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What info is important to you on a ski resorts snow report?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
What info is important to you on a ski resorts snow report? Is there any info that you would like to know that usually isn't given? What do you usually look at/for the most? Would comments/commentary in addition to stats be helpful? What does the ideal snow report look like to you?

This is research for a project. Your opinions are appreciated!

Thanks.
post #2 of 18
Amount of new snow and the temperature. Forget about their description of the snow, if a description is given. They lie.

One stat that is important to some folks and never given is whether the new snow fall is before or after the night's grooming. If 6" of fresh fell after your favorite run was groomed, and you're not a deep snow skier, you're stuck.

Ideal snow report?
--Depth of new snow at two or three different elevations on the mountain.
--Peak and base temperatures when the snow was falling.
--Current temperature at peak and base.
--Percentage of water in the snow that fell at peak and base--how wet or dry the snow is.
--Number of runs groomed after the snow fall began.
--Day's weather forecast.
post #3 of 18
Some semblance of truth.
post #4 of 18
What trails are open, what their grooming status is (i.e., machine-made bumps, skier-made bumps, or groomed flat), what their cover is like (i.e., "thin cover", or "bring the good skis"). I figure any new snowfall totals or snow conditions are lies anyway.

If you want to see a great snow report, then check out Mad River Glen's snow report page once they get the season going. They should all be like that.
post #5 of 18
In my opinion you care about two things, only one of which will possibly be in a ski report.

1. Amount of snow fall. Most importantly in the last day or so which will have a strong effect on surface conditions and may effect cover. Somewhat less import is snow fall in the last week or so which has some effect on surface conditions, more effect on cover. Next up is amount of snow fall season to date which has a strong affect on cover (including what's open). All this into may be in a ski report and might be accurate. You get local variations on different slopes and exposures and I'm sure mountains measure at the most favorable spots. Still, if you are familiar with a mountain and track the reported and actual conditions over time, you can adjust your impression based on experience.

2. Weather. This can be a bigger factor on conditions than 1, particularly if it hasn't snowed in a while and/or you are on man-made snow. You do not want to look at an area report for weather. I always go to http://www.noaa.gov/ for weather. You care about temperature on the current day maybe more importantly, you want to look at what the weather has done in the past few days. Has it been cold, warm, cold? Has it been cold steady for several days? The history of the last few days along with a the forecast for the current day are probably the best indicators for the day's conditions.

The only thing you really have to get from a ski report is how much and where snowmaking has been done. That's totally within the mountain's control. Then add in the weather factor yourself. Have they made three cold nights in a row and is it still cold? Did they make snow a week ago and then it got warm for two days and it's cold again?

If you ski the same place day after day, after a while, you just track what the weather is doing and can guess the conditions as good or better than any report.
post #6 of 18

as the dude's said: THE FREAKIN' TRUTH

softsnowguy pretty much covered the details as I would have them in a perfect world. In my world however, here at Tahoe, I have developed a method for excavating the facts from under the many feet of fresh BS of resort ski area reports. first, follow a few areas for a while and note which areas are most honest. then apply a formula like: Squaw reported snowfall X .75 = actual am't. snow, or Kirkwood reported snowfall X .60 = actual amount of snowfall, or yes the despised Northstar reported snowfall X .90 = actual amount of snowfall, and so forth. Then check the depth on the roof of your car.
post #7 of 18
Summit & Base:
*Depths & Temps.
*New snow since lifts closed.
*Water content.
*Overnight low temps.
*Wind, speed & direction.

Runs groomed & when.

Lifts open & hours of operation.

Potential avalanche control closures, when & where.

Special events.

JF
post #8 of 18

And the data pertaining to Wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
Amount of new snow and the temperature. Forget about their description of the snow, if a description is given. They lie.

One stat that is important to some folks and never given is whether the new snow fall is before or after the night's grooming. If 6" of fresh fell after your favorite run was groomed, and you're not a deep snow skier, you're stuck.

Ideal snow report?
--Depth of new snow at two or three different elevations on the mountain.
--Peak and base temperatures when the snow was falling.
--Current temperature at peak and base.
--Percentage of water in the snow that fell at peak and base--how wet or dry the snow is.
--Number of runs groomed after the snow fall began.
--Day's weather forecast.
one more area of info: WIND: direction, speed, changes in direction, when it occurred and how long it will blow. sometimes the wind can be our friend, as a buddy once pointed out, and sometimes it screws up everything.
post #9 of 18
Ideal:

Number of inches in the past 3 days.

Number of inches in the last 24hrs.

What trails are open with surface conditions on EACH trail.

If a trail is open but not to the public, we need to know that.

Percentage of ice vs. snow on each trail or at least on mountain as a whole.

Temperature (top and bottom).

Wind chill.

Light (sunny, cloudy etc.)

Depth of snow (top and base)

If NASTAR is open or closed.

5 day forecast.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post
one more area of info: WIND: direction, speed, changes in direction, ....
That's why I like NOAA for all weather. Check out the hourly forecast--

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick...Type=graphical
(I just put in the town nearest my home area but you can adjust the lat/long to get a report closer to where you ski, find the precise coordinates with google earth and plug them into the url).

You can wind, temp, humidity, precip, sky cover (sunny/cloudy) etc. with hourly precision. I check this ever day or two and almost always know exactly what to expect without ever checking a ski report. I just wish it went backward in history a couple days; You have to start looking a couple days before you intend to see since you can't go back and see what it did yesterday.
post #11 of 18
Jackson Hole always reports the number of inches of snowfall since after the lifts closed the day before.

That's just about the only number that matters to me.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
Jackson Hole always reports the number of inches of snowfall since after the lifts closed the day before.

That's just about the only number that matters to me.
you gotta hate a real skier! Damn, so true! If it doesn't snow, no worries, it might tomorrow... Ughhh, time to sell the biz and move.....
post #13 of 18
Reading the thread title I had pretty much the same thoughts as davluri and Bob Peters. The important things to know is how the measurement of new snow was formulated and how much said resort "exaggerates".

At Winter Park the new snow total is a 24 hour figure measured from just after the previous report (about 6am). This is fine if you're informed of that and know what the snow pattern was the day before. Does seem simpler and maybe more honest to site snowfall after the lifts closed though.

Speaking of WP and snow reports, I think it's pretty funny that they've started measuring to the tenth of an inch. Especially funny when they report .1" of new snow
post #14 of 18
I don’t really have much new to add but would like to emphasize what I think is important from what has already been stated.

I agree with most of what SoftSnowGuy said. I’d like to add that as Bob Peters said the snowfall totals should be measured from the close of the lifts not 6:00 am the day before.

Temperature, wind (speed and direction), and sun vs cloud exposure at base and summit would help evaluate where to go to get fresh snow (I know in the trees but which trees) and how to dress.

Having the weather history would be outstanding. This would let me know if a place like the Hobacks got cooked the day before or if it rained before it snowed two days ago when I didn’t get a chance to check it and I have a breakable or unbreakable crust to deal with. I haven’t found a way to get NOAA weather from three days ago.

A list of what trails have been groomed and at what time to allow the reader to evaluate how much new snow has fallen since grooming.

I’d like to see snowfall totals since 4:00 the day before, 2 days and 5 days or 7 days as well as season to date.

I also agree with KivinF that MRG probably has one of the best reports around not because they have all the correct information but because they really are honest about conditions and they tell you how the mountain is skiing.
post #15 of 18
davluri

what factor would you apply to Alpine Meadows snow report.
post #16 of 18
Temps, what lifts are running,where was snow made and what was groomed. what trails are closed for special events ie races or comps.
post #17 of 18
The most important to me are:

Snowfall in the last 12 hours.
Possibly, temperature.

But I usually just look up at the mountains.
post #18 of 18
The Truth, the Truth, and nothing but the Truth.

Example: Looking at the trails open report to see if Turkey Shoot at Winterplace was open (bump run). It was listed as open. So, I called and was told it was open. When I showed up and bought a lift ticket it was closed and had been all week.:
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