Western Weather 2017-18 and Later

The group got a discount, we have epic passes. Since we go to Stowe a lot it was a no brainer. I cant imagine anyone paying 189 to ski Beaver.
I'm going to Breckenridge for 2 days in March..Unfortunately I'm going to have to pay something similar to that, I just don't ski enough to buy the epic pass..
jasoncapecod":rsgxoenr said:
I'm going to Breckenridge for 2 days in March..Unfortunately I'm going to have to pay something similar to that, I just don't ski enough to buy the epic pass..
Don't be a chump, go to Loveland -- in March, there'll be people in the parking lot selling off their unused 4-pak tickets for $25 a day.
More about hanging out with family friends...Couple leisurely days of skiing..
If I had my say, I would go over to Salida and MTB..
Today's avi report was loaded with joy :roll:
UAC is getting creative with their adjectives:

Current Conditions

Skies vary from partly to mostly cloudy across the range. Mountain temperatures are in the mid to upper 20s up high, the mid to upper 30s down low. It's 45°F at our office at the National Weather Service. With this weather pattern, areas to our north are seeing all the snow while we get left holding the bag. The bag, in this case, also includes strong wind. The northwest winds are blowing 30, gusting to 50 even at the mid-elevation ridgelines. 11,000' hourly winds are blowing 50, gusting 60; base area winds are even gusting to near 40. Riding conditions are not for the faint of heart: corrugated sun crusts, trapdoor wind crust, sandboxing faceted snow, wafer thin rime.
jasoncapecod":31wdx2bu said:
I'm going to Breckenridge for 2 days in March..Unfortunately I'm going to have to pay something similar to that, I just don't ski enough to buy the epic pass..
If you have a friend with an Epic Pass, they may have unused Buddy or Ski with a Friend tickets that are $124/$154, respectively. Note that I'm guessing on Ski with a Friend ticket price as they are $144 from now until 2/15 and $164 from 2/16-2/26 at Beaver Creek. See https://www.epicpass.com/benefits/swaf.aspx for details.
Steamboat and high altitude I70 Colo are doing OK this season. Far from great, but a few inch refreshers occurring fairly regularly so surface has been decent though on a much thinner than normal base. We've been on the very edge of the storm track a lot so getting a few inches a week has made all the difference. Interestingly once past Copper the snow has been minimal most of the season. For example Eldora has currently more YTD snowfall than vaunted Vail for example. That is not normal in any sense. IF things stay as they have Breck should be decent. Obviously we all prefer that things get better instead of similar to current pattern...
The dribs and drabs continue for "NE" Colo. From Opensnow http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/colorado:


With several inches of snow expected today through tomorrow as well. No big storms, but enough to keep things in surprisingly decent softness on a fairly thin base.
Made myself curious with yesterdays post so went and looked up the YTD totals during lunch. Can't seem to find any YTD for Aspen areas, Granby or Abasin. Some good snowfalls overnight for a change today (14" at both Loveland and Abasin for example). With last nights decent dump and in order of highest to lowest YTD as of 7am today for Colorado:

Loveland Ski Area 171
Winter Park Resort 150
Breckenridge Ski Resort 142
Steamboat 141
Copper Mountain Resort 138
Ski Cooper 132
Keystone Resort 122
Monarch Mountain 112
Eldora Mountain 101
Vail 100
Wolf Creek Ski Area 93
Beaver Creek Resort 92
Crested Butte Resort 82
Telluride Ski Resort 77
Sunlight Mountain Resort 73
Purgatory at DMR 51
Powderhorn 49
(list assumes honest resort reporting; eg Tony might disagree with some of these per his strict methodologies).

Hugely odd snowfall list so far this year (Wolf Creek in the lower half!!??). Still some time left to turn it around, but for people booking trips, well, focus on the high altitude places that are doing OK (not great) or book last minute once you know the snow situation...
In-season the only adjustments I make to those numbers is to throw out October. So remove 30 inches from Copper, 32 from Loveland and 10 from Crested Butte. It is possible there is October snow in some of the other numbers but I can't tell for those places that didn't start reporting until late November. Snowmass has had 80 inches as of Jan. 31.

EMSC":1dym61pv said:
for people booking trips
It is obvious to book somewhere north of CA/UT/CO in the West. If you live in the East you should be going to the Alps, which are having their biggest season since 1999.
Time for the Annual SWE plots for a couple of key Colorado basins for last season.

Along the Divide things were not great, but also not as bad as one might think. It was an OK/decent season for me personally for example.

By the time you look at he upper Colo basin, things are a bit worse, but still not a disaster by any means for the majority of big resorts in Colo.

Then as an example of disaster look at what Purgatory and Telluride among others endured... Some friends were down there recently and said it looks 'scary' dry and snow less in the mtns already as of early May. It will be a very long summer of fires down that way I fear.
Hey, more than a year later I can revive this thread with Colo 2019 season info.

Didn't even consider posting this earlier due to the ongoing winter snows in Colo throughout May. And both the Basin and Breck have extended to opening several weekends in June do to the snowpack. Looking much more summery here finally so it will be interesting to see how long the snow holds up (eg will Abasin get to July?).

First up my local river basin but also represents Loveland & ABasin best. Due to many SW flow events which are bad for Eldora, it had an exactly average snow year (236" vs normal of 230" - ignore their marketing 300" number). Divide areas had a bit better due to altitude scraping some snow out of those SW flow events. Note that SWE was never below normal and current is at 86% of normal peak though... very late in the snow season for that %.

Colorado basin which best shows the big resorts (Breck, Keystone, Copper, Vail, Beaver Creek) was very similar though with a slightly better peak and slightly faster melt.

SW Colorado had a very good season once past about mid-January which was desperately needed after last years disaster. In fact they are still nearly at the normal peak snowpack even now. Going to be some cold 'summer' camping for another month at least.

Also have to love the huge %'s by this time of year in the Westwide Snotel map. In most cases a reflection of snows that are usually nearly melted by now vs this years cold spring. Though also informative on the mediocre snowfalls in the PNW and northern part of the Rockies.
So much for Summer solstice...
rabbit ears June 21.jpg

ABasin now open through at least June 30, talking about July 4, but not committed to opening for the holiday...
The way this fall is looking weather wise in Colorado reminds me very strongly of the start to both the 2000-01 and 2009-10 seasons. When I look at Bestsnow.net summaries for those seasons both look very similar in the regions/areas that were above or below normal snowfall and roughly when. For Colorado that meant slightly above average snow south and a bit under average in the north, with distinct good early season, well below average snowfall from mid-Dec to end of January and OK to normal Feb-April.

I'll be super interested to see if that comes roughly true again this season. The atmosphere does tend to go through various cycles that eventually repeat...

I'm sure Tony will chime in with his thoughts on this.
October is in no way predictive of winter from anything I've read. Joel commented upon this not long ago. I don't even collect October data as a rule. I comment subjectively upon October weather in season progress reports and occasionally count snowfall if opening dates or early open terrain is materially affected.

Last year's start was one of the better ones for the Front Range with a 3-4 foot storm end October/early November. Thanksgiving terrain open was well above average. Front Range percents of terrain open at Thanksgiving, mid-December and Christmas Week in 2000-01 and 2009-10 were average to slightly below average.

Unless October snowfall is quite substantial, it tends not to last. Colorado's low water content snow tends to accumulate slowly anyway. While I do not have data, I think the Whistler alpine often builds a base in October, allowing it to open in early December at a similar time as lower runs that have snowmaking assistance. To a lesser extent this occurs in interior western Canada too at 6,000+ elevation.

The October storm track is more rare the farther south you go aside from Wolf Creek's microclimate getting the end of the summer monsoon but with cold enough temps after mid-October to receive snow vs. rain. But occasionally you'll get a meaningful October base builder at Targhee/upper half Jackson, LCC or Mammoth. Pacific Northwest storm season often starts by mid-October but the rain/snow line tends to be too high then for the ski areas other than the Whistler alpine.