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Does Revelstoke lie about average annual snow fall?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Curious... Revelstoke mountain resort stats claim averaging snowfall between 9-14m ... but then looking at the actual historic snowfall; the math doesn't add up... not even close.

 

http://www.revelstokemountainresort.com/conditions/historical-snowfall

 

According to their own records the resort has never received 14m since opening, or even 12.5m... Are they pre-dating the resorts existence?  Where does that number come from? It looks like there actual average annual snowfall is in the 10m range.

post #2 of 25
More on that from Tony: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2009/10/19/a-guide-to-revelstoke-mountain-resort/

But clearly, they get the rocks covered.
post #3 of 25

The short answer is YES, they lie or more correctly they mislead.

 

Ski TV once visited RMR and they asked the Operations Manager about the annual snowfall. His response was that they have heard anecdotally that the Selkirk mountains get 40 feet. Yup, most of the Selkirks do get 40 feet, but not Mt McKenzie (RMR). Since RMR bought both the former Cat ops (upper Mt McKenzie) and small ski area (lower Mt McKenzie) you would think that they would be in possession of these companies' snowfall records from past seasons. So they should know how much snow that they get. Is there a businessman out there dumb enough to buy a mountain and invest millions without knowing snowfall numbers?

 

I have seen magazine articles claiming 500 inches annually, more inaccuracy.

 

Right now RMR is claiming annual to date snowfall of 447cm and an Alpine base of 162cm. The difference between these 2 numbers is due to snow settling but this seems to me to be a huge difference between the 2 numbers. So not only are they likely counting snow that falls prior to opening for the season, I suspect that RMR counts every flake that falls in September and October, some of which melts long before opening day.

 

The upper mountain probably gets around 30 feet from mid November to mid April which is one of the higher snow falls among B.C resorts, so why the deceptions?

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
The thing is that they also quote average snow fall stats for the silkirks alongside rmr and state that as 12-18m ... so it seems they admit MacKenzie gets much less snow but the number is still way off.
post #5 of 25

Discrepancies in snowfall reporting might just be due to inept management.

 

Their alpine base numbers are probably accurate, so that is what I would go by and ignore the YTD total snowfall number. Also, Norm the Gnome web cam works for me.

post #6 of 25

Revelstoke has had a pillow site for over 20 years on Mt. Revelstoke adjacent to RMR. One peak to the north, on the same aspect and elevation. 

 

Record low SWE:   9m (09-10 season)

Record high:         20m

Average:               12m

 

 

Of course, this is the entire snow season, not just Nov- mid April. As you can see from the record year, that lots of snow can fall after closing or before November.  

post #7 of 25

Surfacehoar,

 

Is that chart accurate?  I thought 2000 mm = 2 meters.  (ie 1 meter = 1000 millimeters.)

 

Perhaps the chart is mislabeled and the y-axis should be in cm (centimeters).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post
 

Revelstoke has had a pillow site for over 20 years on Mt. Revelstoke adjacent to RMR. One peak to the north, on the same aspect and elevation. 

 

Record low SWE:   9m (09-10 season)

Record high:         20m

Average:               12m

 

 

Of course, this is the entire snow season, not just Nov- mid April. As you can see from the record year, that lots of snow can fall after closing or before November.  

post #8 of 25
Well, it's water, not snow.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Well, it's water, not snow.

 

With a base elevation of 1600 feet asl, the lower mountain often is water, not snow.

post #10 of 25

"Is there a businessman out there dumb enough to buy a mountain and invest millions without knowing snowfall numbers?"

 

Yes, if all they've ever done is run mid range restaurants and listened to people that used to cat ski there and have nothing but money.

post #11 of 25

Dont they all? 

post #12 of 25
Grey, SWE is snow water equivalent. Measured in mm. An easy rule of thumb is to assume 10% density. Which makes 1mm H2O = 1cm snow

Dano, yes it rains at the base sometimes. 1inch per month in the winter season. It also snows a lot. Dec-Feb it snows more at the revelstoke airport than Sun Peaks gets on its snow plot.

Yes they do graham. I think (YTD) annual snowfall records are a terrible way to quantify the skiing experience.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post

Grey, SWE is snow water equivalent. Measured in mm. An easy rule of thumb is to assume 10% density. Which makes 1mm H2O = 1cm snow

Dano, yes it rains at the base sometimes. 1inch per month in the winter season. It also snows a lot. Dec-Feb it snows more at the revelstoke airport than Sun Peaks gets on its snow plot.

Yes they do graham. I think (YTD) annual snowfall records are a terrible way to quantify the skiing experience.

 

Since that graph goes up and back down, isn't it showing something like snow pack/depth, rather than snow fall? Snow fall would be continuously increasing for a season or year.

 

In that case, wouldn't the actual snowfall totals be quite a bit higher?

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Mount macenzie gets less snow then mount revelstoke. The north and west mountains of revelstoke are in a much more consistent storm track. And Panorama built their resort in one if the driest spots in the Purcells.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post

Grey, SWE is snow water equivalent. Measured in mm. An easy rule of thumb is to assume 10% density. Which makes 1mm H2O = 1cm snow

Dano, yes it rains at the base sometimes. 1inch per month in the winter season. It also snows a lot. Dec-Feb it snows more at the revelstoke airport than Sun Peaks gets on its snow plot.

Yes they do graham. I think (YTD) annual snowfall records are a terrible way to quantify the skiing experience.

 

It is a good thing that I am a bigger fan of snow quality than snow quantity. So, along with downtown Revelstoke places like Stowe, VT and Mt. Washington, B.C both get more snow than Sun Peaks and a lot more rain and mild weather and fluctuating temperatures too.

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

The short answer is YES, they lie or more correctly they mislead.

 

Ski TV once visited RMR and they asked the Operations Manager about the annual snowfall. His response was that they have heard anecdotally that the Selkirk mountains get 40 feet. Yup, most of the Selkirks do get 40 feet, but not Mt McKenzie (RMR). Since RMR bought both the former Cat ops (upper Mt McKenzie) and small ski area (lower Mt McKenzie) you would think that they would be in possession of these companies' snowfall records from past seasons. So they should know how much snow that they get. Is there a businessman out there dumb enough to buy a mountain and invest millions without knowing snowfall numbers?

 

I have seen magazine articles claiming 500 inches annually, more inaccuracy.

 

Right now RMR is claiming annual to date snowfall of 447cm and an Alpine base of 162cm. The difference between these 2 numbers is due to snow settling but this seems to me to be a huge difference between the 2 numbers. So not only are they likely counting snow that falls prior to opening for the season, I suspect that RMR counts every flake that falls in September and October, some of which melts long before opening day.

 

The upper mountain probably gets around 30 feet from mid November to mid April which is one of the higher snow falls among B.C resorts, so why the deceptions?

 A 3:1 ratio of snowfall to snow depth is pretty normal. Looking at Lake Louise right now, they're claiming 292cm of snow and a 105cm base. Kicking Horse claims 386cm, with a 124cm base.

 

Revelstoke's average snowfall is about 10 metres. That's similar to Whistler. Only Whitewater tends to get more, but RMR is a much bigger resort than WW. RMR's problem is that it sits in the snow shadow of Mount Begbie. Any backcountry skier in town will tell you that Begbie gets way more snow than the ski hill. The ski hill is on Mount Mackenzie because it was the easiest place to build one.

 

As for that snow chart posted, Mount Copeland, which is in the Monashees and is visible from Revelstoke, holds the Canadian snowfall record when more than 24 metres of snow fell in 1972.

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 

Yes, the pitch and slope of Mount Mackenzie look a lot more manageable; everything else is steeper around here , with the exception of the boulder and Frisby area, though access is restricted in these areas much of the winter due to caribou closures... still frustrating to watch the storms on the radar that get caught up either west, north-west or south-west of us and dump probably 30% more snow on the other mountains.  the range of snow accumulation between the mountains around here is quite dramatic, it doesn't mean RMR should lie about getting 14m of snow when they haven't even come close to that since the resort opened.  The mountains average is around 10m-11m on a standard winter (we've had a few bad ones and a few great ones), but saying the average is between 9-14m for the resort is complete BS;  9-12 would be an accurate statement.  

post #18 of 25

The other problem with reporting 9-14m (30-45feet) annually is that it is too big of a range unless they are reporting worst ever and best ever which is misleading as even if averaged together, it doesn't reflect what they would normally get.

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

Well the thing is there worst ever year was just under 8m; there best ever year was just over 12m ... in which case the 9-14 claim is BS.

post #20 of 25

I am shocked, shocked to find out that ski areas are lying about their snowfall totals!  Who would have ever imagined such a thing?

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 

So far we have received near 6m of snow this winter, and by this time we've generally received half our annual accumulation.  Hope it keeps up.

post #22 of 25

The Revelstoke website now has 34 complete months of data from the snow plot near the top of Ripper.  I was just there on Tuesday.

 

Those 34 months, indexed to Mt. Fidelity (which has 47 years of data) projects an November-April average of 351 inches at the Ripper snow plot.
 

Quote = Alex C:

RMR's problem is that it sits in the snow shadow of Mount Begbie. Any backcountry skier in town will tell you that Begbie gets way more snow than the ski hill. The ski hill is on Mount Mackenzie because it was the easiest place to build one.

I got this same local explanation for RMR's snowfall when I was researching that 2009 article.

 

Quote = Alex C:

 

As for that snow chart posted, Mount Copeland, which is in the Monashees and is visible from Revelstoke, holds the Canadian snowfall record when more than 24 metres of snow fell in 1972.

Mt.Copeland is visible from Mustang Powder's lodge, where I just had my 6th trip. :D 


Edited by Tony Crocker - 2/27/16 at 4:13pm
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

The Revelstoke website now has 34 complete months of data from the snow plot near the top of Ripper.  I was just there on Tuesday.

 

Those 34 months, indexed to Mt. Fidelity (which has 47 years of data) projects an November-April average of 351 inches at the Ripper snow plot.
 

I got this same local explanation for RMR's snowfall when I was researchinbg that 2009 article.

 

Mt.Copeland is visible from Mustang Powder's lodge, where I just had my 6th trip. :D

 

 

 

Sun Peaks, Silver Star and Revy all reported 30-32cm in the past week, so you and Tseeb must have done pretty well for fresh snow at MustangThumbs Up

post #24 of 25

Lie? Maybe, not sure why you'd have to if you're averaging 350"+. 

Irwin guides near Crested Butte reports 600" average, but their website stats put them at 460". Again, what's the point? 

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post
 

Lie? Maybe, not sure why you'd have to if you're averaging 350"+. 

Irwin guides near Crested Butte reports 600" average, but their website stats put them at 460". Again, what's the point? 


I don't get this either.  If someone that gets 260 inches "rounds up" to a claim of 300, nobody much cares.  But when you clam 400+, people will scrutinize that.   Where on the mountain are you measuring? What time period are you using? Why doesn't your snowpack look like Alta's or Targhee's, etc.   It stands to reason that if you claim a big number, you should have hard data to back that up.

 

Revy has actual snow plot data and shows it on the website, which I think is great.  But why publish a marketing "brochure quote" at odds with that data? It doesn't make any sense.

 

Quote:
Sun Peaks, Silver Star and Revy all reported 30-32cm in the past week, so you and Tseeb must have done pretty well for fresh snow at MustangThumbs Up

I characterized our 3 days at Mustang as "average" by their standards which is pretty awesome on an absolute scale.   Day 1 was settled powder of higher than usual water content. It cleared overnight so the snow dried out and skied easier the second day. Snow stability was good so we got to ski many steep runs. It then snowed 6 inches overnight plus most of our third day so we were in the trees then but the snow was light and getting deeper all day long.  A 3 day trip should average about 10 inches new snow, and that's about what we got.

 

TR and pics from Mustang last week: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12065


Edited by Tony Crocker - 2/27/16 at 4:07pm
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