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The 2021-2022 Ski season thread


Skivt2
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1 hour ago, Skivt2 said:

Following the Killington vs Okemo discussion here.   I was a weekly commuter to VT for 30 years driving through Ludlow to Killington.   I have skied at both of those mountains plus Pico probably 1000 days combined.  I would most certainly find no issue thinking Killington gets substantially more snow then Okemo.  There are huge topography differences.  Killington is farther north enough to be much more part of the snow cloud that hits the larger core green mountains after passing the Champlain basin.  It’s not shadowed by Mt. Holly.  It’s base is at high elevation of vs Okemo and it’s over 4000 feet.  Try driving there from Okemo and you will notice you are headed uphill the whole way. The area is full of microclimates.  Plymouth, where I live is a perfect example as it’s a huge snow belt.  It’s not uncommon at all, for example, to drive north on 100 leaving Ludlow and have it flurrying lightly, only to have it be dumping in Plymouth, and then flurrying lightly at the rt 4 intersection then Pounding snow again at the bottom of the K access road and over Sherburne pass at Pico where I used to live.  That’s a very very common occurrence midwinter where heavy dustings occur night after night without a storm.

Can attest to all of this. Although not living there I spent too many days there. Lol. Great friend has a big house in Ludlow. We traveled that route to KMART often. Crazy micro stuff.

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I do love that mountains can have their own microclimates. It's a strange axis in southern VT. For correlations I have found if Stratton and Killington do well terms in upslope/wrap-around or mixed-events, Mount Snow, Bromley, Okemo, Magic will get significantly less and or get more freezing rain in those mixed events. Probably because Stratton and K are similar in higher elevation?

Whereas for lows moving around/off SNE, if Mount Snow does well then so will Magic, and K-Stratton-Okemo-Bromley will get less, sometimes a lot less. I thought I was nuts when I started noticed this only to find out it is well known "local knowledge" at those southern VT areas. 

Anecdotally, Pico does much better than K when there is a N/NW flow, seems to act like a wall and blocks out K. 

https://en-us.topographic-map.com/maps/enhv/Killington/

I'm sure the NVT guys know more about this but I would imagine if MRG was closer in elevation to Mount Ellen there would be a similar effect, although there is a difference in orientation. I'd imagine there must be some events when Bolton or Smuggs get the goods over Stowe? @powderfreak@J.Spin

 

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19 minutes ago, PowderBeard said:

I'm sure the NVT guys know more about this but I would imagine if MRG was closer in elevation to Mount Ellen there would be a similar effect, although there is a difference in orientation. I'd imagine there must be some events when Bolton or Smuggs get the goods over Stowe? @powderfreak@J.Spin

For the Northern Greens, I’ve found that Bolton or Smugg’s can pick up more in a storm than Stowe if there’s a very west side-favored event, since they’re the resorts on the more western side of the spine around here.

For the MRV portion of the Central Greens, one typically doesn’t see MRG outpace Sugarbush in many events – they really both do sit on the same (eastern) side of the spine, pretty much lined up next to each other.  With the extra 400’ of elevation, occasionally one sees a bit of snowfall preference in the reverse direction, but it’s probably more a function of snow measurement timing/methodology in many cases.

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From personal experience I think Killington usually has more snow than Okemo. I’d classify Okemo more with Stratton and Mount snow in terms of snowfall and geography. Killington area seems to be the major transition to where the spine sees more upslope snowfall. Okemo rarely gets a big upslope snow but Pico definitely can and I remember it happened last year in January when they jackpotted an event. Killington has a slightly more northern latitude but this area can often be the cutoff for mixing as just seen in this event. It also has a better geographic position for snowfall and about a 1000’ higher summit. They also definitely report their numbers from a good sheltered spot at the tippy top as that’s where their long term data is from. Okemo on the other hand could very well report from mid mountain or lower so I think the large discrepancies on reports can have some validity but have to be taken with a grain of salt. I will say if you look at Killingtons long term data they had some abysmal winters up until the last year or so where it seems they have really put a focus on reporting higher snowfall numbers as they seem to come out near the top on a lot more events. It also bothers me a bit they report identical snowfall at killington and pico even tho I bet there’s slight differences quite often. I know we’ve discussed this before but some resorts just market snowfall better and want to tally every inch like Jay peak versus Gore mountain where they seem to walk outside and estimate with a ruler sometimes. I think Killington has had a combo of lucky storms lately and has become more diligent at marketing their snowfall. 

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It is totally annoying that Killington reports the same snow for Pico as for Killington.  It’s true they vary a lot. But then from Bear to Rams head or the top of the peak are all different as well.  Coastal storms don’t always work out as well for Pico as for Killington and I have seen the lower spots at Pico on the western side mix when the upper trails on the eastern side stay powder.  In fact the summit quad at Pico is a cut off where it sometimes rains from the summit quad down and snows from summit quad up.  But, as you said, in early season when the west/northwest wind brings moisture to the mountains it’s not uncommon to see Pico get a bigger dusting then Killington.  Overall generally I’d say Killington gets more snow than Pico.  When I lived there my friends down in Rutland would check in with me to see whether we were snowing when it was raining in town etc.  Microclimates are fun to pay attention to when you live in the mountains.

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5 hours ago, J.Spin said:

For the Northern Greens, I’ve found that Bolton or Smugg’s can pick up more in a storm than Stowe if there’s a very west side-favored event, since they’re the resorts on the more western side of the spine around here.

For the MRV portion of the Central Greens, one typically doesn’t see MRG outpace Sugarbush in many events – they really both do sit on the same (eastern) side of the spine, pretty much lined up next to each other.  With the extra 400’ of elevation, occasionally one sees a bit of snowfall preference in the reverse direction, but it’s probably more a function of snow measurement timing/methodology in many cases.

Yeah in the more blocked flow events the west side areas can pack more fluff in for sure.  Personally I also think wind plays a big role as well as ratios… blocked flow can lead to more wind on the east slopes and there are many events where I think total QPF is the same but west slope spots are dead calm with larger flake growth and the east side is wind-packed smaller flakes.  That leads to more inches west but the same snowpack water on both sides.

You could spread 1.0” QPF across the Green Mountain Spine and see snowfall vary from 10-20” just based on wind and flake size.  Gusty winds, shattered dendrites and ground packing, vs Champagne Powder fluffing up nicely in a calm environment. 

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28 minutes ago, Froude said:

What I wouldn't do to be holed up in the Sierra this week. While we debate inches they're doing it in feet over there. For Kirkwood...

Screen Shot 2021-12-20 at 11.57.18 PM.png

The latest 0z GFS run for them was biblical. It just spit out a 250” number around Kirkwood. Potentially A nice 20 feet in the next 15 days. They are due for a massive winter and look to be off to an awesome start. 

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8 hours ago, Froude said:

What I wouldn't do to be holed up in the Sierra this week. While we debate inches they're doing it in feet over there. For Kirkwood...

Screen Shot 2021-12-20 at 11.57.18 PM.png

Good grief.  I was like why are there two ranges? Oh yeah, 12 hour amounts.  Yikes!

I know a couple former Mansfield Patrollers out there, one dude from Jeffersonville transferred to Kirkwood Patrol and the photos so far have been nuts… can’t imagine after this.

3-7” in 12 hours must feel like flurries in the middle of that.

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45 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

Good grief.  I was like why are there two ranges? Oh yeah, 12 hour amounts.  Yikes!

I know a couple former Mansfield Patrollers out there, one dude from Jeffersonville transferred to Kirkwood Patrol and the photos so far have been nuts… can’t imagine after this.

3-7” in 12 hours must feel like flurries in the middle of that.

Kirkwood is my favorite mountain out there...used to be quieter than heavenly and squaw and crazy terrain.  I haven't been there since I was a teenager, but I can't even imagine what "the wall" is like under 100" of powder.

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6 hours ago, bch2014 said:

Very glad to be team Indy Pass this week. 

Skiing Cannon and Pats Peak this week, both of which have far more terrain open than their Vail competitors, WildTash and Crotched (I was Epic last year).

 

crotched isn't even open although I did look at their webcam today and they have made snow. tough deal whatever is going on which from I read seems to be staffing shortages and equipment malfunctions.

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Was snooping around some cat skiing operations in BC after seeing a bunch of Instagram videos recently and found some cool data. Mustang Powder in the Monashee mountains near Revelstoke has kept records at their lodge at 5700’. They claim to average 380” just December thru March which blew my mind. Nearby Mount Copeland had a station at 6000’ for a few years in the early 1970s and averaged like 750” during the 5 or so years and had one year with almost 1000” snow.

Another station nearby in the Selkirks with longer term data Mount Fidelity at 6150’ averages ~550 inches and around 350” December to March. Rogers pass below at 4300’ averages around 350” for the entire season. So the Mustang powder lodge probably averages somewhere around 550-600” during a full winter. Mountains in this region get up over 9000’ so the claims of 800-1000” average snowfall in the higher alpine are probably not far fetched at all. 

The Columbia Mountain region fascinates me and is tops on my bucket list of destinations. I have read people claim this region averages the most “dry powder” in the world and they always seem to be consistent, it’s not usually feast or famine like the Sierra can be. The amount of quality powder snowfall in this region blows my mind and truly has to be one of the best regions in the world for snowfall and skiing. Hopefully I’ll experience it firsthand one day!

B7DFFE3E-29CB-4302-837E-9A8BCB309752.png

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20 minutes ago, LaGrangewx said:

Was snooping around some cat skiing operations in BC after seeing a bunch of Instagram videos recently and found some cool data. Mustang Powder in the Monashee mountains near Revelstoke has kept records at their lodge at 5700’. They claim to average 380” just December thru March which blew my mind. Nearby Mount Copeland had a station at 6000’ for a few years in the early 1970s and averaged like 750” during the 5 or so years and had one year with almost 1000” snow.

Another station nearby in the Selkirks with longer term data Mount Fidelity at 6150’ averages ~550 inches and around 350” December to March. Rogers pass below at 4300’ averages around 350” for the entire season. So the Mustang powder lodge probably averages somewhere around 550-600” during a full winter. Mountains in this region get up over 9000’ so the claims of 800-1000” average snowfall in the higher alpine are probably not far fetched at all. 

The Columbia Mountain region fascinates me and is tops on my bucket list of destinations. I have read people claim this region averages the most “dry powder” in the world and they always seem to be consistent, it’s not usually feast or famine like the Sierra can be. The amount of quality powder snowfall in this region blows my mind and truly has to be one of the best regions in the world for snowfall and skiing. Hopefully I’ll experience it firsthand one day!

B7DFFE3E-29CB-4302-837E-9A8BCB309752.png

Had a chance to tour in Rogers Pass right before the world went into lockdown. Got up into the 6,000 elevation on Mount Tupper. Could definitely see 500" at that elevation. Pack was deep!

IMG_2769.jpg

IMG_7458.JPG

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2 hours ago, LaGrangewx said:

Was snooping around some cat skiing operations in BC after seeing a bunch of Instagram videos recently and found some cool data. Mustang Powder in the Monashee mountains near Revelstoke has kept records at their lodge at 5700’. They claim to average 380” just December thru March which blew my mind. Nearby Mount Copeland had a station at 6000’ for a few years in the early 1970s and averaged like 750” during the 5 or so years and had one year with almost 1000” snow.

Another station nearby in the Selkirks with longer term data Mount Fidelity at 6150’ averages ~550 inches and around 350” December to March. Rogers pass below at 4300’ averages around 350” for the entire season. So the Mustang powder lodge probably averages somewhere around 550-600” during a full winter. Mountains in this region get up over 9000’ so the claims of 800-1000” average snowfall in the higher alpine are probably not far fetched at all. 

The Columbia Mountain region fascinates me and is tops on my bucket list of destinations. I have read people claim this region averages the most “dry powder” in the world and they always seem to be consistent, it’s not usually feast or famine like the Sierra can be. The amount of quality powder snowfall in this region blows my mind and truly has to be one of the best regions in the world for snowfall and skiing. Hopefully I’ll experience it firsthand one day!

B7DFFE3E-29CB-4302-837E-9A8BCB309752.png

can confirm.  Whitewater averages 480" in season which runs from early december to early april.  From my observations, it seems they consistently get 10cm here, 20 cm there as opposed to the monster dumps in the coastal ranges like the sierras and whistler.  dry too.  there's a reason all those cat and heli ski operations are there.

I just booked a  trip for the end of january. 

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34 minutes ago, LaGrangewx said:

@MRVexpat Great pics skiing looks fantastic!

@HitmanYea those remote Cat and heli lodges are super cool. Congrats on the trip I’m actually looking into a trip to the OPUS hut near Telluride potentially. 

I havent been to any of those lodges.  We've been staying in Nelson and doing relatively affordable cat skiing.  

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5 hours ago, LaGrangewx said:

Was snooping around some cat skiing operations in BC after seeing a bunch of Instagram videos recently and found some cool data. Mustang Powder in the Monashee mountains near Revelstoke has kept records at their lodge at 5700’. They claim to average 380” just December thru March which blew my mind. Nearby Mount Copeland had a station at 6000’ for a few years in the early 1970s and averaged like 750” during the 5 or so years and had one year with almost 1000” snow.

Another station nearby in the Selkirks with longer term data Mount Fidelity at 6150’ averages ~550 inches and around 350” December to March. Rogers pass below at 4300’ averages around 350” for the entire season. So the Mustang powder lodge probably averages somewhere around 550-600” during a full winter. Mountains in this region get up over 9000’ so the claims of 800-1000” average snowfall in the higher alpine are probably not far fetched at all. 

The Columbia Mountain region fascinates me and is tops on my bucket list of destinations. I have read people claim this region averages the most “dry powder” in the world and they always seem to be consistent, it’s not usually feast or famine like the Sierra can be. The amount of quality powder snowfall in this region blows my mind and truly has to be one of the best regions in the world for snowfall and skiing. Hopefully I’ll experience it firsthand one day!

B7DFFE3E-29CB-4302-837E-9A8BCB309752.png

I can't ski anymore (injury) but still would like to a trip there in the winter just to witness the snow.

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skied cannon today - 4 off the top and 3 of the front 5 (Gary, Rocket and Zoomer) very impressed with the job they have done. snowed most of day but probably only accumulated an inch during day. rain and freezing rain changed to snow at 104 and 93 on way up.

did a sunshine village, kicking horse, revelstoke and fernie trip a few years ago. Revelstoke is interesting - deep winter at the top and spring skiing at bottom. drove thru/over rogers pass going between golden and revelstoke - all the avalanche infrastructure is cool. You see signs for heli-skiing all along the road out there...kind of cool. Lots of snow everywhere out there. a friend has skied the heli operations out of revelstoke and said it was fantastic.

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15 hours ago, Angus said:

skied cannon today - 4 off the top and 3 of the front 5 (Gary, Rocket and Zoomer) very impressed with the job they have done. snowed most of day but probably only accumulated an inch during day. rain and freezing rain changed to snow at 104 and 93 on way up.

did a sunshine village, kicking horse, revelstoke and fernie trip a few years ago. Revelstoke is interesting - deep winter at the top and spring skiing at bottom. drove thru/over rogers pass going between golden and revelstoke - all the avalanche infrastructure is cool. You see signs for heli-skiing all along the road out there...kind of cool. Lots of snow everywhere out there. a friend has skied the heli operations out of revelstoke and said it was fantastic.

Cannon was one of my favorites in the 80's and 90's,  but I had more injuries skiing there than anywhere else.  haha One was on Profile, my pole got stuck in ice/mogul, ripped a tendon in my thumb.  Avalanche and etc. front trails steep and usually skied off, plus minimal cover back then w/out the more modern snowmaking and bad winters.

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Cannon IMO has really stepped up their game in recent years in snowmaking investment. I know some folks here think it is too icy but I think that is in some respects a function of location. I was pleasantly surprised yesterday - coverage was deep on trails open. If they get a crush of people over the holidays without more terrain, it will be a problem but the pickings in NH are slim right now from what I can tell. I doubt I will downhill ski for remainder of calendar year.

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20 minutes ago, Angus said:

Cannon IMO has really stepped up there game in recent years in snowmaking investment. I know some folks here think it is too icy but I think that is in some respects a function of location. I was pleasantly surprised yesterday - coverage was deep on trails open. If they get a crush of people over the holidays without more terrain, it will be a problem but the pickings in NH are slim right now from what I can tell. I doubt I will downhill ski for remainder of calendar year.

Agreed. The only consistent problem spots for them in terms of ice are the Links to Cannonball and then Gremlin/Spookie. The Front 5 and Hardscarabble areas are always lots of fun. Even though they massacred Mittersill there are still lots of fun rabbit holes and areas to explore when natural is around. 

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Agreed on Cannon. It's really only that knuckle (for lack of better term) part of the mountain that is almost always icy. Got to do with exposure or something, but if you know where to go it can be a really fun mountain. 

I've also noticed all 4 destination mountains in that area (WV, Loon, and BW) have gotten much better over the years in terms of snow making although I think WV had technical issues this winter due to weather and some late upgrades to their upper mountain snow making system. 

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Berkshire East had a pretty fantastic offering for only really blowing about 48 hours. Lower Cloud was starting to be fun between bumps, thin cover, and whales. Did two laps with the little one from Outback - War Dance - Mohawk. Mostly just working on sliding and leaning forward. Of course at one point she saw snowboarder jump and started trying to leave her feet. Big Chief and Upper Cloud should be open after a few more hours of guns and pushing piles around. 

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Skied Pats Peak this afternoon for a couple hours...

Pretty icy with a layer of granular sugar on top, but still had fun.

The amount of snow they have blown (especially given their southern location) is incredible. Deep, deep base depths on all open trails (they're about 60% open) with the guns roaring on the trails that are still closed. Very impressed-hadn't skied there since 2013 (and probably won't again for awhile-I just had a Indy Pass ticket so there was no incremental cost), but what a great showing they're putting on.

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