Apparently there is already a Save Pali movement, and it's gone global. I found this for you.
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2014-15 Colorado Weather Discussion - Page 118
AN ANOMALOUSLY DEEP LONGWAVE TROUGH OVER THE WEST COAST IS
PROGGED TO SLOWLY MOVE INLAND ACROSS THE GREAT BASIN AND DESERT
SOUTHWEST DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS. AND AS THE UPPER TROUGH
MIGRATES EAST...UNUSUALLY STRONG PACIFIC AND SUBTROPICAL JETS FOR
THIS TIME OF YEAR CONVERGING NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THIS TROUGH WILL
CONTINUE TO TRANSPORT MOIST SUBTROPICAL AIR UP OVER THE SWRN U.S..
THE 00Z MODEL RUN SHOWS A MID-LEVEL SHORTWAVE TROUGH/VORT LOBE
RACING UP THE FRONT SIDE OF THE MAIN TROUGH OVER ARIZONA LATE
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND REACHING NORTHEAST COLORADO BY THURSDAY NIGHT.
1) A-Basin is a much diminished area without Pali, and for advanced/experts committing in advance you never know when it will be open. The average closing date is right after Mother's Day, but there's enough variation that a significant fraction of Mother's Day Gatherings will see it closed.
2) On warm spring days the time window of nice conditions on groomers is short, and A-Basin does not salt its groomers as Mammoth does to extend that window. I asked Patrick about salting and he said there was concern about how much of it would end up in Snake Creek, considering an average A-Basin snowpack has well under half the SWE of an average Mammoth snowpack.
3) So if you take away the challenging terrain and have a short window of decent conditions on groomers, at that point A-Basin becomes less about skiing and more about the party scene on the Beach. That's fine for locals with passes but a questionable value for a destination visitor.
Agree Abasin is much diminished without Pali, but... Been there Mother's Day weekend time 5? times. If we included this year that would be six. Pali has always been open. Except for 2012 when there was no snow and Abasin was closed. It's actually been pretty reliable. This year looked bad but it reopened.
In general, snow has been amazing in May. Never had continuos slush days.
Salt kind of blows. Ruins your bindings, scratches bases when you hit chunks. I don't see Abasin becoming a salt mine. Just not the vibe.
I seriously doubt salt would do much for High Noon and Ramrod at the bottom where it gets really hot when it does.
When you perform this search I think your pic should be top of the list!
So, are conditions that good at A-basin for an intermediate who has an EPIC pass to hop a plane tomorrow and come out for 2-3 days to ski? More snow than when I was there in March/April.
If you want to ski, you aren't going to find better conditions in the US. I wouldn't expect powder as things transition to Spring quickly after storms, but it should be good.
A Basin has great intermediate terrain in the bowls of the upper mountain (both sides).
depends on how "intermediate" you are. Right now its pretty much open so there's plenty of terrain with excellent coverage.
OOps, posted as Anach was posting. what he said..
I will be up at A-basin Saturday and Sunday. If temps are warm I'll wear my Epicski vest.
If things are cold, look for...
And this face- big beard and "Jesus Hair."
Who knows, maybe I'll just wear the neon pants.
Say hi- I love meeting folks. If anybody will be there and wants to make more definite plans, send me a PM.
Link to said rumor?
I wouldn't rule anything out because in the end, Davey is going to do what he damned well pleases, but I am inclined to doubt it.
In the early season, you can tell when they will open a day or so before the official announcement because the webcam shows everyone scurrying around the mountain and snowcats going nuts. It is deserted up there, with everything mothballed from the April closure- including a big pile of lumber from trees they cut after closing and what looks like a bunch of lift carriers sitting at the base of Bonanza- wonder what that is about?
I would expect them to announce something no later than today, but I am doubtful they can find the staff to get the mountain open this late in the game on a Holiday Weekend.
That sounds like wishful thinking. :(
Although a nice powder shot from the storm earlier this month:
Zuma is still open. The blues on the front are still open. Pretty much only double black terrain is closed, that I can tell, and it keeps opening back up again.
This insanely wet pattern with 2-3 major storms a week coming out of the desert southwest is about to modify. Which means it is going to dry out a bit and warm up some. That's the good and the bad.
The good is that spring storm skiing isn't necessarily easy, and A-Basin is mostly above tree line. A lot of flat light and spring snow conditions can severely limit the blue/black terrain, and the place to hide is mostly expert terrain, and 6th Alley. Also, the snow is morphing so fast in these conditions that at times it's not really even run to run. That can be fun if you love chasing every possible snow condition, or it can suck because you keep missing it. Sort of like that endless line of green lights down a long city avenue, great if you catch green, sucks if you catch short yellows. Consistent snow isn't the worst thing to plan a trip around, but consistent means terrain closures at this point.
So the bad is that Zuma probably won't significantly outlast Pali and East Wall if at all, so it will be the frontside bowl and lower mountain terrain maybe by next Tuesday. Zuma has a max one more week through May 31st IMO, but the official date right now is open through the 25th. So that's two lifts - BMX and Lenawee - unless you hop very soon.
Having said all of that, A-Basin in June is like high country summer festival season, just with skiing. At some point, every turn is a good turn, and then you technically aren't an intermediate anymore. Just sayin'.
That sounds like wishful thinking.
Yeah but who knows. Plenty of snow up there. I emailed them and asked about it.
That's a good point when airfare is involved . Al's been talking about it on the blog. It would be quite the thud if they closed with this much snow on the mountain.
I took this on May 14th last year. Afternoon of an 8" powder day, base around 80", and right after which it got really warm and pretty much stopped snowing.
On June 7th it looked like this.
And June 14th (I didn't have an iPhone yet, so my picture taking was less prolific with a point and shoot).
Come this Monday, when the pattern lets up, we will be 10 days past that first pic, and I will wager at just about the same base depth for the date as last year. It got pretty hot last year in Mid-May and stayed that way, so even if the same thing happens starting next week, the snow should be there to get to June 21st.
Now we'll see, but this sure would be a crazy good spring to cut off at the knees in two weeks.
Or should I have said "when obtaining refreshments" or "when taking bio breaks"?
Hope you are having a nice spring! I'm sad to say the rumors are not true. Wolf Creek will not be opening for the weekend. You are more than welcome to come up and hike or ski up and make some turns.
Have a nice summer!!
Wolf Creek Ski Area
P.O. Box 2800
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
Fax: (970) 264-5732
Both last year and this year Pali closed before Mother's Day, then reopened with substantial new snow. Thus my comment about the quality of skiing being dependent upon fresh snow.
I'm sure that's true this year. In 36 years A-Basin averages 30 inches May snowfall with a standard deviation of 18 inches. The top 1/4 of seasons get at least 45 inches, which seems likely to be attained this year. The bottom 1/4 of seasons get less than 15 inches, and with current policy it seems very likely Pali would be closed before Mother's Day for good in nearly all of those cases.
It would help some, and on the really hot days Mammoth grooms/salts again mid-morning as well as overnight. The real issue here is that A-Basin is an advanced skewed mountain, intermediate groomers are much fewer in number than at Mammoth and thus will get chewed up fast on a warm spring day. So as a fly-in destination for intermediates, I think A-Basin late season is best viewed in the context of
I'll reiterate our experience May 8-9 was awesome, but I believe it was luckier than long-term average.
Edited by Tony Crocker - 5/21/15 at 9:35am
A minor quibble about 2014 that does not really detract from your main point...
I am pretty sure that Pali's closing and reopening was based purely on wet slide safety (assessed from various technical sensors) and not new snow. The accumulated snow depth does matter, of course, because snow is an insulator. But it's more a temperature thing.
We did get quite a bit of new snow around Mothers Day last year, but it wasn't correlated with Pali status.
I really admire the way A-Basin balances snow safety with terrain availability, and does more than look out the window and guess.
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