From mid-December to early January the West was fairly quiet while the East and Midwest got the most snow. Last week a major storm finally hit Califonia and moved on to Utah and Colorado with lesser intensity. This week the Southwest has been getting the most snow.
Only a few areas post season-to-date snowfall on their websites. At the end of the regional sections, I list selected Ski Central or RSN month-to-date snow totals for other resorts, making educated guesses as to which resorts have supplied complete data for the month.
California : Season snowfall: 114" Kirkwood (59% of normal), 132" upper and 57" lower Squaw, 113" Mammoth (77% of normal). Though season snow is still far below normal, surface conditions are now excellent after 2-4 feet new last week. Base depths at Alpine and Sugar Bowl are 4-6 feet. Just a few expert sectors, such as Heavenly's Mott Canyon and Squaw's Silverado, remain closed. Southern California and Arizona got just as much snow as the Sierra this week and are in full operation. See Current California Ski Conditions for more details on Southern California and Mammoth.
Ski Central December Snow: Alpine Meadows 42, Northstar 28, Heavenly 14.
Ski Central/RSN January Snow:Alpine Meadows 56, Northstar 49, Heavenly 38, Arizona 44.
Pacific Northwest: Skiing is good at the 2 major destinations despite the below average start. Whistler/Blackcomb has clearly the best conditions in the Northwest or western Canada: full operation and the most new snow since New Years. Mt. Bachelor's base is 60-63 inches with the Summit open (weather permitting) since Christmas. Washington base depths (except Mt. Baker's 5-6 feet) are now 3-4 feet, which is marginal for advanced terrain in this region. Surface conditions are reported difficult at lower elevations with less than half normal snow since before the holidays.
Ski Central December Snow: Whistler 42 (likely incomplete), Baker 59, Stevens 47, Crystal 49, Hood Meadows 50.
Ski Central/RSN January Snow: Whistler 23, Baker 21, Stevens 12, Crystal 11, Bachelor 21, Hood Meadows 18
Canadian Rockies and Interior B.C.: Sun Peaks has the highest proportion of terrain open on 39 inches. Fernie, Sunshine, Big White, and Silver Star are around half open on bases up to 3 feet. Most other areas are even more restricted. The Kootenay region is having its worst start in over 20 years with rocky conditions at Fernie and Red's Granite Mt. closed for lack of cover. While the high snow areas may recover by February, low snowfall areas such as Lake Louise (50 inches YTD snow, 46% of normal) should probably be avoided all season as in 1993 and 1998. Just a few inches last week, as the major storm track went south.
Ski Central December Snow: Lake Louise 26, Silver Star 34.
Ski Central/RSN January Snow: Sunshine 14, Big White 9, Fernie 9.
U. S. Northern Rockies: In early October Big Sky got a freak dump of over 3 feet and opened some intermediate runs on weekends, increasing to daily operation on 900 acres on Nov. 11. Big Sky's base is now 35 inches and it has been 90% open since Christmas. Jackson has had 149 inches snowfall so far this season (83% of normal), and opened the tram Dec. 23. Grand Targhee is in full operation on a 32-70 inch base. Schweitzer and Big Mountain are like interior Canada: thin with minimal advanced terrain. Sun Valley has received 80 inches this season, 89% of normal. Most of these areas got about a foot of snow late last week.
Ski Central December Snow: Big Mountain 37, Big Sky 35, Targhee 50.
Ski Central/RSN January Snow: Schweitzer 12, Big Mountain 12, Big Sky 5, Targhee 23.
Utah: Alta has received 184 inches since Nov. 1 (82% of normal) after the 65 inch head start in October. Cottonwood areas base depths back over 6 feet after last week's storm. Brian Head has been hit harder than the Wasatch in the recent Southwest storms. Snow Basin, Park City and The Canyons are fully open, with base depths reported 5 feet.
Ski Central December Snow: Brighton 92, Park City 83, Brian Head 25.
Ski Central January Snow: Brighton 25, Park City 25, Brian Head 52.
Northern and Central Colorado: YTD snowfall totals, with the high snow areas getting about a foot new last weekend: Breckenridge 108" (89% of normal), Vail 155" (97% of normal), Winter Park 176" (110% of normal), Steamboat 110" (106% of normal). Nearly everyone is 90+% open now. Conditions are about average for this time of year, but not as good as 95-96 or 96-97.
Ski Central December Snow: Copper 64, Keystone 48, Loveland 76.
Ski Central January Snow: Copper 8, Keystone 7, Loveland 7.
Southern and Western Colorado: Wolf Creek's base depth is 74-87 inches and it has been in full operation since early November. The recent storms have been a big help to the southern areas, improving conditions substantially. The base remains in the 3 foot range at Aspen and Crested Butte, with Snowmass' Cirque and CB's North Face not yet open.
Ski Central December Snow: Aspen 28, Crested Butte 55, Telluride 27, Durango 42, Taos 30.
Ski Central January Snow: Aspen 4, Crested Butte 5, Telluride 31, Durango 28, Taos 24.
Northeast: Warm weather knocked out the first snowmaking attempts by November 15. Since then snowmaking cranked up for a week and Killington, Okemo, Sunday River and Hunter Mt. were about 30% open for Thanksgiving. December snowfall was near record high. Base depths do not reflect this, due to the one weekend (Dec. 16-17) of torrential rain. With the recent holiday dump of up to 2 feet, nearly all areas are close to full operation. Conditions remain excellent with ongoing new snow and cold temperatures in January. As my report is an overview, I strongly recommend checking Vermont No-Bull Ski Report or First Tracks Online Ski Magazine No-Bull Ski Reports for up to date information in this region, where both weather and surface conditions can change so rapidly.
Ski Central December Snow: Mont-Sainte-Anne 46, Tremblant 31, Sugarloaf 64, Jay 95, Stowe 89, Sugarbush 72, Stratton 49, Snowshoe, WV 34.
Ski Central January Snow: Mont-Sainte-Anne 4, Tremblant 18, Sugarloaf 32, Jay 38, Stowe 32, Sugarbush 26, Stratton 34, Snowshoe, WV 19.
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