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Truth in Snow Reports?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Here in the PNW, as you know, the season has been a catastrophe!

As a result, discerning the "TRUTH" from ski area snow reports, has evolved into an art.

Some resorts, like Mount Baker, are relatively truthful. They provide an honest summery of conditions, infused with artful spin and heady optimism. At least they say to bring your rock skis.

Other resorts, such as Whistler, appear to be less forthcoming. One week ago, their front page trumpeted "We've Got Snow", showing a boarder buried up to his neck in the stuff.

During this time, photos from bears on this site showed more brown than white on mid-mountain trails, with comments bemoaning the poor conditions.

When I asked a lady at Whistler's customer service about this discrepency, she cheerfully replied: "We get so excited about skiing/boarding, that we just love to show photos of lots of snow".

It was a Pepto Bismal moment.

In general, how honest, or not, are ski resorts in posting their conditions. Do they become more desperate (and less truthful) during snow shortages. Or, are they just businessmen trying to make a living, like the rest of us?
post #2 of 20
Of course a business is going to do what it can to attract visitors, but you're right, some of the reports are just plain BS! A particular incident comes to mind:

We went to Killington for New Year's weekend. New Year Eve day was pretty good, soft packed powder and all was well. The next day (NY's day) I called the ski report to see what the conditions were, and was their marketing guy cheerfully babbling on how Killington has the most open terrain in the east, the ski school was excellent, blah, blah...

We got there and it had poured rain all night and the slopes were trashed! Killington gave us a free lift ticket to use at any ASC resort good for one year, which was cool of them. (We'll be using it for a day at the Canyons when we got to Utah in a few weeks!)

Anyhow, I guess they can't really say on the ski report: "Well folks, we got a ton of rain last night and the conditions blow! So come spend $67 on a lift ticket!" But it would be nice if they could at least state accurate facts ie: no new snow, conditions are wet snow etc.

I know this doesn't really help you out, but at least I can commiserate!
post #3 of 20
Any Bears (or anyone else for that matter) looking for an honest report on conditions at Windham Moutain, NY should go to:

www.WindhamUnderground.com

and sign up for "Stache's Thursday Night Snow Report".
post #4 of 20
Cap'n Strato is right -- Baker seems to have gone out of their way to be upfront about their conditions. I saw the, "bring your rock skis," comment on their Website (it later morphed into, "Rent our skis,"), and the way they've handled this year's crap weather has earned a good degree of loyalty from me.

Whistler, on the other hand, has absolutely lost my loyalty. I had two friends go up there, and both were totally burned by the misleading b/s -- take a week off from work, book a place, and get up there and get either rain soaked slush or ice, and rocks. For the resorts/mts, it's a long-term vs. short-term focus. Whistler has burned its long-term revenue potential by burning customers for short-term gain. To be honest, if I need to ski BC, I'll head to big white or one of the okanagan locations. There are lots here who feel the same, and while real estate is the big deal for intrawest, they should have remembered that it's the Seattle-ites and Vancouverites that pay the day-to-day operating costs.

and, yes, going to Baker Friday -- expecting more snow, too.

Yepper
David
post #5 of 20
tetsuma, if you're going to Baker on Friday, would you post a report on conditions? I will probably go up this weekend. I have some new skis, but I don't think I'll take them up unless I hear that things are OK. I have a really trashed set of rock skis that I can use.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stache
Any Bears (or anyone else for that matter) looking for an honest report on conditions at Windham Moutain, NY should go to:


and sign up for "Stache's Thursday Night Snow Report".

What is a "bear"? I've seen this term a few times on this message board.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGNOE
What is a "bear"? I've seen this term a few times on this message board.
Magnoe: Bear as in Barking Bear, the title of this forum. Hence, if you're on the forum, you're a Barking Bear.

I'm not sure who coined the phrase, but it's original.
post #8 of 20
I do not fully agree about mt. Bakers' honesty.
Why to hell they are saying we are 100% open and in normal winter operation
when most of good steep slopes are not skiable and closed??? 100% open means ALL trails open. Few weeks ago(before catastrophic weather pattern) I just spent 6 hours driving for nothing. And that was not the first time.
post #9 of 20
Mad River Glens Snow Report is brutally honest. If it sucks they will be the first ones to tell you it sucks and not to come....

Alfonse
post #10 of 20
Haven't ever been to Whistler but ski Mt T. a lot. There's been a lot of negative about InterWest on http://kokotele.proboards18.com/index.cgi lately. The problem with publicly held big companies and ski resorts is they do stupid stuff to minimize loses in the present which can be real bad for the sport in the long run.
post #11 of 20
Portillo lies with the best of them. And that really sucks after you travel 4000 miles to get there.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pheft
tetsuma, if you're going to Baker on Friday, would you post a report on conditions? I will probably go up this weekend. I have some new skis, but I don't think I'll take them up unless I hear that things are OK. I have a really trashed set of rock skis that I can use.
Will do, although a chance I wont get there till Friday afternoon - depends on work. A friend was there yesterday and she said it was good, generally, with thinness still in places, and not 100% open.... but close. Depends on how much gets scraped off this week and how much snow they really get Friday night. I would take your trashers this weekend just to be safe. If you get there and it's great, just leave em in the car. My intuition says it'll be good, but that's pure speculation - although I trust my friend's judgement/intuition on this since she lives in glacier and skis every day they are open.

Have fun!
David
post #13 of 20
Well here at Tremblant they lie profusely in their reports. For instance they said 75 out of 94 trails open. When actually they closed 43 and had that reflected on the virtual map (Marketing Dept does report, Patrol/trail crew does map. Get the picture).

Tonight at the Gym I was informed the new Marketing director is going to put out new radio adds stating: "We have SNOW". She just isn't saying how little we have. ;p
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJBrk
Well here at Tremblant they lie profusely in their reports... "We have SNOW"...
Isn't this also Intrawest? They seem to love that quote.
post #15 of 20
Here is a quote from Mad Rivers Snow report today, never dull that is for sure, "Needless to say, with this kind of snow we'll be rocking out like a High School Kegger"

Alfonse
post #16 of 20
On the whole, there seems to be a inverse relationship between the amount of snow a resort actually has and the reliability of its ski reports. The less actual snow the better the conditions claimed by the resort.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetsuma
Will do, although a chance I wont get there till Friday afternoon - depends on work. A friend was there yesterday and she said it was good, generally, with thinness still in places, and not 100% open.... but close. Depends on how much gets scraped off this week and how much snow they really get Friday night. I would take your trashers this weekend just to be safe. If you get there and it's great, just leave em in the car. My intuition says it'll be good, but that's pure speculation - although I trust my friend's judgement/intuition on this since she lives in glacier and skis every day they are open.

Have fun!
David

Baker sucked Saturday, and this morning it sounded as if they only got 2" overnight... but they ended up with another 5 inches between whenever they reported this morning and 9:30AM... and almost none of that got groomed, so it was really good. Still some brush and rx, but generally an awesome day with peek-a-boo sunshine and fairly dry powder (for the PNW).

Yippee!
David
post #18 of 20

It's what they DON'T say

It's what they DON'T say that really matters. Also carefully crafted "cam" photos with very selected backgrounds are extremely telling, especially when the photo is cropped very closely.
post #19 of 20

RE: Truth in Ski Reports?

Captain Strato,
The problem with a lot of ski reports is obvious: every mountain wants to get as many skiers as possible on any given day. In order to accomplish this, they're gonna exaggerate from time to time, claiming a little more snow than they really have. The best way to get real ski reports is to refer to a non-bais site, one that offers ski reports for mountains all over the world. I use skipress.com for ski reports, and basically for all my skiing news for that matter. When a site is neutral, without anything to gain from you choosing a certain mountain over the other, their news and reports will be completely honest. Try checkin' out skipress, they even offer sweet deals on whatever mountain you choose to venture off to. Good luck!
Nesta
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Nesta: Thanks for the reply. I appreciate your comments and agree with all you've said. I didn't know that skipress.com also did resort reports. I'll check them out.

I utilize skipressworld heavily for early season ski reviews. I find their reviews remarkably complete, unbiased and detailed. From what you say, it appears they bring the same endeavor to their ski reports. Thanks again!
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