2019-20 Season Recap


14 Days
My lowest ski-day total since 2005, the year our son was born, with only one (lousy) day in the northeast. Highlights to the season included hitting a couple of fun indie ski areas in western Colorado for the first time (Powderhorn and Sunlight), revisiting a pair of "little areas that rock" to varying extents (Monarch and Cooper), and checking out a few mountains in Switzerland that I've had my eye on for a while: Flumserberg, Obersaxen, Heuberge, and Brigels.

2 Monarch, CO
1 Sunlight, CO
1 Powderhorn, CO
2 Ski Cooper, CO
1 Plattekill, NY (not my report/added for posterity)
1 Flumserberg, CH
1 Heuberge, CH
2 Obersaxen/Mundaun, CH
1 Brigels, CH
1 Tschiertschen, CH
1 Pizol, CH (zero visibility, no report)


New member
I missed my goal of 30+ days this year, came in at 28. Had one trip to Big Sky, MT cancelled and numerous local day trips.

4 Copper, CO
1 A-basin. CO
1 Cooper, CO
3 Revelstoke
1 Selkirk Tangiers
2 Lake Louise
5 Indianhead, MI
3 Blackjack, MI
1 Big Powderhorn, MI
1 Little Switzerland, WI
6 Nordic Mt, WI


Active member
We went into self-isolation about a week before the Utah areas closed as we're in more than one elevated risk group so....
1 Deer Valley
1 Solitude
2 Brighton
1 Snowbird
27 Alta


Active member
jamesdeluxe":mt487esf said:
Marc C, what is the price differential between an Ikon and Alta season pass?
I have no idea. My Alta pass this season also gave me a free day at each of the 3 other Cottonwood resorts and Deer Valley. I bought a senior pass during their early purchase discount for $800.

Tony Crocker

Staff member
This year there's no ground to critique the season recap starting in early April. :evil:

I'm at 35 days, might have some spring AT options, not sure yet. It's my lowest season by nearly every measure, days, powder, areas skied, etc. since my divorce in 2004. It's only my second lowest since 2004 in vertical to 2007-08, but that season was miles ahead of this one in quality with twice as much powder. 2007-08, like this season with Liz' shoulder, had an injury interruption with my broken rib accident at Mammoth April 12. I was out until Mammoth closing weekend May 31 - June 1.
I barely broke even on my Mt. Rose and Ikon base pass. I blame it on Tony Crocker since he recommends skiing later in the season :stir:. Early season was pretty good in the Sierras this time. We should have done at least 4 days at Mt. Rose around Xmas time but I had made other warm-weather plans. I was hoping to add at least 3 weekends before end of the season.

16 total ski days.
7 days Mt. Rose
3 days Squaw
1 day Alpine (+1 in previous spring)
1 day Alta
1 day Brighton
3 days Beaver Mountain (will probably return for a Feb/Jan long weekend in future)

Tony Crocker

Staff member
Storm totals the last 4 days:
Mammoth 46 inches
Mountain High 31 inches
Snow Summit 20 inches


Tony Crocker":1tfmgfh9 said:
this season with Liz' shoulder
Liz chose the right winter for a season-ending injury.

Tony Crocker":1tfmgfh9 said:
Storm totals the last 4 days:
Mammoth 46 inches
Mountain High 31 inches
Snow Summit 20 inches
Western Forum! :x

Tony Crocker

Staff member
jamesdeluxe":1pqo9kxa said:
Western Forum! :x
Not really. The relevant point is that a region getting the most snow in April in over 20 years will not be spinning lifts this weekend. It rained and was cold here all day yesterday and into today after I wrote that last post so there is even more snow now.

James is not missing much back East. The meltdown that started during the last week of lift service has continued AFAIK from reading JSpin's blog. But in a normal world James would be getting some good skiing in Colorado.

Tony Crocker

Staff member
Area Sum of Days Sum of Vertical Sum of Powder
Mt. Baldy 6 82.2 5
Mt. Waterman 1 1.2 0
Mountain High (West) 1 19.9 0
Mt. High East (Holiday Hill) 2 33.8 1
Mammoth 9 238.9 0
Snow Summit 1.5 32.4 1
Bear Mt. 0.5 13 0
Snowbird 4 57.4 3
Alta 2 40.3 4
Arapahoe Basin 1 12.5 0
Brighton 0.5 8 0
Solitude 0.5 18.5 0
Fernie 2 42.9 0
Castle Mt. 2 44.9 0
Sunshine Village 1 24.7 0
Kicking Horse 1 17.9 0
Mt. Rose 1 24.1 1
Revelstoke 1 20.3 0
Mustang Powder Snowcat 3 58.7 55
*China Peak 1 16.5 10
Grand Total 41 808.1 80

* = 1 new area, a record low since 1998
revised June 3

Getting in 7 days since the March 14-15 general ski area shutdown was an unexpected upside surprise, and I incorrectly guessed I was done after May 1.

As mentioned above the season was by far a low point by most measures since 2004. Days "lost" vs. a normal season were up to 10 in the second half of January (we were planning on Utah and Jackson) after Liz' injury and at least 15 to the COVID-19 shutdown, most of that from the cancelled trip to the Alps.

This was also an unlucky season in terms of powder and snow conditions in general. Over 2/3 of the powder I skied was during the 3 days at Mustang. Lift served powder percentage of 3.3% was the lowest since 1995. Average is 9.0% lifetime and 10.8% since 2004.

So Mustang stands out conspicuously as the highlight with an above average trip even by its high standards. It's hard to think of other areas where conditions were clearly above average by the standards of my prior visits. Sunshine Village is the only one that comes to mind. This is definitely bad timing on my part because by snow stats this season was close to average over most of North America.

Tony Crocker":105xzy9t said:
jamesdeluxe":105xzy9t said:
Look at all the days Tony is getting in locally -- going back to his roots! :)
Yes it's reminiscent of my formative seasons in 1978 and 1979 and when Adam was a baby in 1985. Those were much better seasons than this one so far though.

The 7 local days this season are the most since I skied 9 in 2000-01. But I may be done with SoCal for this season unless the weather turns cooperative. Starting Feb. 9 I will be at Mammoth, then in Canada, then at Iron Blosam for most of the next 5 weeks.
A prescient observation by James and a bad prediction on my part for the rest of the season. The final number of local days was 12, exceeded only by the 16 in my formative 1978-79 season. That's more than the record El Ninos of 1982-83 (11 days) and 1997-98 (9 days).

During some of the March downtime I modified my records to split Mt. High East and West. I skied the former Holiday Hill 3x before the 1981 takeover by Mt. High, same situation as Snow Summit taking over Bear Mt. 21 years later. The original notes post-1981 always mentioned whether I skied one or both sides of Mt. High with enough comments about runs skied to make a ballpark estimate in splitting the vertical.

While this was far below the standards of my prior retirement seasons, the glass is still half full. The worst day skiing is still better than being stuck at home, so getting 41 of them this season is worth something. I never exceeded 32 days during the 21 years of my first marriage.

The saga of Patrick should be interesting the next few months.

Tony Crocker

Staff member
jamesdeluxe":1r477bxr said:
Liz chose the right winter for a season-ending injury.
Liz wrapped up her physical therapy last week, went kayaking in Florida a week before that. In a normal ski season she would have been able to ski Memorial weekend. We have two orthopedic surgeons in our snowcat group at Mustang. They estimated 6 months as her projected recovery time, with the outlier best cases being 4 months. Many patients who are more casual about rehab or have complications can take a year.

Tony Crocker

Staff member
I revised my summary above to include June 1 at A-Basin: 7 months skied this year, which is my long term median.

Good news for Patrick, whose take on the late season of 2020 is here. The Palmer chair at Timberline is being repaired and will open June 7. So he needs the border to open before end of August. Was the Avila stockpile created this year for Canada Day? Can he get to Whistler for June/July since that wouldn't be leaving his country?

I worked diligently to get 7 ski days after most areas shut down March 15. But I'm definitely done now. Now it's Patrick's turn to extend this challenging season.


Beware the ides of March.
This was the second year my ski season ended 3/15.In 2002 I shattered my foot.
This year obviously was worse.
Big Mt was smart to shut down quick. 80 very short days due to chronic knee pain.Scheduled for both knees to be replaced this month and august.Next year is a really big question mark.
Oh, it did snow 100 inches in January so we had that going for us.


Active member
Tony Crocker":3iyazvmi said:
Patrick, Can he get to Whistler for June/July since that wouldn't be leaving his country?

I worked diligently to get 7 ski days after most areas shut down March 15. But I'm definitely done now. Now it's Patrick's turn to extend this challenging season.
No skiing at Whistler this summer. From https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/explo ... kiing.aspx "Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are unable to include glacier skiing/riding in our 2020 summer operations plan."

Tony Crocker

Staff member
I chatted with Patrick on my drive yesterday and heard about Whistler. I see Vail fingerprints on this decision. BC has controlled the virus very well. It’s hard for me to see how Whistler could not have run its camps even if it did not open to the public.

Patrick is leaning toward the Alps for late summer if travel restrictions are eased. July may be backcountry in the Chic-Choc’s. He stealthily skied St. Sauveur to get June.

Patrick says Tuckerman’s and virtually all hiking in the NH White Mountains remain off limits. This is obnoxious in view of the low risk outdoors and particularly in sunlight. NH needs to retire it’s “Live Free or Die” license plates. :lol:


Well-known member
Not a lot of time or desire ATM to write up a big post. Decent season, couple real nice powder days at Copper and Keystone of all places then the stupidity ensued. 29 total days. No new-to-me areas this year.

Nov 3
Dec 7
Jan 6
Feb 10
Mar 3

Eldora 19
Copper 4
Ski Cooper 1
Aspen 1
Aspen Highlands 1
Snowmass 1
Keystone 1
Snowy Range 1

Tony Crocker

Staff member
jamesdeluxe":28p62x7b said:
You're still convinced that ski areas should have operated through the end of the season?
Major destination resorts like Vail, Sun Valley and Ischgl were clearly a problem. But the "James" type ski areas would probably have been just fine. My days at China Peak and Baldy are obvious examples. As were the interior Northwest areas that remained open an extra week in March: Discovery, Montana Snowbowl, Lookout Pass and 49 Degrees North. Skiing, like hiking and going to the beach, is an inherently safe outdoor activity. It's the associated partying that is high risk. And the high profile locations attract travel from outside the local area.

The 2020-21 season may be the golden age of Jamesdeluxe skiing. Lonnie is buying into Powder Alliance, Indy Pass and a couple of other obscure passes with exchange privileges. The only "big" pass he will buy is an industry rate Mountain Collective he can get at SIA. He may ski as many as 40 areas next season that he has never skied before.

EMSC":28p62x7b said:
then the stupidity ensued.
I would classify closing hiking trails as stupidity.


Tony Crocker":vlrdx48c said:
The 2020-21 season may be the golden age of Jamesdeluxe skiing. Lonnie is buying into Powder Alliance, Indy Pass and a couple of other obscure passes with exchange privileges.
I was hoping that Indy Pass would add lesser-known ski areas in Colorado (Cooper, Sunlight, Powderhorn, Monarch) and New Mexico (Sipapu, Pajarito, Santa Fe, Red River, Angel Fire) but no dice due apparently to all the existing reciprocal agreements. Here's an interview with the founder:
https://skiing.substack.com/p/podcast-1 ... ounder-and