Tuesday, December 6, 2016

6" and Still Snowing

We reported 6 inches of new snow at 5 AM this morning. It has been snowing most of the time since then. The forecast for snow looks good tonight and it looks like another storm is heading our way this weekend. Tonight we are going to put the snowcats on Sundance. We have started track packing (with a snowcat) a number of other areas. Again today, the Ski Patrol is all over Lenawee Parks and West Wall. We even had a team working on Pali.

The manufacturer of our new compaction roller is coming out next week and we will start training our staff to use it then.


Anonymous said...

Just wondering, but what are the ski patrol teams doing?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they're still on trail crew...

Hey Al, any chance we get Zuma before Christmas?


Melissa Parkins said...

Its where i spread my dads ashes and its his birthday today!

Ryan said...

Probably not. It realistically takes a 30-35 inch base to open Montezuma Bowl, and it historically opens after Pali. Since about 12 inches of snow smashes down to form about 2-3 inches of base (snow is about 60% air un-compacted) it will take a very, very large storm to even get us close. The fact that A-Basin is still reporting an 18 inch base (which is the minimal amount of base of man-made snow they are required to have to open the single High Noon run in October, and the amount that they have been reporting since their October 21st opening day) should be very telling.

The true "natural" base of snow is probably around 10-15 inches if I had to guess, but talk to ski patrol or Al to confirm this. We are in the midst of our first true winter storm cycle and winter was nearly a full month late in showing up this year. We are quickly catching up in the snowfall department, and while the forecast looks promising over the next two weeks, it will take time to accumulate the necessary snowfall for Montezuma Bowl to open.

Also worthy of note is what can be considered Montezuma Bowl's Achilles' heal, its southern slope exposure. The fact is is that Montezuma Bowl faces south, which being in the northern hemisphere means that it gets considerably more sunshine than the front side of Arapahoe Basin, which has a northern to northeastern slope exposure. This means that the front side of Arapahoe Basin is more than often than not in the shade while Montezuma Bowl is in the full sunshine. Anyone who has skied A-Basin in the spring time has probably noticed the crunchier, more sun-baked snow of Zuma Bowl while the front side of A-Basin often has mid-winter, softer and fluffier snow. This translates that the snow in Montezuma Bowl is more susceptible to melting than the snow on the front side of A-Basin, which can mean it takes longer to accumulate the necessary snowfall to get the cats back there in the bowl and get it open and ready for us, the general skiing public.

At its current rate of snowfall accumulation, I would look for a Montezuma Bowl opening around mid-January. But hey, we never know what Ullr and the snow-gods have in store for us. A holiday surprise would sure be nice!

- Al, if any of the above information is incorrect, please let me know!

Anonymous said...

Looks like your base estimate was off as it just hit 20". Still would take some very big storms to get Montezuma Bowl open by the end of December. According to Al it normally takes 35"-40" base.



Anonymous said...

Ryan is killing the game!!

Anonymous said...

Approximate Base Depth when Montezuma Bowl opened

2007-08 January 12, 2008 - 37"
2008-09 December 30, 2008 - 34"
2009-10 February 24, 2010 - 38"
2010-11 December 18, 2010 - 40"
2011-12 February 24, 2012 - 50"
2012-13 February 13, 2013 - 34"
2013-14 January 10, 2014 - 45"
2014-15 December 29, 2014 - 36"
2015-16 December 23, 2015 - 45"

It will take some time with the slow start this year.