't remember it whihc means it was sprinkle or happened on day I didn't ski.

 

From my distant observations, it seems the snowpack goes down during the month of April... even with fresh snow being common.  If its warm enough to melt at times and its wet enough to snow at times... I'm surprised there'd be no chance of rain.  That's good news, because I'm probably looking at a family trip out there, if not this year- hopefully next.

post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post
 

 

From my distant observations, it seems the snowpack goes down during the month of April... even with fresh snow being common.  If its warm enough to melt at times and its wet enough to snow at times... I'm surprised there'd be no chance of rain.  That's good news, because I'm probably looking at a family trip out there, if not this year- hopefully next.

 

The sun is really really hot at this altitude,  so things melt even when it is cold enough to snow. (That's a simplistic explanation.)  But rain is quite unusual even in April. It can happen, yes. However, you are much much much more likely to have a blizzard in April.

post #35 of 44

The last two posts, taken together, sum up the great indigestible mystery western snow behavior presents for life-long easterners.

post #36 of 44

Snow mysteries for life long easterners ;).  Heh, we get to see the snow all soften and work its way down to the bottom of all the trails.  Like a hi-speed glacier.  The top gets down to ice and the bottom becomes a quagmire.   And this happens through the course of the day.

post #37 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead View Post
 

Snow mysteries for life long easterners ;).  Heh, we get to see the snow all soften and work its way down to the bottom of all the trails.  Like a hi-speed glacier.  The top gets down to ice and the bottom becomes a quagmire.   And this happens through the course of the day.


You're so right.  I skied at Gore Mountain and Killington this April.  Some nasty, slushy mess by the end of the day.

post #38 of 44

As a Colorado boy, I just don't see the mystery of our snow. 

 

It's cold up at altitude.   With the strong sun we do get really warm days in March and April (say 50-60), but that's during high pressure when precipitation isn't going happen.  Even then, it still gets really cold at night and the snow refreezes.

 

Then, eventually, a cold front moves in with precipitation.  The tempurature drops with the cold front and it snows.  Simple.

post #39 of 44

Oh yeah, and the snow guns will be blazing in a couple weeks :D

 

 

Watch the countdown yourself here: http://skiloveland.com/

post #40 of 44

The mystery isn't in the science/meteorology of it, it is purely in how we skiers who have our experiences in different sections of the country have different ideas of how snow and weather behave and can be surprised and amazed at new experiences.  I still can't help chuckling at what you westerners think of as "ice".  That's just morning, hard cord to us easterners.  And what you guys call bumps are medium sized foothills to us.

post #41 of 44

this is true but all too often skiers look waaay to hard and long at what it typical or what week to go somewhere.  The weather, especially in our area can change at the drop of a hat and what is "average" really is meaningless.  Some generalizations are fine and they are mostly true but to try to predict when it will snow or how much is futile.  I just booked a trip up to Banf area, never thought about if it would snow or anything else.  Its mid-Feburary; it will probably be cold and they will probably have snow......   I will pack the same and decide what skis to bring the day before.  

post #42 of 44

True enough.  You pay your $$ and you take your chances.  Your week may be perfect or it may be nuttin' but rain.  Or the wind and snow might be blowing so much they can't keep the upper lifts open.   Our gang is narrowed into early Jan due to scheduling around jobs.  All I can say is CO will have a whole lot more snow that VT or NH does in early Jan.  But we've been whited out in New England and in CO.  Never rained, or ice stormed out in CO though.  

post #43 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

 early booking with 25-35% off or will these deals still be around in a couple months?

 

 

the discounts decline over time..i can tell you that last year (or maybe 2012), the 25% discount at Steamboat ended Oct 12th. 

 

if you are on their email list, they generally remind you. It can be a significant savings on lifts/lodging

 

 

ed: this year its Nov 7th

http://www.steamboat.com/plan-your-trip/deals-and-packages/early-rewards.aspx

post #44 of 44
Quote:

As a Colorado boy, I just don't see the mystery of our snow. 

 

It's cold up at altitude.   With the strong sun we do get really warm days in March and April (say 50-60), but that's during high pressure when precipitation isn't going happen.  Even then, it still gets really cold at night and the snow refreezes.

 

Then, eventually, a cold front moves in with precipitation.  The temperature drops with the cold front and it snows.  Simple.

 

This is the way it works in most of the West, once there's enough altitude and even modest distance from the Pacific to eliminate most humidity.  Even in the Sierra temperature (and thus the rain/snow line) tends to drop as a storm progresses.  This is also the reason Jim Steenburgh in Utah found that Utah storms typically deliver "right side up" snow with fluff on top of denser snow that fell earlier. 

Even in coastal California where I live, sun = warm and winter storms = colder.  Therefore

 

Quote:

the great indigestible mystery eastern snow behavior presents for this life-long westerner

is how you can look at a winter month of daily temperatures on Mt. Mansfield, find maybe one or two days that the temperature gets over freezing, and as often as not there will be RAIN on those days. 

 

So, yes it rains in Colorado ski areas in April once in a blue moon, if that. 

 

Quote:
The weather, especially in our area can change at the drop of a hat and what is "average" really is meaningless.  Some generalizations are fine and they are mostly true but to try to predict when it will snow or how much is futile.

+1  Predicting weather is futile.  However the altitude and exposure of a specific ski area are constant, and those factors will drive snow conditions on any day in March or later when it's not snowing, meaning ~80+% of the time.   Fraser Wilkins, who is my snow geek counterpart for the Alps, finds it strange how we Americans (me included), obsess over snowfall.  In the Alps he takes it for granted that altitude/exposure drive snow conditions more than snowfall does.  Over here, my answer to him is, "It depends upon the area, and upon the time of season." 


Edited by Tony Crocker - 9/10/14 at 3:31pm
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