2015-16 Ski Season Progress Report as of November 30, 2015

October was warmer and drier than normal in most ski regions, but there were widespread small storms through most of the West each week in November, contributing to the usual early openings on snowmaking. However, only areas in western Canada saw major storms and have much more terrain than normal open. Wolf Creek is also in full operation with much more snow than other western US areas.

California: The first storm started with snow levels over 9,000 feet but eventually lowered. Later storms were colder and snowed as low as Lake Tahoe but not yet enough to build a solid natural base. Mammoth and Mt. Rose opened Nov. 5 and several other areas opened mid-November. Mammoth had much more snow up high during the first storm and thus has by far the most open terrain in California including a few of the upper steeps. See Current California Ski Conditions for more details on Southern California and Mammoth.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Squaw 8,000

57

100%

10%

Alpine Meadows

43

105%

8%

Mt. Rose

58

135%

37%

Heavenly

53

100%

15%

Kirkwood

72

122%

24%

Mammoth

58.5

133%

52%

Southern Cal

10

120%

0-40%

Pacific Northwest: The November storms had variable snow levels and were strongest to the north. Thus only Whistler has extensive terrain open.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Whistler

66

86%

22%

Crystal Mt.

46

71%

10%

Stevens Pass

35

46%

Closed

Mt. Hood

29

40%

12/5

Mt. Bachelor

31

49%

10%

Canadian Rockies and Interior B.C.: The November storms were strongest here. Some areas near the US border had some rain/snow mix like the Northwest, but other areas are far above average in both snow and open terrain. Sun Peaks is 75% open and Silver Star 41%.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Big White

79

143%

53%

Lake Louise

75

213%

70%

Sunshine

86

185%

43%

Revelstoke

100

142%

Weekends, 50%

Kicking Horse

100

186%

Weekends, 50%

Whitewater

90

145%

Dec. 5

Red Mt.

35

81%

Dec. 12

Fernie

46

77%

Dec. 5

Castle Mt.

58

137%

Dec. 11

U. S. Northern Rockies: November snow was below average but Targhee as usual has some of the most terrain open in North America in early season. Big Sky is 9% open.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Grand Targhee

46

66%

77%

Jackson Hole

39

64%

7%

Schweitzer

18

14%

Dec. 5

Sun Valley

29.5

93%

17%

Utah: Most of the November storms split before reaching Utah, which thus had substantially below average snowfall. Base depths are only about 2 feet even in the Cottonwood areas, and skiing outside those areas is limited to a few snowmaking runs.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Alta

54

62%

20%

Snowbird

55

74%

9%

Brighton/Solitude

53

65%

24%

Park City group

42

90%

4%

Snowbasin

26

51%

8%

Northern and Central Colorado: October was much warmer than usual so snowmaking was delayed until the last week and Loveland and A-Basin each opened a snowmaking run October 29. The consistent modest November snowfalls have accumulated base depths of 2+ feet with mostly average terrain openings (Keystone the positive exception) for early season. A-Basin is 31% open.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Beaver Creek

64

113%

42%

Breckenridge

54

117%

19%

Copper Mt.

53

109%

15%

Keystone

66

167%

52%

Loveland

72

131%

16%

Steamboat

64

100%

16%

Vail

61

98%

26%

Winter Park

78

114%

31%

Southern and Western Colorado: The central Colorado mountains have had a below average November, as evidenced by the Gothic Snow Lab between Crested Butte and Aspen. Aspen/Snowmass is 18% open. The southern areas have done better, notably Wolf Creek which has a 42 inch base. New Mexico has had above average snow also, as evidenced by Taos being 24% open and Santa Fe in full operation for Thanksgiving.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Gothic Snow Lab

37

67%

N/A

Crested Butte

27

70%

8%

Telluride

70

164%

21%

Purgatory

41

99%

23%

Wolf Creek

109

181%

100%

Northeast: Mid-October cold allowed Killington and Sunday River to open first in North America on October 19. After a week of skiing the snow melted and snowmaking did not resume for nearly 3 weeks. With minimal natural snow and only late month snowmaking, terrain open is very limited: Okemo 9%, Stratton 5%, Sugarloaf 4%, Sunday River 14%, Tremblant 4%.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Jay Peak (mid)

2

6%

Dec. 4

Stowe

6

11%

14%

Sugarbush

11

33%

4%

Killington

3

10%

14%

Whiteface

11

36%

7%

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