Please observe 20mph posted speed limits and adjusting your driving according to weather and road conditions.
How is snow reported?
Snow report data is from a mid mountain elevation of 11,800’ on the northside of the mountain. The peak of the mountain is 13,487’ and top of chair is near 12,300’. We don’t report upper elevation snow depths on our own site, but other sites request an upper elevation total which we take from the high alpine. The upper elevation snow is much deeper than at the top of the chair.
Is there windloading?
You bet. The whole mountain gets consistently windloaded and is one reason why the snow is usually so deep and skiing so nice. The mountain collects snow like a catcher’s mitt. The snow data is from an area below ridgeline as leeward ridgelines get silly amounts of snow that are not representative of overall snow depth.
Why is thin snow cover on the ridgetop if you have such a deep base in the snow report?
The wind scours the tops of ridges and deposits the snow on the leeward sides. Snow does not fall in an even blanket like it does at lower elevations. Some aspects with more sun may hold less snow than shaded north aspects.
Aren’t snow report base depths supposed to be from the base area elevation?
No. All ski areas report from a mid mountain base depth. Base depths are reported from an area of undisturbed and uncompacted snow. When skiers ski on snow it packs it down and it becomes much denser.
Does snow settle on its own?
Yes. Snow naturally settles over time as air escapes and snow crystals lose their form. 34” of new light density snow may settle to boot high snow over a few days.