Page 1 of 1

Eldora, CO 11-29-19

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:53 pm
Nice day.

We got up to the hill on the early side and were on snow 3 minutes before opening. I had been surprised to see Corona open in the morning report so we headed straight to the backside for 4 laps of corduroy. It was just open as Aroud the Horn to get there was quite narrow and lots of snowmaking gear on the side. Corona trail itself was essentially half open, but given how wide it is, was basically a normal trail width. So they still need some more snow on the way over and for the other half, but being open for Turkey weekend is well above average.

Eldora had gotten 14" of snow this week and they opened several trails on natural only; and either had opened several more for a few hours randomly for skier compaction, or patrol simply looked the other way at massive amounts of poaching - one or the other.

It was also surprising in many ways. A clear inversion going on today with temps still in the low 20's and overcast on the front range, but mid- 30"s and sunny on the hill. A 5-10mph breeze finally kicked up about 1p signaling the next system somewhere not too far off.

It was also fairly crowded which is become a little too normal anymore. 15 minute lines on the 6pack, nearly full chairs on IP and a short line on the one trail open Corona lift... Of course it is also true that I-70 shut down early this morning due to rock slides so very very few folks made it up to Summit county or beyond. In fact a few diverted over to Eldora where for the 3rd time this week the lots completely filled.

Anyway, the snow was soft and many groomer marks were skied, especially early; headed toward small bumps and scrapey by early afternoon as usual on a crowded weekend. Lots more terrain is oh-so close if the storms keep coming. I still argue for at least the front range ski areas to have the Oct snows count. Most of it stayed and is definitely speeding up openings with very limited snowfall (another example is Timberline lift, t-bar and Sierra at Copper opening this weekend on almost exclusively natural snows. Not a lot, but impossible without the oct snowfalls. Further S and W areas may have melted out It'll be a tough one for Tony to arbitrate this year)

All natural snow in the foreground run that is open

Left half is snowmaking on Corona, right half of the shot is all natural snow pack

I think he was happy

Boulder canyon has closures every weekday (except holidays) for rock blasting and is also down to one lane for 1/2 mile or more.

Not a lot of rock blasting this week with the snows anyway...

Re: Eldora, CO 11-29-19

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:25 pm
by Tony Crocker
EMSC wrote:I still argue for at least the front range ski areas to have the Oct snows count.

Last year I counted a major late October/early November Front Range storm from its beginning; this year I'm not counting any October snow due to the ensuing 2+ week dry spell having a greater impact on both base depths and open terrain.

I have data of percent open at Thanksgiving since 1988 for many of these areas.

Area percents open: median, last year, this year
A-Basin: 14%, 25%, 14%
Breck: 17%, 46%, 16%
Copper: 19%, 31%, 12%
Keystone: 25%, 33%, 10%
Loveland: 15%, 14%, 8%
Steamboat: 11%, 4%, 2%
Vail: 24%, 41%, 10%
Winter Park: 28%, 25%, 18%

Thanksgiving base depth averages are 21-25 inches. This year's average is 22 inches vs. 32 inches last year. Also consider that Thanksgiving was its latest possible date this year and earliest possible date last year. Last year was a very strong start, around 75th percentile. This year is somewhat below average so far, which is exactly what one would expect based upon only November's snow.

Last week's storm was strongest in NE Colorado. Eldora probably got more snow than any of the I-70 areas.

Re: Eldora, CO 11-29-19

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:38 am
Ahhh... but my point is that central colo % open this year would be half or less of what you are showing if we hadn't gotten the October snows... so is 12% at Copper better than the probable 5% open if we hadn't gotten the Oct snows?

That is the question I'm looking to answer; not % open relative to historical or good years...

Re: Eldora, CO 11-29-19

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:21 am
by Tony Crocker
Including the October snow (totals would be similar to last year) would overstate the true picture more than excluding it understates.

The Snowbird SNOTEL’s 3 feet of a October snow melted down to a 9 inch base and I doubt the situation was any better in Colorado. Gothic’s 20 inches melted out completely. So a best guess might be to count 1/4 of October snow.