What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:12 pm

I have based my http://50.87.144.177/~bestsnow/vrmthist.htm charts in part upon JSpin's reports. However, he is zealous about seeking out the best conditions, from time to time in the backcountry. Thus they occasionally look better than the overall condition of northern Vermont resort skiing. I have not yet refreshed that chart for 2013, but there are many weekends where JSpin finds powder that I do not give an "A" grade. Most of those are due to my requiring at least one area with 90+% of terrain open, which cuts out most of the early season. I also require 50+% powder/packed powder surfaces, so a day with 3 inches new over what is clearly a hard frozen base from prior weather; I don't believe there's a lot of even packed powder skiing on conventional eastern trails in that scenario even though JSpin is getting some soft turns in the trees or backcountry.

Nonetheless reading reports for over a decade has only reinforced my view that Vermont north of I-89 has the best snow of the Northeast more often than not. Geoff took me to task a couple of years ago for some high grades on March/April weekends when Killington was nearly all refrozen hardpack. I reread all of JSpin's reports from that timeframe and concluded my grades were correct for northern Vermont.
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby J.Spin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:36 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I have based my http://50.87.144.177/~bestsnow/vrmthist.htm charts in part upon JSpin's reports. However, he is zealous about seeking out the best conditions, from time to time in the backcountry. Thus they occasionally look better than the overall condition of northern Vermont resort skiing. I have not yet refreshed that chart for 2013, but there are many weekends where JSpin finds powder that I do not give an "A" grade. Most of those are due to my requiring at least one area with 90+% of terrain open, which cuts out most of the early season. I also require 50+% powder/packed powder surfaces, so a day with 3 inches new over what is clearly a hard frozen base from prior weather; I don't believe there's a lot of even packed powder skiing on conventional eastern trails in that scenario even though JSpin is getting some soft turns in the trees or backcountry.

I think Tony’s approach is a very reasonable way to get an objective assessment of what the typical resort visitor is going to encounter with respect to lift-served skiing; realistically, since avalanche control issues are minimal in bounds at resorts in the Northeast, if a ski area is keeping significant amounts of terrain closed, it’s most likely due to poor coverage or overly firm surfaces. Either of those issues will detract from the overall ski experience and bring it below an “A”. Tony’s charts may not always reflect the quality of conditions that “in the know” locals or sidecountry/backcountry folks are skiing, but even for them, I think it can serve as at least a baseline level of quality. For a knowledgeable local, if they see a “B” on Tony’s chart, they can probably assume B conditions at a minimum, but likely something better because of what they know about the recent weather, skier traffic, freezing levels, etc.
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby Marc_C » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:59 pm

coldsmoke wrote:
J.Spin wrote:I think a lot of it is simply because we get the best snow; when you get it in quantity and quality that’s matching or exceeding many places in the Western U.S., it sort of makes it easy.


:popcorn:

Pulling up a seat next to you with my own box of :popcorn: and a beverage.
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:22 pm

MarcC wrote:Pulling up a seat next to you with my own box of :popcorn: and a beverage.

Ski conditions should be viewed as a distribution range. Most of us put the powder days in the upper range of that distribution. Since those are mostly a function of snowfall the upper reaches of the distribution range in northern Vermont have similar frequency (10-15%) to the upper range in western areas that get similar snowfall in the 300 inch range. It's the mid and lower ends of the distribution range where the East falls short of most western areas. It is almost unheard of for western areas once fully covered to lose terrain mid-season, yet it occurs routinely in the East after rain and thaw events. The worst third of northern Vermont's distribution is probably comparable to the worst 5% at well preserved western areas in Utah and Colorado. A mid-range scenario of 3 days to a week since the last snowfall is typically packed powder in most western resorts through February, in many through March and a few into April. In the East you're usually on a hardpack snowmaking subsurface after a few days with no snow and I've knocked the grade down to a "B."
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby Anthony » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:15 pm

As always, good assessment of the snow conditions and weather for Northern Vermont . For north east skiing , would agree probably the best place to camp out waiting for powder days as you have to be there when it happens and chances are it will happen more often than not in this area but don't wait ( speaking from our own experience of over 30 years of driving down just ahead of a storm ) as the rain /snow cycles are brutal .
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby David Sharad » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:36 am

Hi Guys.!
Such a great and informative discussion. Thanks for sharing your views and.
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:15 am

No more trip reports -- looks like everyone's thrown in the towel... I might as well post the new season recap thread.
:-P
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby BobMc » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:34 am

I know at least Bobby Danger and Amy are still skiing, ;). Cheater Baldy was skiing pretty well when I saw them on Saturday.
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:42 am

Most weather forecasters are calling for an ongoing rapid warmup. However, I expect that last Saturday was still majority winter conditions in LCC, so I'm surprised to have seen no TR's.

The upcoming weekend might be difficult, but the odds are high LCC has more powder days coming over the next month. My season here in CA may end earlier than normal but I still expect at least one May trip.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby BobMc » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:04 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I expect that last Saturday was still majority winter conditions in LCC, so I'm surprised to have seen no TR's.


Sunday was even better.
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby Admin » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:10 pm

BobMc wrote:I know at least Bobby Danger and Amy are still skiing, ;). Cheater Baldy was skiing pretty well when I saw them on Saturday.


James goes fishing and lands a big one.

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Tony Crocker wrote:I expect that last Saturday was still majority winter conditions in LCC, so I'm surprised to have seen no TR's.


It's coming. I was out both Saturday and Sunday, and Sunday absolutely rocked.
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby BobMc » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:21 pm

Admin wrote:James goes fishing and lands a big one.


I'm pretty familiar with the trolling technique of James, ;). I only saw them with one other person, were you eating high on the hog at the Rustler at that time? Oh, and I said hi this time, lol.
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Re: What Happened to the Season Recap Thread?

Postby Admin » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:25 pm

BobMc wrote:I only saw them with one other person, were you eating high on the hog at the Rustler at that time? Oh, and I said hi this time, lol.


Sorry that I missed meeting you. On Saturday I bagged out early because I was uninspired and had some other stuff to attend to, although I understand that it got better in the afternoon. On Sunday I went bell to bell -- most of the a.m. at Alta, and the rest of the day at the Bird until a last run at 4:20 back at Alta. Sunday was just one of those days that gets better and better as the day wears on.
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