Powder Archive of Online Skier
- I have contributed several of my own powder experiences to Southland Ski
- 3 El Nino powder days: 2/9/98,
- My best powder day of 4/9/99
- And finally my Mt. Baldy report from 2/14/01
separate photo gallery.
The epic Vermont ski season of 2000-01 was enthusiastically
documented in First Tracks
Online Ski Magazine No-Bull Ski Reports. These links were
broken in the summers of 2003 and 2004, but have been corrected
Renson, Mad River Glen, 12/30-1/1
Renson, Mad River Glen, 2/3-2/4
Mad River Glen, 3/6
Renson, Mad River Glen, 3/24-3/26
Duffy, Smuggler's Notch 12/31
Duffy, Smuggler's Notch 2/6
Duffy & Co., Smuggler's Notch 3/28
Duffy & Co., Smuggler's Notch 4/22: Closing day wasn't
powder, but it's an exciting tale.
Last but not least was the world record powder season of 1998-99
in the Pacific Northwest. Northwest Ski Report
First-Hand Reports does not maintain an archive, but I
downloaded the highlights, grouped by ski area below:
- 02/17/99 Great Day! Morning weather report said "snowing hard, chains
required." But had no trouble getting there, 4 wheelers did not
need chains. Weather was off and on snow, off and on fog, sun, flat
lighting and 14" of powder. As an intermediate skier, I usually
don't handle that much powder well, but this was light enough that
I kept getting better as the day went on. There were slopes where
it came almost to my hips. Legs are tired, but sure was nice
skiing. Snowing when we left. JPP
- 02/17/99 Crystal had 14 to 20" of Utah quality snow this morning. It
kicked ass. Then it kicked ass. Did I say it kicked ass? Tomorrow
they may open the north and south back county (closed today for
avalanche control work). Untracked virgin powder than hasn't skied
on for three days: makes me shudder and nearly wet myself in
excitement. It will kick ass! Horrible Ron
- 2\18\99 My
best day ever!!!!!!! Face shots all day ;-) How many of you poor
bas@#$!# lost skis? Powder cords? People were digging all day long
for lost sticks. Buy some cords!!
- 2/18/99 Pretty awesome day. 10" of surprisingly light snow on top of
14" from Wednesday. This would have been an epic day last year, but
this year I have seen dozens of days like this all around the
Northwest. It just doesn't get better than this in our neck of the
woods!! I think I am going to get fired from my job any day now . .
. too many, ahem, SICK days (14 and counting since December). Work
just has no meaning for me anymore. My snowboard and car are paid
for and gas is cheap . . . if it wasn't for food and lift tickets,
I'd fire myself today and wind my way up to the blizzard going on
at Crystal right this second. --Powderific.
- 02/19/99 Believe it or not, but it was even better today...27 (that's
TWENTY-SEVEN!!) inches of freshies with sunshine! EVERYTHING was
awesome, but the run of the day was putting first tracks down
Snorting Elk....Truly one of my all-time (skied for 40 years)days!
- 03/04/99 First tracks down Campbell Basin in a couple feet of cold smoke
powder in the SUN!! It was the best skiing I have ever experienced
in the lower 48. Lots of good light new snow, light winds and
partial clearing. I even got a peak at Rainier! Very few people and
good untracked snow to be found all day. I stopped at 2:30 having
got in 18 runs. A day I will always remember. Zeke
- 03/04/99 I
was there Thursday too. The tail of my board was almost steering
itself. The snow was deep and cold and light. I went straight down
steeps which I had formerly only traversed. I thought, golly but I
am getting good. It wasn't till my friend Ann said it was the best
day of her life that I even considered this great day might not
possibly be due to my skill. Today I read the 3/4 ski report below
from a Crystal skier. Skill or being in the right place at the
right time, I am sure glad I was there.
- 02/06/99 The snow was SICK!! Deep powpow for the morning runs, Lovin'
- 02/07/99 Incredible... So good I have defiantly been infected w/
powderitis, for Monday, Tuesday,... 15 inches fresh in the morning,
and it snowed all day. Does it ever quit snowing on Baker? Ride
- 02/07/99 Unbelievable. The best day of the year yet. 17" of new
according to the sign at the lodge, and probably another foot or
two Fri./Sat. Bottomless powder, face shots on every run. For about
5 hours you could find fresh tracks every run, and even after that
it was incredible. The area above the Canyon and the area below the
natural half-pipe were to die for. Go now, it doesn't get better!
Stayed cold all day and snowed like crazy. Visibility was still
very good up until about 2PM and then it was pretty tough. Oh my
gosh! Worth the drive and then some. -Gmonkey/Seattle
- 2/8/99 sick. Tons of powder in your face all day. Visibility poor,
especially in afternoon, i am on my way up now for the afternoon
should be sick there is even snow in Bellingham. Peace
- 02/09/99 Oh... My... GOD... Twelve feet of powder in the last nine days.
Work no longer has any meaning to me. Baker Rules
Mt. Baker Slope Status: OPEN
Time of Observation: 7:35 AM
Weather Conditions: Snowing Lightly
Snow Conditions: Powder
New Snow: 6
Base Depth (at lodge): 272
Base Depth (at top): 307
Facilities: Full Operation
Hours of Operation: 9:00 - 4:00
Total Mt. Baker snowfall for the month of
February 1999 was 304 inches. T.C.
- 3/26/99 I
just had to see the approaching record snow depth before the winter
subsides this year and was not disappointed. There was two feet of
fresh on top of the 25+-foot base and it snowed all
- 3/27/99 You had to be there. Epic? oh yeah!
- 03/28/99 Sick, sick, sick. Fresh, light pow runs with massive untracked
from top to bottom for the first two hours. After that, still soft,
cold & beautiful for the rest of the day. 15+ years of being on
snow and I've never seen anything like this in the Northwest in
March. Get up on the mountain, you'll never forget it. BB -
- 3/30/99 Unbelievable! Woke up this morning and checked the snow report
to find 14 inches of dumpage. I thought it can't get any better
than this but I was wrong cause when I got to the top I found clear
blue skies. I was able to board untracked pow most of the day. Once
again Baker delivers. CJ
- 3/30/99 Mt. Baker, will you marry me?
- 3/30/99 Icing on the f*$@ing cake! After a year of multiple epic days .
. . I found myself riding big mountain style powder under the sun.
Can I say my best day riding? So many to choose from this year. I
got fired from my job this season due to Baker's powder (10 too
many sick days) . . . oh well. Like someone said awhile ago on this
BB when describing Baker's abundant powder, "work no longer has any
MT. HOOD MEADOWS
- 2/2/99 The
powder was great at Meadows, in the trees in lower Heather was
fantastic (about 18 inches). Later in the day when I get tired the
groomed runs were in very good condition to finish out the
- 02/04/99 Eat your hearts out. My company (which shall remain nameless)
chartered a couple of buses and took us all up to Meadows for a day
of skiing. Great conditions (other than high wind and variable
visibility). It snowed all day - Cascade never opened (so what's
new), heard Heather was a wind blown whiteout, but it's a weekday.
We had great, fresh pow all day long on Jacobs Ladder, The bowls
(various), Gunshot, Roach Bowl. No lift lines all day. The best day
of work I've ever had - duh :^). I spent the whole day chasing the
hardcore alpiners, what a workout :^). Murray -
- 02/19 / 02/21/99 Hi, We skied the Mid-day shift at Meadows on Friday. I
think this may have been the best day I've ever had at Meadows -
even though Cascade Express and Heather Canyon never opened (I bet
they were saving Heather for the weekend :^( ). Anyway, we arrived
at 11:30 to clearing skies and skied in sunshine and calm
conditions all day, into a beautiful, clear and calm evening. Snow
was tracked up but soft everywhere, 1 and 2 bowl were awesome, as
was 3D. We went back for more on Sunday night, a bit stormy, but
excellent wind pack abounded - no lift lines, unlimited runs.
Again, 1 and 2 bowl were simply awesome, with bits of fresh in the
trees. Murray - teleskier.
- 02/26/98 Bart called it right. Cold, clear and calm winds all day. 12"
new and about as light as it gets on Mt. Hood. Didn't get to
Heather Canyon till 11:30, it was already tracked out, but the snow
was so light that it was easy to blast through. Snow got heavier
toward the bottom of HC. The bowls off Mt. Hood Express were in
great shape all day. Cascade opened up about 1:00 PM, with waist
deep fresh tracks to be found in the right places. Upper Heather,
Outer Limits and Elevator Shaft Canyon were closed, though people
were poaching it.
- 03/05/99 In my 15 years of skiing at Meadows, I have never seen so much
snow up on the Cascade (formerly Texas) lift. You cannot ski under
the lift chair, and they loaded only every other chair because
otherwise your skis would be dragging on the snow. Meadows had to
dig a trench at the top to enable passing under the lift after
unloading. Now as far as conditions today: Lower Heather only
opened. Windpacked heavy snow at the top, decent powder at the
bottom. Cascade opened, with windslab in the ungroomed areas and ok
conditions in the groomed areas. R. Anderson
- 3/26/99 Was very surprised to see snow in PORTLAND when I left Saturday
morning. Slow driving up, but worth it. Windy as hell, so, for the
4th time in 5 visits to Mt Hood, Cascade Express was closed (was
that chair a good investment?) The numbered bowls were awesome,
with thigh-deep powder, and Heather Canyon was sublime. Some
curious snow conditions in the wind-scoured areas. Even got some
sun during the day... Spring skiing? Hardly...
- 3/27/99 Excellent pow in morning, slow and soft. Tracked snow stayed
good in heather canyon trees. Sun breaks with intermittent light
snow, not too bad wind. Too much fun. 3tele
- 03/27/99 AAAAWWWWSSSOOOMMMEEEE!!!!!!! Unbelievable day for this late in
the season. 11 inches of fresh at 17 degrees in late March! It was
one of those days that stayed cold, the sun made lots of
appearances, and it snowed as well. WE got there early, got
freshies in one, two three and four bowl. The crowds arrived about
10:00, So we were off to Shooting Slug chair. OOP's much to our
chagrin, right when we got off the chair Heather Canyon opened. We
jumped into Jacks Woods and got first tracks, then proceeded to
make four runs through Jacks in totally virgin pow, you know the
kind, when you look back to watch your buddy come down, all you can
see is his hands and now and then his head. I wont go into any more
detail, but all I can say is these were the best conditions I think
I have ever seen at Meadows. Epic Day!!! Ranger One
- 03/30/99 Hi, OK, Larry sent out two powder reports, so I just had to
take the day off and go skiing. An absolutely great day. Sunshine
(mostly, with a few snow flurries) and mucho fresh powder. Heather
opened early, but it took me 1 1/2 hours to pry myself loose from
the awesome conditions in the bowls. Finally made it over for 3 or
4 runs on Heather, very soft, very deep, doesn't get any better.
Spent the day in my new boots, loved it. Took my first run of the
afternoon down Daisy (couldn't walk all the way to the express in
the new boots), detoured into Waterfall, thought it would be
crusty, but it was deep and fluffy. I never made it back, though,
Heather Canyon beckoned for one final run, then burn the thighs
down the bowls until the lifts closed. While powder in the Spring
isn't unusual, powder this deep is exceptional. Go ski it! Murray -
- 12/27/98 Dear Stevens Pass, I would like to complain about the excessive
snow that I had to deal with on Sunday, December 27. I got there at
10AM, and it was snowing like crazy, at least an inch an hour. It
was unbearably cold, I would say a frigid 20 degrees. Because of
this, I couldn't make a snowman, which depressed me. I was also
upset that there were no lift lines, because everyone was inside
drinking hot toddies. This made me feel alone and unaccepted by the
masses who usually gather in droves at the lift lines. I would also
like to complain about the skiing. Every run I took left me choking
from the light, fluffy dry powder that kept splashing up in my face
while I was skiing. This is unacceptable, and quite dangerous. Days
like this require a snorkel, and I feel you should have handed them
out with the lift ticket, free of charge. Also, I love to ski ice.
Cold, hard, rock-solid. Yet, there was none to be found! What's
that all about?? And Larry Schick promised the snow level would
rise in the afternoon, but I didn't see any change in these awful
conditions until around 7PM! It just kept snowing and snowing. I
like to look at my tracks as I come up the chair, but they kept
getting buried by the snow. Unacceptable. And the pass closed due
to avalanches?!?!? I had to risk my life and ski an extra few hours
because of avalanches! This should not be tolerated! And when the
day was done, I had to dig out my van, which was buried completely
on one side. You should have parking attendants out there taking
care of this for me. I would like a complete refund. I surely hope
you get your act together, otherwise I'll tell all my friends about
this awful day. Not-so-sincerely, John
- 03/04/99 Sweet as pie and smooth as butter. Bottomless in the morning on
the first few runs down the backside, still getting face shots on
my last run. Too many face shots to count, almost needed a snorkel
at times. The whoops of happy skiers and boarders echoed across the
valley all morning long. If you weren't there, I hope you were on
another mountain. If not, you missed out big time. The six-inch
call on the report was good for the front side, but the backside
was buried far deeper. Almost boarding by ourselves today--you
could count the cars in the lot. A day you dream about all summer
long--even all winter!
- 03/04/99 Arrived on the slopes at 5:00 PM (after fighting traffic in
Seattle). Snowing, soft and suprisingly light for Stevens.
Personally, the best conditions I have encountered so far this
year--and when you consider the year, man, that's a heavy
statement. Hidden stashes all over the mountain. Stars were out for
a while, then would dump for a while. Face shots aplenty with
untracked snow everywhere. Rejuvenated my skiing mojo.
- 03/27/99 Epic! One of the best of the year. 22" new dry snow, some sun,
some snow during the day. Only crusty I found was on double
diamond, and that wasn't too bad. Some bottomless surfing in Tye
Bowl and the backside. (JSW - Boarding)
- 3/27/99 Truly amazing bottomless powder like we rarely get. Without the
mid fat boards, I would have needed a periscope and snorkel. The
backside and Tye bowl were especially sweet. Face shots aplenty and
it took a good while before it got tracked up due to the late
season lower density. My best day this year as I rarely get to go
- 3/27/99 Saturday was one of the best powder days I've boarded in since
1997 the powder was light and fluffy. You could drop fat lines and
not have to about smashing your head on some ice. It was
- 03/27/28/99 Sat was simply outstanding. Report of 17" of new was within
what we found. Groomers apparently couldn't keep up, as there was
plenty of untracked even on the blues. Was still finding totally
unskied on Cascade midafternoon, as well as all over the mountain.
Found plenty of lines in the trees, especially the backside. Only
downside was a steady wind, but it only helped fill the tracks and
kept the runs great.
- 03/30/99 The report said 21" and 21 degrees. It was epic! Sun came out,
but the temperature stayed down. Freshies and face shots until
closing!! Gotta love spring at White Pass!
- 1/30//2/2 You guys that complained about the top being closed and being
too crowded must not know how to ski the mts. I had knee to chest
deep shots thru the trees all over Whistler and Blackcomb on all
three days and even scored the West Bowl to Whiskey Creek drainage
knee deep. Some of the best tree skiing ever! Shark
- 02/02/99/02/05 Of the four days, Thursday Feb. 4 was one of the 10 best.
Sunshine, 18cm new powder, no wind. It just kept snowing, and
conditions are fantastic all over. I'd look for great spring
conditions. (R. Ellis)
- 02/12/99 Of the last five days (5th to the 12) Tues had to be the best
day of the century and if not it was pretty close. I have been
skiing Whistler for 20 years (40 to 80 days per season) and this
season has got to be one of the best ever. I think it was Wed. that
a guy got caught in an avalanche on Flute and broke his leg, ouch!
Apparently the cornice broke and I have seen pieces of cornices the
size a bus come off the skiers left of Flute Ridge. My run of the
week was Seppo's to Village Gondy and #2 would have to be Peak to
Creek and #3 Would be CBC North. Rip it up dude's,
- 2/12+13/99 Weather really bad Friday the 12th, they barely got the Glacier
open at Blackcomb. Winds howling 50 at least plus dumping snow.
Sat., wind not as bad but still dumping and they finally got 7th
open for the first time since previous Wed. Killer snow on 7th but
line too long for a short run. Sunday the 14th will probably be
everyone's best day of the season. Brilliant blue skies, no clouds
and no wind. I however couldn't ski in order to make it home.
Everything was probably open Sunday with insane conditions. Big
crowds of us U.S. wankers making the lines huge on Sat., Sun.
however mountain is so big you can ski yourself out in a matter of
3 hours. Excellent weekend, thanks B+E!Moby
- 2/12/2/14 Ditto on the previous report-Sunday was perhaps greatest
conditions I have ever seen. Sunny and all of the upper bowls and
backcountry just opened for the first time in days. Major powder.
The local paper up there stated that this is the most snow they
have had since 1974. Should mean incredible Spring skiing
- 2/13 & 2/14 Saturday: 17cm (6in) of new. Windy at Whistler. All alpine
lifts closed, except Alpine T-bars at noon, and Harmony at 1PM.
Snowing lightly when we left. Had to be careful where to ski off
Harmony, as wind played a part in line choosing. Sunday: Cleared up
by 10AM. All lifts were open by then. Blackcomb glacier was open
for the first time in 5 days (40in). Excellent powder there, and
cold temps mean good soft-packed and conditions elsewhere. Pipeline
covered, Pakalolo is now a blue, Saudan's is now a single black.
Saw a patroller straightline Blowhole, then ride the glacial ice
like a 3/4 pipe. Wiped out and was very lucky not to land on solid
ice on sides. Blowhole was windpacked but good powder in the
center. Garnet chutes were a dream. Soft landings off Glacier
Express cliffs and the Great Pyramid. Moderate crowds at both
mountains (President's Weekend, shoot!) meant stealth lift-choosing
abilities. Was worse at Whistler because of limited lift operation.
10+min at Whistler, 10min in the morning and <5min after 10AM at
- 02/15/99,02/16/99 I heard they broke a record 2/14 with over 25,000 people
but once you're up the mountain, it didn't seem crowded at all. All
I can do is rave about the conditions. New snow every night.
- 02/20/99 Skied Blackcomb 02/15/99-02/20/99. Tons of new powder, like
70cm while we were there. Xhiggy's and Blackcomb Glacier were the
best I've had in years. Do it if you get the chance!
Amazing snow!!! Estimate there was 6 inches of new
Saturday morning and 1 foot of new Sunday morning. Sunday morning
you could find fresh snow all day long! First run I was plowing
through knee deep fresh! Friday and Saturday high winds kept the
top of the mountain closed but mid mountain had great conditions.
Sunday especially was epic! The sun peaked out occasionally, all of
Blackcomb was open, superb snow (even down low - it was slushy but
conducive to high speeds!) Another great weekend- rarely does
Whistler fail to deliver.
- 3/19 & 20 These were two of the best days I've ever had in my 35+ years
of skiing. Snow depths are incredible, there were no clouds either
day, and even though there were a lot of people up there, the lines
were manageable, particularly if you got started early and avoided
the crunch times. Even with the bright and warm sun, the snow never
got slushy, though it was a bit grabby in places. North-facing
slopes were full of sliced up loose snow. Friday we were at
Blackcomb. There was a couple inches of fresh, and I had some
fantastic runs down Couloir (from the peak), Ruby Bowl and Diamond
Bowl, each with a very soft and sliceable base. We carved
large-radius arcs on corduroy first thing in the morning on
Saturday at Whistler, and then had some incredible runs in West
Bowl and West Couloir. Watching others making tight carves with
parabolics on the corduroy made me a bit envious. There is enough
snow to last until next winter, and more was predicted for Sunday.
Get there now and get in on some fun. jhr, expert
- 03/26/3/27 Great skiing at Whistler, did Blackcomb on Friday, 6"+ new on
smooth hard pack. Saudan and Ruby bowl where great soft powder, all
the diamond runs off of jersey where good packed powder if you
didn't ski the same sideslip as everyone else. groomers where fast
and smooth. Did Whistler on Saturday, Peak chair was the place to
be, the new high-speed quad is great for making lots of fast runs.
All the north facing slopes had great packed powder. Skiing down to
the village is easy with lots of snow. Had lots of sun breaks.
Blackcomb closing 18th April, Whistler to stay open until July. Go
if you can, I'll be up there again soon.
- 04/11/99 Fantastic day at Blackcomb. A mainly sunny day with warm temps,
low 30's at the top and 40's to 50's on the lower slopes. The lower
slopes were springlike but on the upper mountain, north-facing
slopes it was still winter snow conditions. Best snow was in the
Blackcomb and Horstman Glaciers, and in Diamond and Ruby Bowls.
Only problem was that it was icy in spots for the early part of the
day, but the snow softened up near noon. Everything was operating
with big crowds but the lines were bearable. The ski out to the
valley is still good with tons of snow all the way down to the
valley. This is rare for mid April. Possibly another month before
downloading begins. The village was absolutely packed. Had
something to do with the World Ski and Snowboard Festival that goes
on until April 17.
- 04/17/99 Never had a better day skiing than on Saturday at Blackcomb.
Took quite a few trips up the Crystal Chair, Jersey Cream and
Glacier Express. Sun! Sun! Sun! the snow was very decent, and not
too soft! People were excellent, atmosphere at Glacier Creek is
wonderful! Nothing like looking up the side of the mountain and
downing a cold one. Can't wait till next season!
- 04/24/99 Skied Blackcomb before it closed for the season. Was great, hot
sunny, north facing slopes took a while to soften, but everything
else was great soft. Ruby Bowl, Pakalolo, Saudan, all the steep
runs around Crystal and Glacier chairs. Light crowds, lots of
Hawaii shirts. The ski down to the village was still great.
Whistler stays open until June 13th. Should be fantastic in May. Go
if you're hardcore.