1998-99 Ski Season No Progress Report as of November 16, 1999

I've generally been reluctant to start up the progress reports much before Thanksgiving, since so many sites are not yet active. Last weekend I tried to houseclean my links, and have gathered an impression of current progress, which is very poor. The West has been abnormally warm for past month, and mostly dry also, even in traditional snow magnets like Grand Targhee and Wolf Creek.

Specifics: Park City's World Cup race has been relocated to Copper Mt. because it's been too warm to make snow in Utah. Alta records snowfall since Oct. 1, and they have had 8 inches so far. Normal would be 4-5 feet.

Loveland and Summit County have a few runs open, but all on snowmaking. With base elevations of 9,000+, they can always make snow. Natural snow to date has been no more than 18 inches.

The Sierra has had one storm of 8 inches or so last week, but anything open is going to be on snowmaking. That will be the 1,000 vertical Broadway run at high altitude Mammoth.

The Northwest has had some storms, but the snow level has been very high, so nothing is open there either. There's probably some accumulation in the top 1,000 feet or so of Whistler's alpine.

Lake Louise and Sunshine in Canada have seen about 50 inches snowfall and have a fair amount of terrain open. Those who know these areas well say that the base will need to be higher before advanced runs will be skiable. The Okanagan region has a couple of feet natural snow base also.

In summary, interior Canada is normal or better, but everything in the western U.S. is much worse than normal so far, with no relief expected until maybe next week. I would not personally want to commit money to any western ski destination before New Year's based on where things stand right now.

In New England the usual snowmaking leaders, Killington, Okemo, Sugarbush, Sunday River each have a handful of runs open. I strongly recommend checking Vermont No-Bull Ski Report or New England Ski Guide's Weekend Forecast for up to date information in this region, where both weather and surface conditions can change so rapidly.

Directory of Ski Report Links