Vail Mountain Completes Longest Season on Record with Snow to Spare

As reported in the Vail Daily

New flakes fell on a 47-inch mid-mountain base on rare May Closing Day

Vail ended its longest season on record in its usual Closing Day fashion on Sunday, with hundreds of skiers and snowboarders celebrating on top of the mountain.

And even though it was a rare May closing, the weather behaved more like March, with wind and snow creating cold conditions on the slopes.

Many closing day traditions were on display. Local Chad Anderson rode his 1980s-era Sims 1600 FE SERIES snowboard with original bindings.

End of the ski season looks like a lot of fun, big party with lots of costumes and I’m sure alcohol as well.

To see costumes go to original article

But as for that worn out prediction that children will not know what snow is:

By the end of December, conditions had improved dramatically. A portion of the Back Bowls opened on Dec. 28, with Vail Mountain at the time reporting nearly 2 feet of snow in a one-week period.

Vail ended the season recording 264 inches total; the mountain on its trail map claims an average of 350 inches. The mid-mountain base on closing day was 47 inches, and top-to-bottom access was available from the top of Chair 4 to the bottom of the Lionshead gondola.

The chill in the air gave an assist to the many Vail Mountain and U.S. Forest Service employees who began ushering crowds off the mountain at 4 p.m.

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May 5, 2022 2:23 am

Back in 1984, I skied nearby A-Basin into June.
This year, A-Basin on 4 May 2022 reports:
Lifts Open
9 /9
Runs Open
115 /145

38 years on, I won’t be there, but the kids with good knees will be skiing A-Basin into June this year too.
Climate Change? meh.
That’s for suckers.

Scissor
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 5, 2022 4:17 am

As far as I know, Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park’s Mary Jane and Loveland are still open. Mary Jane received 8″ of snow overnight.

https://www.winterparkresort.com/the-mountain/mountain-report#/

roaddog
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 5, 2022 7:07 am

I seem to recall them staying open into July a few years ago.

Reply to  roaddog
May 5, 2022 8:23 am

I’ve skied Mammoth and the resort formally known as Squaw many times in July and August. Both will be open at least until Memorial day and this has been a below average snow year. Skiable snow patches deep in the Sierra’s can be found all summer long. I ski somewhere in California every month and missed only one October in the last 17 years, and that was after a multi-year drought.

Johne Morton
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 5, 2022 12:20 pm

I remember skiing A-Basin on July 4th. It was closing day, and a discount. It was basically all ice, but still fun. Skiing in the summer means, bring sunscreen…lots…

Oldseadog
May 5, 2022 2:24 am

You mean people aren’t allowed to ski even when there is plenty of snow?
Why ever not?

Reply to  Oldseadog
May 5, 2022 3:21 am

Oldseadog

I remember a late spring snowstorm that hit Edinburgh in the 1980s. The snow started at about 9 am and by 4 pm there was a foot of snow in the city.
The Hillend Ski Centre was closed that day because of the snow!

Oldseadog
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
May 5, 2022 6:24 am

Yes, I remember that. How we laughed.

MJB
Reply to  Oldseadog
May 5, 2022 3:44 am

I grew up next to a ski hill. While there was always a hard core group of locals (including me) and ski bums that would ride out the season, once the snow disappears in the cities peoples mindset changes to spring/summer, and they don’t think about skiing as much, so numbers drop no matter how good the conditions on the hill are. The economics of keeping the hill open don’t always add up.

Jeff L
Reply to  Oldseadog
May 5, 2022 6:01 am

Most everyone mores on to summer sports – not enough demand to keep a resort open – it is a business after all. Those of us who want more head to the back country & ski well into summer

Paul S.
Reply to  Oldseadog
May 5, 2022 10:54 am

Not enough skiers to justify running the lifts. One can, however, ski to ones heart’s content in the backcountry. Nothing is closed down there

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Oldseadog
May 5, 2022 12:32 pm

I suspect that the summer months are for inspections of the lifts, maintenance and refurbishment of the lodges.

roaddog
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
May 5, 2022 10:38 pm

That is definitely when that work is performed.

Duane
Reply to  Oldseadog
May 6, 2022 8:37 am

The lifts operate during specified seasons that can vary a little depending upon snow condition. If someone really wants to ski, they can heli-ski anywhere there’s still snow.

Steve Richards
May 5, 2022 3:11 am

Children will still not know what snow is!!

LdB
Reply to  Steve Richards
May 5, 2022 5:06 am

Global warming means less snow and more snow story adjusted to suit weather.

fretslider
May 5, 2022 3:20 am

The models will spew something forth to show that this observation is incorrect

ResourceGuy
Reply to  fretslider
May 5, 2022 6:32 am

It was protest snow or false reported/hacked snow.

Dave
Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 5, 2022 11:19 am

Our Ministry of Truth will fix that.

Dave
Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 5, 2022 11:22 am

Funny, that went into moderation. Must be disinformation.

Kenji
Reply to  fretslider
May 5, 2022 7:12 am

The snow records will be “smoothed” over … like milk, silk … a bed spread, or a quilt. Icing on a cake, or a serene translucent lake …

Frederick Michael
Reply to  fretslider
May 5, 2022 7:57 am

What does the new Ministry of Truth say?

roaddog
Reply to  Frederick Michael
May 5, 2022 8:21 am

“We’re all going to die.” Updates to follow, from the Anthony Fauci School of Journalism.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  fretslider
May 5, 2022 9:52 am

Once they have ‘homogenized’ the Colorado snow observation with observations from Houston, TX and Miami, FL the “corrected” record will show no measurable snow cover.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  fretslider
May 5, 2022 12:21 pm

News flash!
More people have acquired the ability to see CO2 in the air. They are reporting it as looking like snow.

roaddog
Reply to  Brad-DXT
May 5, 2022 12:24 pm

Praying Greta doesn’t procreate.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  roaddog
May 5, 2022 12:34 pm

She’s pretty much outlived her usefulness in the scam.
I think she was the victim of child abuse and since she’s no longer a child, the thrill is gone. One can only hope that she gets an education and leads a productive life after being used for these past few years.

Owen
May 5, 2022 4:38 am

That’s good but will it significantly improve the situation with the Colorado river? I heard that the situation is quite dire, with lak Powell almost drained. In California meanwhile the drought continues. I was in the mother lode last year and it hardly rained. After an auspicious beginning this winter was dryer still!

Peter W
Reply to  Owen
May 5, 2022 5:09 am

Obviously it is so dry the snow will just evaporate.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Owen
May 5, 2022 5:15 am

I was wondering he same thing.
What is the volume of the snow pack?

roaddog
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 5, 2022 8:24 am

Colorado’s basins range from 0 to 100% of normal right now, with a lot of non-reporting stations at this time. Wyoming is at 78% of normal.

Gums
Reply to  Owen
May 5, 2022 8:53 am

Salute!
Good news for the river, as a lot of headwaters drain thru the divide, like Glenwood Canyon. So the folks downstream could get more flow. OTOH, the Arkansas drainaige needed more snow on the front range and south of Vail, Aspen, A Basic, etc.

Gums sends…

mal
Reply to  Owen
May 5, 2022 9:30 am

It would help if Denver was not taking 20% of that flow. They did not do that in the past.

roaddog
Reply to  mal
May 5, 2022 12:25 pm

Where is it diverted to Denver?

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  roaddog
May 5, 2022 12:49 pm

The Roberts Tunnel (near Silverthorn/Frisco), which drains Dillon Reservoir into the South Platte River.

roaddog
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
May 5, 2022 10:42 pm

Thanks.

Jeff L
Reply to  roaddog
May 5, 2022 1:38 pm

There is actually a series of tunnels . See this map:

https://www.denverwater.org/sites/default/files/2017-05/map-collection-system.pdf

roaddog
Reply to  Jeff L
May 5, 2022 10:43 pm

Thanks Jeff. Colorado’s plumbing is pretty incredible.

Editor
Reply to  Jeff L
May 5, 2022 12:35 pm

Classic example of the La-Nina effect for the West where it tends to get cooler and wetter in the NW while drier in the SW region.

Jeff L
Reply to  Sunsettommy
May 5, 2022 1:34 pm

Absolutely!
And it you take a longer look at it, we have been predominantly in an la Nina / ENSO negative state for the last 20 years … also the length of the current SW drought. Coincidence ? Nope !

ENSO screenshot.png
Reply to  Owen
May 5, 2022 3:38 pm

Weber-Ogden basin in Utah is at 65% snowpack.

Duane
Reply to  Owen
May 6, 2022 8:47 am

The water in Lake Powell and in Lake Mead comes strictly from precipitation, mostly snowpack, in the Colorado River basin, not what falls within the state of California. At present, the official snowpack records per SNOTEL actually aren’t bad at all:

Gunnison River Basin – 79%
Upper Colorado River Basin – 93%
Yampa and Upper White River Basin – 93%

The issue with the two reservoirs is excessive water use, not record low flows in the Colorado River. Nobody wants to admit that, because it would mean cranking down on water use and that is politically dangerous. Too many people in California using too much water.

roaddog
Reply to  Duane
May 6, 2022 9:00 am

Exactly.

Mary Brown
May 5, 2022 5:43 am

Alta has measured snow consistently and accurately since 1945. There is zero trend. Data here. https://utahavalanchecenter.org/alta-monthly-snowfall

Ron Long
May 5, 2022 5:45 am

Snow? Ski? How do you tell a snow-boarder from a vacum cleaner? The way the dirtbag is attached! Miami Beach for today: 30 deg C or 86 deg F.

John Garrett
Reply to  Ron Long
May 5, 2022 8:40 am

Re: boarders v. skiiers

ROTFLMFAO !! ★★★★★

roaddog
Reply to  John Garrett
May 5, 2022 10:44 pm

Why can’t we all just learn to get along?

Sara
May 5, 2022 5:49 am

I’m just going to drop this in here, as a way to show that, clearly, this is not an isolated incident.

I’ve indicated where I live, prior to this – Upper Midwest, near Lake Michi Gamu – and we’ve had unusually cold temps during the day time, as well as snow, up to the end of April. I’ve lived in this area for 20 years now, taken lots of early spring and late fall photos, as well as summer stuff, particularly interested in bugs for some reason.

This is NOT normal for this area. Rain I would expect, but snow? Up to the beginning of May? I do have photos. Might not have been a big snowfall – about 1/2 inch – but snow is snow and I have proof that it fell and stuck on my front steps and my poor, tired lawn. The maples outside my west window are just now showing the blossoms that produce maple seeds. They should be fully leafed out by now, and not barely managing to act normal.

Also, the birds are showing up on my front steps, looking for show, because there are no bugs available for them to eat. Overnight last night was mid-30s, again not normal for this time of year in this area.

This is a cycle, that’s all, but I’ve never seem this before, and am making notes elsewhere. If it’s anything more than a cycle, it will happen again, possibly an early fall and early departure of the wild flocks for the south where they can pick up more food than they’ll get here.

roaddog
Reply to  Sara
May 5, 2022 6:59 am

My mother reports that this winter in the western North Carolina mountains was the coldest, wettest she can ever remember.

4E Douglas
Reply to  Sara
May 5, 2022 9:27 am

Here in Union Co. Ne Oregon, we had a week of snow @ 3000ft. in April. still snow on the foothills and peaks. Local MSM still saying: “Don’t believe your lyin’ eyes! Heat! Drought! Fire! ” looking more like a cool wet spring into summer. I have a funeral to go to in Wallowa County and there is snow forecast Saturday, I don’t know.

mal
Reply to  Sara
May 5, 2022 9:32 am

Over sixty years ago I grew up in northern Minnesota, snow in late April and May were unheard of of today they are the norm. Ice out by fishing season open was not a problem today it is.

Sara
Reply to  mal
May 5, 2022 7:30 pm

As I understand it, from looking at weather reports re: other locations, it’s worse up north of my area than it is down here. Yes, the fishing lakes have melted out and the birds are back, but there is so little for them to eat – no bugs flying around, for instance – that it does not look good. I’ll have to put out birdfood for several more weeks, just to make sure that they don’t go without food of some kind. We have a big birder community in my county, and they are probably doing that, too.

Things are changing, slowly – yes – but they are changing and we need to be prepared for that. I am still running my furnace, which I’ve never had to do after April 1st until now – and it is MAY, for Pete’s sake!

Graemethecat
Reply to  Sara
May 6, 2022 2:20 am

Allan MacRae has been predicting a period of cooling for this decade. He may well be correct.

Shoki Kaneda
May 5, 2022 6:13 am

It’s the end of snow. I have it on good authority.

KTM
May 5, 2022 6:20 am

Literally every day in Utah the local news talks about the long term drought.

Yet 2021 had precipitation a tick above the dead center of the historical average for the state.

Lakes and reservoirs are low due to usage and several dry years, and that is a legitimate concern, but that is their purpose, isn’t it? Hold back water in wet years and release it in dry years?

Well over half of the water in Utah goes toward growing alfalfa, but they hardly have a word to say about it, they spend all their time browbeating people for their residential water use which is less than 5%.

roaddog
Reply to  KTM
May 5, 2022 7:04 am

There has been a big uproar in Colorado about the Marshall Fire resulting from climate change. Never mind that the snowfall in Boulder last winter was the most ever recorded.

Jeff L
Reply to  roaddog
May 5, 2022 10:20 am

Actually, that was 2019-2020 :

https://psl.noaa.gov/boulder/bouldersnow.html

roaddog
Reply to  Jeff L
May 5, 2022 12:46 pm

Thanks Jeff. Well, two consecutive years of above-average snowfall, leading to a great crop of grass, anyway.

roaddog
Reply to  KTM
May 5, 2022 8:09 am

One of our biggest blizzards of the last several years came in the 3rd week of May. And it was BIG.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  roaddog
May 5, 2022 10:00 am

Back in the 80’s, about 6 miles up Left Hand Canyon, we got 4 ft of snow on May 15th and were snow in for a week. So, late Spring snows are that unusual around there.

roaddog
Reply to  Joe Crawford
May 5, 2022 12:49 pm

I know we had one like that in, I believe, the late 1990’s because I remember having never before seen 4′ of snow fall all at once (Monument Hill). It does seem that the overwhelmingly big snowfalls always come in April or May.

roaddog
May 5, 2022 7:06 am

The best closing day is the topless one at Crested Butte. Just sayin’…

Steve Keohane
May 5, 2022 8:25 am

and Vail has had .89″ of water since May 1st, equivalent to almost 11″ of snow.

AGW is Not Science
May 5, 2022 9:49 am

But the children aren’t going to know what snow is, right?

Or are heavier snowfalls ‘consistent with global warming?’

I’ve got it! “C. All of the above.”

/sarc

Not Chicken Little
May 5, 2022 9:55 am

Obviously this story is in error – children no longer even know what snow is, so we have been told…

Vuk
May 5, 2022 10:55 am

With a sensible government Canada would be a winner with either colder (huge demand for oil and gas) or warmer (gain additional huge area for agricultural production) climate.
.. but getting sensible government isn’t on horizon any time soon.

Carlo, Monte
May 5, 2022 12:46 pm

After 3 days of cloudy-cool, Mt. Evans was bright-white again this morning.

roaddog
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
May 5, 2022 10:47 pm

Yep, the last couple days we got some badly needed moisture. Excellent.

May 5, 2022 1:55 pm

This is the most unusual spring I have ever tracked. Night time temps are due to drop to freezing once again in a few days after rising to as high as 50 F in recent days. This is the fourth time sine January that this has happend. As a consequence of this see saw in temps most of the peaches on my young tree have fallen off. The same thing has happened to my neighbor’s cherry tree, and also to other fruit trees in the area. I am glad that I waited on my garden because the swings in temps would have stunted or killed any garden plants.

I think that temps will remain to the cool side through the entire spring, and probably through most of the summer as well. I note that low temps in Antarctica just hit minus 92 F. That seems a bit early for such a deep low. I have a feeling that Antarctica is going to have a deep cold winter this year. Australia is cooler than I have ever seen in the years that I have been watching. They had no heat waves down there in this last summer comparative to recent years.

roaddog
Reply to  goldminor
May 5, 2022 10:49 pm

And if I recall correctly, last winter was unusually cold in Antarctica as well.

Motheroftoddlers
May 5, 2022 10:53 pm

I’ve lived in Colorado Springs for 15 years and Colorado for 20 come the end of May. The last three Spring seasons have been odd in that we’ve actually had Spring. Usually, we have a very dry, sometimes warm, January and February, then we have Winter, part two, in March, April, and May. I have pictures of my kids playing in 9” of snow the day they were supposed to start Summer break four years ago. These last three years, the snow has stopped in January or February, followed by nearly shorts weather from the end of March onward. Last year I don’t think we had a single monsoonal thunderstorm in the Summer. I attribute this to the La Niña pattern that’s developed since the end of the strong El Niño in 2016. We had a few years of residual moisture, now we’re in the heart of the La Niña and the weather is behaving exactly as predicted for a typical La Niña. It’s cool and dry with less snow and less moisture overall. I expect this to reverse once another El Niño begins to develop.

Matt
May 6, 2022 10:38 am

Man Made Global Warming rocks ya all. We should do it more often!!! Ski baby Ski !!!!

Matt
May 6, 2022 10:40 am

Global warming is barely happening. Nothing unusual. And man has nothing to do with it. Climate suckers are narcissistic useful idiots.

Matt
May 6, 2022 10:45 am

Liberals (dems) should just be tossed aside at this point. They bought global warming; they bought RU interference; they bought many genders; they bought Orwell 1984 is good plan; they bought the plandemic; they bought it all; they even bought the bugs and ate them. They are Jack Dorsey, they are Woopie Goldberg, they are the idiots. They truly useful idiots of clown world.

tommyboy
May 7, 2022 8:41 pm

I skied Loveland Ski Resort Thursday May 5th There was plenty of good snow but the temperature was about 20 on the mountain, overcast and windy. Winter Park had to cancel most of their spring skiing events due to cold wintery conditions. Tragically no girls skiing in bikini tops this year. At Loveland near the top of lift two there’s a three foot snow fence, I’ve been skiing past it all season. Thursday only the tips of a few pickets were sticking out of the snow.

Last edited 3 months ago by tommyboy
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