Powder Archive of Online Skier Submitted Reports

I have contributed several of my own powder experiences to Southland Ski Server.
3 El Nino powder days: 2/9/98, 2/25/98 and 5/14/98.
My best powder day of 4/9/99 at Mammoth.
And finally my Mt. Baldy report from 2/14/01 with a 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 September 2004.

Mark Renson, Mad River Glen, 12/30-1/1
Mark Renson, Mad River Glen, 2/3-2/4
Anonymous, Mad River Glen, 3/6
Mark Renson, Mad River Glen, 3/24-3/26
Matt Duffy, Smuggler's Notch 12/31
Matt Duffy, Smuggler's Notch 2/6
Matt Duffy & Co., Smuggler's Notch 3/28
Matt 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:

CRYSTAL MT.

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! Marco B
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.

 

MT. BAKER

02/06/99 The snow was SICK!! Deep powpow for the morning runs, Lovin' it!
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 Hard. Peace
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
Date: 2/11/1999
Time of Observation: 7:35 AM
Temperature: 21
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

Date

2/11

2/10

2/9

2/8

2/7

2/6

2/5

2/4

2/3

2/2

Snowfall

6

8

20

19

17

22

10

14

4

18

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 day.
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 - boarder.
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 meaning." --Wolfgang

 

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 day.
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 - teleskier
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 - tele skier

 

STEVENS PASS

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 weekdays. Stoner

 

WHITE PASS

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 badass.
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!

 

WHISTLER/BLACKCOMB

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 Attack
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, Johnny.
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 later.
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 Blackcomb.
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. Seattlite
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!
3/12&3/13&3/14 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 downhiller.
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.