On the Right Track

Brundage Snow Blog
November 21, 2012 by

Before I begin this post, let me emphasize that I am neither a meteorologist nor a soothsayer.

What I am, as many of you know, is a highly-interested weather watcher who has experienced both the thrill of victory (Opening day: November 12, 2005!!!) and the agony of defeat (Opening day: Dec. 30, 2011) in my years here at Brundage.

As the snow falls this morning, I can say with certainty that we will not be open for Thanksgiving. But, we do have some things to be thankful for when it comes to our preseason prospects.

First of all, the human factor. We will open as soon as we get enough snow to properly pack and groom the slopes. Our plan is to open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays just as soon as we possibly can. We will kick off daily operations on December 14…

Now, to the part beyond our control. We got 4-5 inches of snow in the base area early this morning, and a second wave of snow showers has now returned.

Temperatures remain well below the freezing mark, which is a huge bonus this time of year.

Temperature has been a big factor so far this season (much more so than moisture itself). We’ve had a total of 30 inches measurable snowfall this autumn. But as of yesterday, not much remained frozen around the base area.

Base area, yesterday, November 20, 2012.

Base area today, November 21.

Today=BIG improvement. But as you can see, we still need quite a bit more snow on the lower slopes. Which begs the question, what does the summit look like?

We had about 7″ of snow up there before this latest system moved in, and we got another 8″ within the last 24 hours.

Not enough to open for Thanksgiving, but a promising base, IF WE CAN KEEP IT.

So that bring us back to temperatures and future snow events.

The short-term forecast for the top of the mountain looks pretty solid (The summit is at 7,640 feet): Elevation 6,829 forecast

The forecast for the base area (5,840 feet) is a little more iffy: Elevation 6,199 forecast

For those keeping score at home, there is no magic number of inches before we can open. A lot depends on the moisture content of the snow and also how much wind we see coming in with the storms. Generally, it takes between 2-3 FEET of snow for us to open.

Many of you remember one of our challenges last year was that the snow came in light and dry, and the wind scoured some of it off the summit.

The snow we’ve had so far this season has been wetter, and is great ‘base-building’ snow. It’s also encouraging to see lots of low-pressure systems moving through our area, especially after singing the high-pressure blues for most of last December.

Bottom line, we’re thankful for what we have already, and we’ll be praying for COLD as much as we pray for snow in the coming days. Because when it comes, we are ready. We hope you are, too.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Brundage family to yours –

– April