Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

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Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby Admin » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:13 pm

Days 40-52 for me (spanning 1/10-24/2019) ended with a 7-foot storm cycle over the past 8 days including a full-on country club day, getting Interlodged, and the entire mountain closing down at mid-day for too much snow. Crazy!

Season to date now totals 271", no matter what cockamamie personal standards Crocker has, and base depths are finally >100". The mountain is skiing superbly. Once again, I'll summarize this period in photos:

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Starting off this little storm cycle with the first foot on Jan. 16.


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Another 21" on Jan. 17


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Heavy snowfall rates meant free refills on Jan. 17


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Heavy snowfall rates meant free refills on Jan. 17


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Heavy snowfall rates meant free refills on Jan. 17


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Another 8.5" and things are really piling up on Jan. 18


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A break in the action meant only an inch on Jan. 19. We'd also have Jan. 20 to breathe before the big'un hit.


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This isn't fog in the photo, it's what 5-inch-per-hour snowfall rates look like. It took me an hour just to get into the canyon on Monday, and I was halfway up when they closed the road behind me -- country club day!!! Sure enough, there were maybe 100 cars in the parking lot when I arrived and no one else could get there for the rest of the day. We were severely hemmed in, but it was understandable and it truly didn't matter. They closed the entire mountain at 12:45 and opened the road at 1 pm to let downhill traffic only exit the canyon.


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Waiting in line at 1 pm to exit the canyon.


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However, as we were on the Bypass Road between Alta and Snowbird, and while the road was open immediately after control work was finished, a natural slide let loose in White Pine and hit the road, prompting them to re-close the road and impose Interlodge. We got stuck at Snowbird Center until 6 pm when they finally lifted Interlodge and once again allowed downhill traffic only to try to leave the canyon.


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On Jan. 22, yep -- there's a car under there.


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Baldy looking pretty on Jan. 22. In the storm on Jan. 21 the entirety of Eddie's Snowfield on North Baldy at Snowbird released to the ground, leaving behind a 12-foot crown.


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Following the final foot of this storm cycle, here's Greeley Bowl yesterday (Jan. 24)


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Jan. 24 (skier: Camille Keys)


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Jan. 24 (skier: Camille Keys)


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Swirling snow + rays of sunshine = some pretty crazy light at Piss Pass yesterday. That wind smoothed everything back out again yesterday afternoon, turning West Rustler into West Buffler for some genuinely dreamy afternoon laps.


Enjoyed over 22,000 vertical feet of hard-charging skiing yesterday -- my second biggest day thus far this season -- to cap off this storm cycle on the first partial blue sky day we've had in quite a while. I'm now well over 600,000 verts season-to-date. Barring injury or some other catastrophe, it'll be super easy to break 1.5 million vertical feet and settle in somewhere around 125 days this season.
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Re: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby lono » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:12 am

Thanks for the report and pictures.Five an hour.....wow!
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Re: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby TRam » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:58 pm

Great post Admin!
@Iono hows whitefish skiing? seemed like a kinda slow start but saw you got snow lately. I have a friend up there that wants me to come up but its requires driving by or flying over some premier powder resorts to get there. What kind of mtn is it? I see its ranked top 5 all of a sudden
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Re: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:18 am

Seven feet/eight days: that pesky January snow drought again.
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Re: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby lono » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:28 am

Ski all the great places driving to and from,or fly and do a Castle,Fernie,Kikking Horse loop.Whitefish is fun medium size hill with plenty of tree skiing on all aspects.This years snow 90% of average,25"-75" base.
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Re: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:21 am

Alta's snowfall as of Jan. 14 was 78% of normal but is now 100%. FYI counting or not counting October isn't relevant to these percentages because the 30.5 inches last October is close to Alta's reported 28.5 inch average. Any way you slice it Alta is dead average season-to-date. The 100+ inch base is not out of the ordinary either.

People have short memories. This year looks impressive because 6 of the past 7 years have been 85% or lower in Utah. By contrast 5 of admin's first 7 seasons in Utah were 122% or higher and only 2006-07 was below average.

Jim Steenburgh is claiming credit for the recent dumps as he left Utah for Austria on Jan. 14. http://wasatchweatherweenies.blogspot.c ... iveth.html

FYI I'm not the only one with baggage issues traveling to the Alps. Jim was reunited with his ski bag on Jan. 21, the 7 day delay being worse than any of mine.

jamesdeluxe wrote:Seven feet/eight days: that pesky January snow drought again.

Report Date 24 Hr New Snow 24 Hr Water 24 Hr Density Storm Total Cumulative
Season Snow Cumulative
Season Water
2019-01-25 Trace 0.00” N/A 12.5” 272.0” 23.47”
2019-01-24 2.0” 0.17” 8.50% 12.5” 272.0” 23.47”
2019-01-23 10.5” 1.26” 12.00% 10.5” 270.0” 23.30”
2019-01-21 23.5” 1.45” 6.17% 23.5” 259.5” 22.04”
2019-01-20 Trace 0.02” N/A Trace 236.0” 20.59”
2019-01-19 1.0” 0.13” 13.00% 1.0” 236.0” 20.57”
2019-01-18 8.5” 0.70” 8.24% 42.0” 235.0” 20.44”
2019-01-17 21.0” 2.46” 11.71% 33.5” 226.5” 19.74”
2019-01-16 7.0” 0.59” 8.43% 12.5” 205.5” 17.28”
2019-01-15 5.5” 0.38” 6.91% 5.5” 198.5” 16.69”
2019-01-10 0.5” 0.06” 12.00% 0.5” 193.0” 16.31”
2019-01-07 2.0” 0.22” 11.00% 26.0” 192.5” 16.25”
2019-01-06 21.5” 1.42” 6.60% 24.0” 190.5” 16.03”
2019-01-05 2.5” 0.18” 7.20% 2.5” 169.0” 14.61”

Marc_C wrote: if there's one time period I don't recommend to visitors, it's from about Jan 5 to Jan 25, or thereabouts.

Yeah, only 105.5 inches during the 21 days to avoid. :-({|= :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

admin wrote:it'll be super easy to break 1.5 million vertical feet

Note my record is just over 1.6 million; it shouldn't be too hard to get over that in 125 days.
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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: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby Admin » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:26 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Alta's snowfall as of Jan. 14 was 78% of normal


No it wasn't.

Tony Crocker wrote: but is now 100%. FYI counting or not counting October isn't relevant to these percentages because the 30.5 inches last October is close to Alta's reported 28.5 inch average. Any way you slice it Alta is dead average season-to-date.


You know, I'm not even going to respond in depth to this idiocy, but I'll admit that I can't help myself from pointing out the obvious. Anyone with even half a brain can deduce that with the season only 40% over, and 55% of a 500-inch annual average already received, we're well in excess of 100% season-to-date. Never mind NRCS which stated that we were at 125% even before the last foot fell:

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But hey, what do they know? Not as much as the magnificent Tony Crocker, who's analyzing Utah's snowpack from Austria with his failsafe spreadsheets. We must be dead average! Stay away from Utah skiing this season, it's dead average. Don't bother, it sucks. Everyone should go hire a guide in Austria instead.Those pictures are all photoshopped, don't trust them.

Waste of my time.
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Re: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:12 am

Nobody said there's anything mediocre about this season. Average at Alta would be record breaking at the vast majority of ski areas in North America. But it has a long way to go to catch up with 2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2010-11, all of which received at least 649 inches at Alta Collins. There's also 2016-17 at 593 inches.

Snowpack and snowfall are not precisely correlated. Snowpack accumulates deeper with big dumps like the last week of November and last week than when it comes in bits and pieces. And qualitatively that last week of November is exactly what skiers want to set up a good season even if subsequent snowfall is average or even below average. Last year at Tahoe was the opposite. The big March was modest consolation after 4 months of marginal skiing before that.

Tony Crocker, who's analyzing Utah's snowpack from Austria with his failsafe spreadsheets.

Nope, it's the specifics of Alta Collins data, taken from Alta's website https://www.alta.com/conditions/weather ... ll-history:
Alta Monthly Averages: Compiled using data from 1980 to 2014
Details Oct Nov Dec Jan Monthly Average
Snowfall 28.50” 76.77” 92.00” 95.40”
Note that average snowfall including October through the end of January is 292.67 inches. Alta currently stands at 272 inches with a week to go.
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Ski Records
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: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby EMSC » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:30 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:Seven feet/eight days: that pesky January snow drought again.


=D> You win the Internets for a day sir.

:popcorn:


More seriously, it looks like some spectacular skiing. Those basin charts are SWE, not snowfall BTW. So basically Utah has had much wetter than normal snow this season than in 'average' years. Makes for good base covering and then you get a nice fluffy storm cycle like this last one so that it doesn't matter, the skiing kicks butt: period.

Certainly no where near the volume over this way, but still pretty good numbers when even Eldora is over 2 feet in the past 7 days...
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Re: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby Marc_C » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:28 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:Seven feet/eight days: that pesky January snow drought again.

It's been years and you and Tony still refuse to even remotely attempt to understand what Admin, me, and Eubanks (KSL) have been actually saying. The threads where we clearly state what is being said are in the archives. Anything further discussion is pointless.
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Re: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby Marc_C » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:34 am

EMSC wrote:
jamesdeluxe wrote:Seven feet/eight days: that pesky January snow drought again.


=D> You win the Internets for a day sir.

Nah. Admin and I patiently explained how to make a peach cobbler and he and Tony are telling us we're wrong because it doesn't contain the ingredients of an apple pie.
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Re: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:09 pm

Marc_C wrote:
jamesdeluxe wrote:Seven feet/eight days: that pesky January snow drought again.

It's been years and you and Tony still refuse to even remotely attempt to understand what Admin, me, and Eubanks (KSL) have been actually saying. The threads where we clearly state what is being said are in the archives. Anything further discussion is pointless.

Yes and I'm still inclined to trust Jim Steenburgh at U of U over the 2 Marcs and some TV guy.
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Ski Records
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: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby Admin » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:33 pm

EMSC wrote:Those basin charts are SWE, not snowfall BTW.


True, of course.

EMSC wrote:So basically Utah has had much wetter than normal snow this season than in 'average' years.


Not true.

"He who shall no longer be named" has long argued that Wasatch snowfall is very consistent from one month to the next. Therefore, given that with the season only 40% over, and 55% of a 500-inch annual average already received, we're well in excess of 100% season-to-date in terms of snowfall inches, as well as SWE. Evan is currently skiing Japan, otherwise I'd get an updated Snowbird Snotel chart from him as I don't know where to access it myself.

Unless he somehow has an epiphany and therefore ceases to be an opinionated ass, I will no longer directly address "he who shall no longer be named."
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Re: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:42 am

I did check water content on Alta’s site and it’s fairly normal. The snowpack is above average due to the concentration of big dumps. Alta Collins averaged 563.18 inches fom 1980-2014 if you include October https://www.alta.com/conditions/weather ... ll-history. Therefore 55% of season snowfall (Alta measures Oct. 1 - Apr. 30) being attained by the end of January is reasonable. If admin still insists season to date snowfall is over 100% he can take his argument to Alta Ski Patrol.

Readers can decide whether continuing to deny data posted not by me but by Alta Ski Patrol constitutes being an opinionated ass. Please, admin, think of the kittens!
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
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: Alta, UT 1/10-24/2019 - 7 feet in 8 days

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:32 am

Marc_C wrote:It's been years and you and Tony still refuse to even remotely attempt to understand what Admin, me, and Eubanks (KSL) have been actually saying.

I'm not going to search and dig up the old threads, but I've agreed with the January Snow Drought observations and stopped going to SLC during that month based purely on anecdotal evidence -- getting skunked for new snow and rock-hard conditions three years in a row in the late 00s. What I said above was a joke implying that the exception may prove the rule.
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