Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby Admin » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:05 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:It snowed 8 inches on Nov. 22. Back that MesoWest up a day to Nov. 21 and you'll see the 17-18 inch base.


Is that the 17-18 settled inches of old October snow that doesn't count?
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10013
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby EMSC » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:06 pm

:popcorn: :popcorn:
User avatar
EMSC
 
Posts: 2127
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:54 pm
Location: Front Range of Colorado

Re: Kooks!

Postby Admin » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:18 pm

ShiftyRider wrote:FWIW the argument that "seeing is believing" is an argument in Tony's favor. He seems to be wondering why they can't produce a snow report that faraway people can read, and realize how good it is.


I respectfully disagree. People may not be able to read it or understand it, but that's because they're used to ski area lies and misinformation like reporting manmade bases as base depths, inflating snowfall figures, making up terms like "packed powder" or "loose granular," or trying to apply something like "trail count" to a place where trail count is irrelevant. Really, how much does this actually tell you?

onthesnow.jpg


All I want to know is:
1. How much new snow fell?
2. What's the natural snow depth?
3. What lifts are running?
4. What's the temperature, windspeed and wind direction?
5. A number of webcams all visible at once, to see what things look like on the ground. One with a timelapse feature is nice, too.

I can get all of that from Alta's snow report, then I can dig further to the source to get anything else I want. To their credit Alta also adds snowfall history day-by-day, and links to the source material like the MesoWest snotel.
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10013
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby Admin » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:18 pm

EMSC wrote::popcorn: :popcorn:


Admit it, you missed me.
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10013
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby Admin » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:23 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:The instrumentation seems to default to 146 while it's snowing.


No, it defaults to 146 when it errors. You can consistently watch a storm in progress stack up by watching the station. And Alta's snow report precisely mirrors that station's report, even updating hourly throughout the storm. How many resorts provide that information on their own website?
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10013
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:24 pm

Admin wrote:
Tony Crocker wrote:It snowed 8 inches on Nov. 22. Back that MesoWest up a day to Nov. 21 and you'll see the 17-18 inch base.


Is that the 17-18 settled inches of old October snow that doesn't count?

No it's the settled 9 inches of October snow plus another 9 from what fell earlier in November. Admin responded to my last post before I completed it.

admin wrote:How many resorts provide that information on their own website?

No question Alta's snowfall reporting is the gold standard. So good in fact that it makes possible an accurate estimate of mid-mountain snowfall at Snowbird by using comparative water content. Snowbird patrol measures at the tram base, so Snowbird marketing doesn't want to use that and would rather make something up than measure snowfall formally at the mid-mountain SNOTEL.

And the MesoWest data made it possible to determine how much of Alta's snowpack really came from October. =D>

admin wrote:All I want to know is:
1. How much new snow fell?
3. What lifts are running?
4. What's the temperature, windspeed and wind direction?
5. A number of webcams all visible at once, to see what things look like on the ground. One with a timelapse feature is nice, too.

All of that is great for the SLC local getting out of bed at 7AM and deciding whether to ski that day. It's not helpful at all for say, James on Dec. 1 deciding whether to stay with his plan to fly to Utah Dec. 13. The only clue he would have is:
2. What's the natural snow depth?

which at 50 inches was excellent for Dec. 1. No surprise Snowbird next door was reporting that same 50 inch base but 8% open. Alta's 28% looked better, but not exactly inspiring someone to get on a plane and fly out.

ShiftyRider wrote:FWIW the argument that "seeing is believing" is an argument in Tony's favor. He seems to be wondering why they can't produce a snow report that faraway people can read, and realize how good it is.

Precisely. I've been looking at this stuff for decades and recording a lot of it for 15 years. Base depths have to be interpreted in the context of each specific mountain. 3-4 feet is pretty good at Alta or Mammoth but can be a minefield at Squaw or Snowbird. So at 90% of ski areas the percent of terrain open is by far the single best stat to evaluate the early season. Some places are very liberal about opening at low tide (Wolf Creek, Bridger, Crystal, Red Mt.), so for those places you need to combine that with base depths to get a good picture.

I saw Alta's 28% and was certainly suspicious with the 50 inch base. But I also knew it had dumped the whole prior week over that brittle base, so it seemed reasonable that openings were being delayed by control work. Admin's photo of the High T opening certainly means more than 28% open, even with no Backside or Supreme.

Sure Alta doesn't have trails in the clearly defined sense of many ski areas. But that doesn't stop them from labeling 116 runs on their map. If they would post how many of those runs are open, that would work pretty well. As would acreage. Instead, somehow the consolidator sites pick up the number of groomed runs and post that info incorrectly as number of trails open. Alta is not the only area with this kind of topography or with variation due to avalanche control. Jackson, Whistler and Mammoth come to mind.

Since Alta averages 51% open Dec. 1, 81% open Dec. 15 and 95% at Christmas this issue is irrelevant most of the time. Unfortunately as noted by Steenburgh Utah has been on a bad streak of several slow early seasons since 2011-12. So terrain has opened gradually in the Cottonwoods in some of those seasons as it does routinely in Colorado. In the past admin's timely reports have clarified the situation, but those came to an end after 2016-17. Perhaps the current thread, though at times contentious, will reactivate some of his interest. [-o<
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10245
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:57 am

Admin wrote:Admit it, you missed me.

Good to see you back in fighting shape with the accustomed level of Alta propaganda. :-)
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3524
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby Admin » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:21 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:
Admin wrote:Admit it, you missed me.

Good to see you back in fighting shape with the accustomed level of Alta propaganda. :-)


:lol:
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10013
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Kooks!

Postby Marc_C » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:25 pm

ShiftyRider wrote:FWIW the argument that "seeing is believing" is an argument in Tony's favor. He seems to be wondering why they can't produce a snow report that faraway people can read, and realize how good it is.

Then I guess there's the "they don't care" which usually means one or the other of a crappy company, or one so completely wonderful and reliable that nothing they say would matter.
Don't mind me but I think it sucks there sometimes, so let's rule out the second alternative right now LOL.

On to facetious, do I have to say these are my opinions? Isn't it obvious whose opinions they are cuz the forum software puts the names next to the posts?

1. Alta definitely cares but....
2. It's 2019 - two great powder shots on Instagram are far more persuasive and will generate far more visitation than a scrupulously detailed *text* snow report and how well that feeds someone's spreadsheet. That's what admin means by "they don't care".

From a ski marketing perspective - which is all a snow report really is - Tony's approach works well.....for 1995.
-marc
User avatar
Marc_C
 
Posts: 3218
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:32 am
Location: A Sandy place south of a Great Lake

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:17 pm

MarcC wrote:It's 2019 - two great powder shots on Instagram are far more persuasive

Silverton is infamous for setting up this kind of shot in September. Any skilled photographer can compose and then edit a picture out of context. If people make destination decisions based on Instagram pics, that's about as sensible as believing Northeast "packed powder" reports after it rained. The automated webcams, sometimes controllable by the user, are the most useful source of visual information. You can even see rain on those!

As for Alta caring, I mentioned in my first post that Connie Marshall did appreciate my giving her the heads-up that SnoCountry was seriously distorting Alta's early season status in a negative way.
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10245
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Postby ShiftyRider » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:51 pm

making up terms like "packed powder" or "loose granular,"
"packed powder" or "loose granular" = they groomed everything LOL. Yikes, I'm getting too old cuz that's starting to sound good...
ShiftyRider
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:30 pm
Location: CA

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby Marc_C » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:32 am

Tony Crocker wrote:If people make destination decisions based on Instagram pics, that's about as sensible as believing Northeast "packed powder" reports after it rained.

You might be surprised!

Tony Crocker wrote:As for Alta caring, I mentioned in my first post that Connie Marshall did appreciate my giving her the heads-up that SnoCountry was seriously distorting Alta's early season status in a negative way.

Connie retired this past June.
-marc
User avatar
Marc_C
 
Posts: 3218
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:32 am
Location: A Sandy place south of a Great Lake

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:09 pm

Marc_C wrote:Connie retired this past June.

We covered that in a previous thread. 8)
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3524
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Alta, UT 11/25/18-1/8/19 - A Photo Timeline

Postby Marc_C » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:57 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:
Marc_C wrote:Connie retired this past June.

We covered that in a previous thread. 8)

Unlike the 7 active posters here, I only drop in occasionally and don't read everything, and only very rarely anything outside of the Western and General forums.
-marc
User avatar
Marc_C
 
Posts: 3218
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:32 am
Location: A Sandy place south of a Great Lake

Previous

Return to Western North America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Tony Crocker and 8 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use