The first half of January 2017 was bountiful to say the least for skiers and boarders in the West. For those tasked with shoveling and plowing snow, it’s been simply exhausting. Snowfall numbers that are usually associated with inches were tossed around in terms of feet.
1. Mammoth’s Current Snow Depth: 269” (22.4 ft)
In the Sierras, California’s Mammoth Mountain was hammered with snow. In the nine-day span from Jan. 4-12, Mammoth registered 141 inches of new snow. With half the month remaining and significant snow in the forecast, Mammoth’s all-time single-month record of 209 inches set in December 2010 is in jeopardy.
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2. Tahoe’s Current Snow Depth: Up to 210” (17.5 ft)
Remember those years of drought around Lake Tahoe earlier this decade? After this January, those slim seasons should be a distant memory. The 8,000-foot elevation measuring station at Squaw Valley recorded 180 inches of new snow in the first 13 days of the month. To save you the math, that is exactly 15 feet. The California resort had already totaled 281 inches for the season by the middle of the month.
Nearby Sugar Bowl piled up more than 16 feet in the January storms to bring its season total to an incredible 345 inches. Bolstered by 10 feet in a three-day span, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe has already raced by its average annual snowfall total of 350 inches.
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3. Colorado Current Snow Depth: Up to 140” (11.7 ft)
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is also enjoying a once-in-a-generation season. The resort accumulated 90 inches in the first 10 days of the month. According to Crested Butte’s communications coordinator Zach Pickett, the snow’s consistency has been perfect for the resort’s renowned steep terrain. “Much of the snow that we have received this winter has been on the heavier side, which has done a great job building up our base to depths rarely seen in January,” he explained. “In return, many of the rocks are covered and more technical zones are becoming ‘easier’ to ski.”
Farther north in the state, Arapahoe Basin totaled 77 inches in the Jan. 4-12 stretch. As a result, the ski area along the Continental Divide was able to open its famed East Wall on Jan. 15. Last season, the same terrain did not open until Feb. 7, and in the year prior it didn’t open until March.
4. Utah’s Current Snow Depth: Up to 101” (8.4 ft)
Utah typically receives a lot of powder days, so logically the state would not miss out on a banner month everywhere in the West. At Alta Ski Area, snow fell every day except one for the first 13 days of the month. The highlight was January 2 when the 24-hour total reached 19 inches.
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5. Wyoming’s Current Snow Depth: Up to 100” (8.3 ft)
The conditions at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are drawing comparisons to the legendary 1996-97 season. By the middle of the month, the year-to-date total had already passed 300 inches.
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Storm Headed For East Coast – Up To 8″ of Snow Expected
Don’t worry, East Coast… Yours is coming! A storm, expected to hit much of the east coast Tuesday-Wednesday, should bring snow to higher elevations, along with a mixed precipitation to the valleys.
According to Snow Brains, Killington, VT is forecasted to get 3-6″ through Wednesday, making the resort your “best bet for some powder turns.” Upper New York is forecasted to see 3-6″ through Wednesday, while the Eastern NH/Western ME is expecting 4-8″ through Wednesday.