2000-01 Ski Season Progress Report as of March 26, 2001

From mid-December to early January the West was fairly quiet while the East and Midwest got the most snow. Storms in the second and fourth weeks of January first hit California and then mainly the Southwest. California received the strongest storms in February to early March, with most other regions close to average with smaller snowfalls. Canada was the exception with most areas under half normal snowfall in February. March has been subpar for western snowfall except in Colorado. Northern Vermont has received more snow this season than anywhere in the West outside Alaska.

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: 169" lower and 297" upper Squaw (75% of normal), 373" Mammoth (121% of normal). Both January storms were unusually low in water content and hit Mammoth more than Tahoe. Thus January base depths were still a far below normal 4-6 feet after the December drought. The base depths rose to a more typical 6-13 feet after 6-12 feet new in February and 2-4 feet in early March. Southern California had a near record snow month in February. As in 2000, the last 2/3 of March has been warm and dry, bringing spring conditions to most areas. 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 88, Northstar 75, Heavenly 57, Kirkwood 100, Arizona 74.
Ski Central/RSN February Snow: Alpine Meadows 97, Northstar 76, Heavenly 64, Kirkwood 121, Sugar Bowl 137, Arizona 53.
Ski Central/RSN March Snow: Alpine Meadows 38, Northstar 33, Heavenly 18, Kirkwood 63, Sugar Bowl 38, Arizona 24.

Pacific Northwest: Skiing is good at the 2 major destinations despite a below average year. Whistler/Blackcomb is in full operation on 6+ feet of base with 2 feet recent snow after a dry February. W/B may lose lower mountain coverage earlier than normal this year, but the alpine should hold up at least through the mid-April World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Mt. Bachelor's base is also 6+ feet as it was grazed by the northern edge of some of the February storms, and it should manage through Memorial Day. After a skimpy January, Washington got a much needed 2+ feet in early February and had good coverage for a month. In early March the snow base was being reduced by warm weather, but coverage has improved with 2+ feet over the past 2 weeks.
Ski Central December Snow: Whistler 42 (likely incomplete), Baker 59, Stevens 47, Crystal 49, Hood Meadows 50.
Ski Central/RSN January Snow: Alyeska 148, Whistler 61, Baker 74, Stevens 41, Crystal 30, Bachelor 35, Hood Meadows 38.
Ski Central/RSN February Snow: Alyeska 82, Whistler 18, Baker 62, Stevens 61, Crystal 40, Bachelor 73, Hood Meadows 24.
Ski Central/RSN March Snow: Alyeska 93, Whistler 23, Baker 55, Stevens 26, Crystal 37, Bachelor 27, Hood Meadows 31.

Canadian Rockies and Interior B.C.: The Kootenay region is winding down its worst season since the ski areas were built with marginal conditions at Fernie and the closing of Red Mt. on March 25. Banff/Lake Louise (100 inches YTD snow, 54% of normal) has also been poor but will preserve its skimpy base better with cooler weather and higher altitude. The Okanagan is better off than the Banff and Kootenay regions, as Big White reached full operation at the beginning of February on a 5-foot base and has recently been refreshed with 2 feet of new snow. Cat and heliskiing operations have had adequate snow this season only above 6,000 feet.
Ski Central December Snow: Lake Louise 26, Silver Star 34.
Ski Central/RSN January Snow: Sunshine 22, Big White 34, Fernie 14.
Ski Central/RSN February Snow: Sunshine 33, Big White 34, Fernie 27.
Ski Central/RSN March Snow: Sunshine 23, Big White 38, Fernie 23.

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 has been at least 90% open since Christmas. Jackson has had 239 inches snowfall so far this season (70% of normal), and opened the tram Dec. 23. January was much drier than normal throughout the region, as super reliable Grand Targhee fell short of its previous 24-year low January snow total of 55 inches. Schweitzer and Big Mountain (YTD snow 153", 55% of normal, base 3-4 feet) are now losing snow like their Canadian neighbors and should be avoided. While the entire region has been below average since New Year's, Big Sky and Grand Targhee should have adequate coverage (32-76 inches) and snow preservation at altitude until mid-April closings. Sun Valley has received 116 inches this season, 68% of normal, but relies heavily on snowmaking.
Ski Central December Snow: Big Sky 35, Targhee 50.
Ski Central/RSN January Snow: Schweitzer 26, Big Sky 19, Targhee 44.
Ski Central/RSN February Snow: Schweitzer 41, Big Sky 39, Targhee 48.
Ski Central/RSN March Snow: Schweitzer 10, Big Sky 12, Targhee 9.

Utah: Alta has received 333 inches since Nov. 1 (77% of normal) after the 65-inch head start in October. January's storms brought modest snowfalls to the Wasatch but hit Brian Head hard. Cottonwood areas base depths are 7 feet after average February snowfall but below average in March. Snow Basin, Park City and The Canyons are fully open, with base depths of 5-6 feet but conditions variable.
Ski Central December Snow: Brighton 92, Park City 83, Brian Head 25.
Ski Central/RSN January Snow: Brighton 46, Park City 36, Snowbird 61, Brian Head 115.
Ski Central/RSN February Snow: Brighton 70, Park City 67, Brian Head 87.
Ski Central/RSN March Snow: Brighton 27, Park City 23, Brian Head 47.

Northern and Central Colorado: YTD snowfall totals in the only western region to enjoy at least normal snow in March: Breckenridge 199" (84% of normal), Vail 287" (93% of normal), Winter Park 320" (104% of normal), Steamboat 293" (98% of normal). Virtually all terrain is now open. February conditions were similar to the past 2 years, which had poor holiday skiing but lots of snow in January. This year was the opposite: a strong start but about half normal snow from Christmas through January. March is historically the best ski month for most of these areas.
Ski Central December Snow: Copper 64, Keystone 48, Loveland 76.
Ski Central/RSN January Snow: Copper 16, Keystone 22, Loveland 18.
Ski Central/RSN February Snow: Copper 55, Keystone 40, Loveland 57.
Ski Central/RSN March Snow: Copper 57, Keystone 53, Loveland 55.

Southern and Western Colorado: Wolf Creek's Rockies-high base depth is 109-123 inches. It has been in full operation since early November with 350" since Nov. 1 (111% of normal) after 54" in October. The January storms from California hit New Mexico and southern Colorado hard, and conditions have been excellent since. Early March storms increased the base at Durango and Telluride to 5-7 feet, and to 8-9 feet at Taos. The January storms were centered south of Aspen and Crested Butte, but February snows brought the base up to 4-5 feet and finally opened all of the expert terrain.
Ski Central December Snow: Aspen 28, Crested Butte 55, Telluride 27, Durango 42, Taos 30.
Ski Central/RSN January Snow (note the dramatic north/south split): Aspen 23, Crested Butte 21, Telluride 71, Durango 77, Taos 86.
Ski Central/RSN February Snow : Aspen 37, Crested Butte 56, Telluride 57, Durango 50, Taos 58.
Ski Central/RSN March Snow : Aspen 33, Crested Butte 37, Telluride 36, Durango 37, Taos 57.

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 did not reflect this, due to the one weekend (Dec. 16-17) of torrential rain. After the holiday dump of up to 2 feet, nearly all areas have been close to full operation. Conditions since Christmas were excellent with ongoing new snow and cold temperatures in January. After a limited freezing rain event, New England enjoyed an epic first week of February with up to 4 feet of powder. The remainder of February saw several episodes of rain/snow mix, with more snow at the northern areas. March began in New England with a 4-foot dump similar to February's. After an unsettled week, another round of storms up to 4 feet have raised base depths to near record highs, so a long spring is likely. I have read unofficial reports of year-to-date snowfall of 405 inches at Smuggler's Notch and perhaps as much as 500 at Jay (both would be records at 150+% of normal). 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/RSN January Snow: Mont-Sainte-Anne 35, Tremblant 22, Sugarloaf 53, Jay 77, Stowe 62, Sugarbush 48, Stratton 43, Snowshoe, WV 39.
Ski Central/RSN February Snow: Mont-Sainte-Anne 38, Tremblant 30, Sugarloaf 58, Jay 86, Stowe 88, Sugarbush 52, Stratton 51, Snowshoe, WV 17.
Ski Central/RSN March Snow: Tremblant 24, Sugarloaf 63, Jay 95, Stowe 99, Sugarbush 79, Stratton 69, Snowshoe, WV 50.

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