sub par ???

billski

New member
J's comments are spot-on. The longer I ski, the more I realize there are several different interest camps, from family groomers, to steep marked, to slack country to BC and everywhere inbetween.

I sure hope the glory days of online TRs are not over. I need them living down in the flatlands, it's very difficult to get a handle on what is really going on. 30 years ago, getting a TR was difficult, word of mouth and a couple weeks old. I don't need daily updates, but I do need weeklies. Like powderfreaks report this week on Steaux and J's on BV. Resort reports, while honest than ever before are very broad-sweeping. It's nice to hear more specifics and see for yerself.

Regarding "sub-par" . This year, I have been fortunate to be able to bolt out when the good snows come. And often they did. The problem is that they only lasted a few days. Many trips have blurred my memory, but a recall a 24-36" pow day at MRG I think on a Monday in Feb, but by Thursday it had turned to rain. That's the problem. They didn't last too long. And most of us are chained to a job that does not allow for spontaneous trips. I am sooo envious of Burlington-area residents, for example. Then again, I love my job, so I made my compromise (sadly).
Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
 

J.Spin

New member
Tony Crocker":3gouv2dp said:
Do any east coaster agree with my sentiment?
From what I read here, JSpin seems as much of a powder snob as Larry Schick in Seattle or many Alta locals. It's what he demands, and he's willing to work for it.
In my opinion if one lives in an appropriate climate and has some level of flexibility, there's not much need to spend too many days on conditions other than powder unless you really want to experience those other conditions, or you've got some quest to get well past 100 days of skiing in a season. Now not every day will necessarily be fresh powder, but with sidecountry and backcountry in the picture there's essentially an unlimited supply of powder during the heart of the season aside from those generally brief periods after a thaw before the next storm rolls in.

A look at my own valley weather data from the past three seasons (individual storm accumulation numbers are available at the bottom of the post) reveals that we've had the following numbers of individual “storms” that featured snow (the amount of valley snowfall for that season follows in parentheses):

2006-2007: 37 storms (153.4”)
2007-2008: 53 storms (203.2”)
2008-2009: 46 storms (179.4”)

Our climate around here has a fairly consistent supply of moisture, and with all the different sizes and types of snowstorms or “events” we can get in this area (nor’easters, clippers, cold frontal passages, warm air advections, upslope events, norluns, mixed events, etc.) I didn’t think there would necessarily be a strong correlation between the number of events and the amount of snowfall. However, the numbers above certainly suggest that there’s some decent correlation between those two values. I’ve only got three seasons worth of data, but there are 136 storms in those three seasons and that n value should provide some power supporting the trend that more storms equals more snowfall. Anyway, if one averages the numbers from the past three seasons it comes out to about 45 storms a season. Now a few of those events will probably have some mixed precipitation that might ruin the chance for powder, but since the numbers are derived from valley observations, those events would easily be compensated by the number of storms (especially early and late season) that don’t even make my list because we didn’t get any snow in the valley. So, I’ll use my average number of valley storms as a rough estimate of the number of storms that the mountains get per season as well. Dividing the snowfall for a place like Bolton Valley (300”/season) by 45 events reveals an average of 6 to 7 inches per storm. So right there you’ve got 45 “powder days” (yes some will be bigger and some will be smaller than the average). For all but a few of those storms, the “day after” is going to offer plenty of powder as well. There might be a few storms that are back to back without a day between them, or a few that are somehow followed by warm air that would ruin the powder, but most storms are followed by colder air that will preserve the snow. So right there you’ve got probably 80 days with relatively easy access to powder. Then add on the rest of the days where the resort might not have had a fresh dump, but there is still plenty of fresh snow available in the trees, sidecountry, or backcountry, and you’ve got a large number of days with powder around.

In theory with Bolton Valley only a few miles away, local backcountry up behind the house, dawn patrol, night skiing, headlamp skiing, etc. I could probably ski just about every day of the season if I really had the drive to want to do that, likely just being limited when I’m out of town. Of course E would probably kill me, but we’re talking theory here. But like EMSC indicated can happen in the Ski Day Count thread, I’m generally looking for reasons NOT to ski, to catch up on everything else in life. It’s one of the reasons I’m not all that disappointed, and in fact partly relieved, when we have a thaw or something around here. Although I’m never really wishing for warm weather or rain since it’s not particularly good for the snowpack, it’s certainly a welcomed break at times. When the skiing was rather lame for that stretch during the holidays this season, I was able to finally install an additional wall of shelving in our pantry. I’d wanted to get that done for quite a while. Frankly I’m amazed at how some people keep up with everything else in life with all the skiing they do.

So in general I’m only going to have somewhere in the range of 40 to 60 ski outings a season, but I’m not going to bust my butt too hard just to add another 50 days on more marginal conditions, especially when I’ve got plenty of other stuff that needs to be done. I’m certainly happy to throw in some good days of corn skiing in the spring or other periods when that’s an option, but during the winter if the snow on the trails is decent, there’s probably powder out there somewhere and I’ll usually try to get to it.

Being a big fan of powder, one thing I do struggle with is making planned destination trips to resorts, especially ones that need air travel. We haven’t been taking big destination trips the past few seasons since it’s not really been worth it with Ty and Dylan’s abilities and stamina levels. Ty is probably ready now in that he could make good use of a several day trip and ski a lot of the terrain at most resorts, certainly when he’s on his alpine skis, but Dylan isn’t really there yet. I know we’ll eventually get around to doing some bigger trips again, but I’ve never been happy with the thought of spending a couple grand to go and ski second rate snow. When the whole family can ski an entire season up at Bolton, and now much of the season at Stowe as well, with the option to hand pick the best days and skip the crappy ones, for half the price of one trip out to the Rockies, it just doesn’t seem to make a lot of economic sense. The thing that will ultimately make trips sensible as the boys get older will be the chance to experience other places and ski different types of terrain, even though we’ll be rolling the dice on snow conditions. I don’t think big heli skiing trips will ever be economically practical for the family, but cat skiing trips like Leigh Daboll of SkiVT-L sets up, or backcountry hut trips depending on how the boys feel about earning turns, could be ways to ensure better snow quality. I don’t recall hearing about too many big destination ski trips from the Utah locals that frequent this forum, so I’d suspect there’s a similar sort of thing going on with more investment in season’s passes to focus on local snow vs. spending money to explore lots of destinations.

Details on Waterbury accumulations from storms over the past three seasons follow below:

0607Wxsig.jpg


0708Wxsig.jpg


0809Wxsig.jpg


-J
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
However, the numbers above certainly suggest that there’s some decent correlation between those two values.
This does not surprise me in view of the close relationship I found between monthly snowfall and number of days with 6+ (or 12+) inches new snow.

Ty is probably ready now in that he could make good use of a several day trip and ski a lot of the terrain at most resorts, certainly when he’s on his alpine skis, but Dylan isn’t really there yet.
Ty's ability this year is surely on a par with Adam's 7-year-old season, during which he skied 420K vertical in 24 days, including a spring break to Crested Butte and Telluride. Adam had a destination trip to Steamboat and Vail during his 5-year-old season. He was in ski school about half the days, but capable of skiing most of the day on intermediate trails the other half.

I'm not giving advice here, as JSpin has already demonstrated that his method of developing kids' ski ability works faster than mine did. As long as the level of enthusiasm is what we've seen here so far, one could easily argue why mess with success? I've made a different observation with regard to Patrick :stir: , but there's a big difference between Bolton Valley and the Ottawa molehills.
 

Marc_C

Active member
flyover":1xz69swf said:
Marc_C":1xz69swf said:
What's an "edge"? :D

You forgot the: :-"

Or maybe the: :stir:

Edges, you know, those things along the sides of the bottoms of your skis that you absolutely, positively, must have to ski almost all of Mineral Basin just about anytime it has been more than a few hours since the last snowfall and it is colder than freezing. :wink:
Once Mineral (or anywhere else on the mountain) refreezes and becomes like trying to ski a coral reef, I don't think even edges can save you! :shock: For that matter, even one of the blue groomers off the Gadzoom lift at 9:30am in May is pretty horrific.
 

Patrick

Active member
Tony Crocker":1lgmt0jv said:
As long as the level of enthusiasm is what we've seen here so far, one could easily argue why mess with success? I've made a different observation with regard to Patrick :stir: , but there's a big difference between Bolton Valley and the Ottawa molehills.
My kids dynamic is totally different. Without getting into kitchen issues (different views and priorities for kids), I would have wise their season would have been greater. My injury coupled with increased competition with other activities has lead into a disappointing season. Morgane has had her worst season since 2002-03. He next 3 weekends are booked again.

This 4 day weekend being a great example of our season. Hoping to get 4 days in, but had to settle for 2. Tara's skiing season and other sport activities came to a stop after Easter Sunday at Sutton. Trampoline accident at my cousin's home about 2 minutes after we arrived. Spent Sunday night in ER, Cast made first thing in the am before leaving back to Ottawa.

C'est la vie... :roll:

Regarding the development and kids ski abilities, I've had this discussion before. Abilities gained at Ottawa molehills versus bigger hills would be different, but the results similar in the end. The most important aspect in my books is mileage on snow. Ice, crud, powder, bumps, groomers, gates, everything...will help you or/and your kids become better skiers. JSpin provides us with a great window on his kids progress. But Tony would need to see Lucky Luke's kids in action plus look at what Morgane and Tara were skiing this weekend to get a better understanding and better sample size.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
It's not that you can't learn skills on an Ottawa molehill. Look at what's come out of the Midwest: Cindy Nelson, Lindsay Vonn, etc. But if you're not a racer (or maybe a park rat) these places get boring fast. Bolton may be small by LCC or Mammoth standards, but looking at JSpin's pics you can tell those kids are challenged and far from bored. If you want the kids' interest in skiing to be sustained and grow, you need to provide enough diversity and challenge to keep them enthusiastic. If Morgane were skiing the same mix of places Patrick does (even if not as many days total), including destination trips, that would be more than adequate IMHO.
 
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