2015-16 Ski Season Progress Report as of December 8, 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 had much more terrain than normal open. Wolf Creek was also in full operation since mid-November with much more snow than other western US areas. The Pacific Northwest is having a major storm in early December, and that storm is expected to spread into adjcent regions soon.

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. There has been little snow so far in December, but cold temps have allowed snowmaking terrain to expand. The NW storm is expected to bring major snow over the next few days. 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

68

89%

23%

Alpine Meadows

53

93%

35%

Mt. Rose

66

115%

58%

Heavenly

59

90%

38%

Kirkwood

79

100%

29%

Mammoth

60

102%

52%

Southern Cal

10

90%

0-47%

Pacific Northwest: The November storms had variable snow levels and were strongest to the north. Thus only Whistler had extensive terrain open. The early December storms have dumped 3+ feet so far, and while it's raining quite high now, it's expected to cool off and snow another 2+ feet. Whistler's base depth is already 58 inches and the alpine should be fully open after this weekend. Washington and Oregon coverage after these storms will vary considerably by elevation.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Whistler

113

118%

54%

Crystal Mt.

98

118%

16%

Stevens Pass

71

72%

16%

Mt. Hood

45

49%

12/12

Mt. Bachelor

61

75%

20%

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 were far above average in both snow and open terrain. The December Northwest storms have added another 2 feet at many of these areas, with base depths now near 5 feet at Big White, Whitewater and Revelstoke. Sun Peaks is 75% open and Silver Star 53%.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Big White

101

149%

64%

Lake Louise

81

192%

79%

Sunshine

95

166%

47%

Revelstoke

129

149%

50%

Kicking Horse

120

187%

Weekends, 50%

Whitewater

123

153%

64%

Red Mt.

65

116%

Dec. 12

Fernie

63

82%

14%

Castle Mt.

74

136%

Dec. 11

U. S. Northern Rockies: November snow was below average but Targhee as usual had some of the most terrain open in North America in early season. This region is well below average with base depths under 3 feet except for central Idaho, but the Northwest storms are expected to bring more snow soon. Big Sky is 19% open.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Grand Targhee

63

69%

78%

Jackson Hole

46

59%

20%

Schweitzer

42

74%

14%

Sun Valley

41

102%

25%

Utah: Most of the November storms split before reaching Utah, which thus had substantially below average snowfall plus a dry first week of December. Base depths are only about 2 feet even in the Cottonwood areas, and skiing is limited to a few snowmaking runs. Some relief is expected as the Northwest storms move in by this weekend.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Alta

56

52%

20%

Snowbird

57

61%

18%

Brighton/Solitude

55

54%

28%

Park City group

42

72%

7%

Snowbasin

30

47%

13%

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 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

72

104%

58%

Breckenridge

60

101%

28%

Copper Mt.

57

96%

23%

Keystone

67

139%

73%

Loveland

75

111%

16%

Steamboat

69

88%

24%

Vail

65

86%

38%

Winter Park

82

103%

57%

Southern and Western Colorado: The central Colorado mountains had a below average November, while the southern mountains and New Mexico were above average. Wolf Creek's base reached 50 inches by the end of November but there have only been a few inches of snow so far in December over the entire region. Taos is 26% open.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Aspen/Snowmass

33

69%

33%

Gothic Snow Lab

42

61%

N/A

Crested Butte

29

60%

13%

Telluride

75

142%

22%

Purgatory

43

84%

40%

Wolf Creek

116

156%

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 intermittent month snowmaking, terrain open is very limited: Okemo 14%, Stratton 9%, Sugarloaf 7%, Sunday River 18%, Tremblant 13%, Mt. St. Anne 1%.

Area

Season Snow

Pct. of Normal

Pct. of Area Open

Jay Peak (mid)

10

21%

4%

Stowe

11

17%

16%

Sugarbush

14

30%

8%

Killington

4

9%

16%

Whiteface

12

33%

10%

Le Massif

32

7%

10%

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