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":1usnfp1s said:
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.admin":1usnfp1s said:How many resorts provide that information on their own website?
And the MesoWest data made it possible to determine how much of Alta's snowpack really came from October. =D>
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:admin":1usnfp1s said: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.
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.2. What's the natural snow depth?
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.ShiftyRider":1usnfp1s said: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 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<