I sent this thread to one of the ski areas that was highly maligned in the mentioned web site. Here is their reply:
Thanks for sending that over...
The only explanation I can give you is that the people who posted those
averages is a complete uninformed idiot. LOL
We EASILY get as much snow as Alta each season... We are both at the top of
our respective canyons, meaning we each receive the incredible benefit of
orographic lift in weather patterns (it is incomprehensible that solitude
could ever have more snow than brighton for this reason... As is the case
with snowbird vs alta also). We benefit more from 'western-wrap-around'
storm tracks while Alta benefits more from 'lake-effect' tracks. We get
about the same amount of each type of event each season... More westerns
early season... More lake effect mid season. It balances out.
The problem here is that Alta has a NWS weather site at the top of Collins
Lift (in a nice cirque) where as there is no such site currently operating
reliably anywhere at Brighton... Or near it. So the only NWS site to look at
for brighton is several miles down canyon from the resort.
We measure our snow every morning between 5-5:30am in Cathy Jorgensen's
driveway on the brighton circle (not even mid/upper mountain like alta's
site). Cathy takes 3 measurements triangularly around the driveway and
averages them for the new snow that day (as opposed to measure new snow
every hour like alta does, i.e. No settle/wind affects... A warm day can
kill our new snow total because of this). Our base depth is reported from a
stake near the top of majestic (a chair that doesn't even reach mid
mountain) by our patrol each morning. Using this system we have had well
over 500 inches of new snow every SEASON (not year) that I have worked here
(six years). I've seen it... I've played in it. I have skied/snowboarded
all over the western U.S. And I have never seen snow fall like I have here
at brighton in an average storm. My first season here it seemed like every
day was waist deep powder.
Snow reporting unfortunatly has a poor reputation due to some resorts
fudging the numbers... Some a lot. I could give some examples, but it
would probably be politically incorrect... But lets just say there's no way
in God's creation that Park City can EVER have a base or new snow even near
There is no 'standard' for snow reporting and that does create a problem...
I actually wrote a pretty long document for ski utah a few years back
outlining a proposal for a standard, but it was shot down, primarily by
summit county resorts (park city side), probably due to the difference in
snow depth that would become apparent.
It's unfortunate that someone would start a webpage about snow conditions,
but then have no real knowledge of them or how they occur but yet act like
they are experts. Really they are fools... I feel bad for Powder also,
since I know many of those guys at that magazine and to be affiliated with
such a site in that way is pretty negative on them also.
Bottomline is this... Just because it's on the web doesn't mean it's
Thanks for bringing it to my attention though, I will probably be contacting
the people who do the site real shortly to have a word about how weather
really works around here.
Marketing & Sales Director
Brighton, Utah 84121www.brightonresort.com
(801)532-4731 ext. 245
I just sent you a thread from epicski.com that has a link on it with snow
accumulation records from North American ski areas. Those numbers are vastly
different from the ones that you use in your advertising materials. Is there
an explanation for these differences?
Thank you for your time,