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Fri, Dec

SnoNews

The latest news, deals, and events from ski resorts throughout North America.

SnoCountry SnoCast: Strong Western Systems, Eastern Lake Effect

Crystal-Mountain-Washington

Crystal Mountain in Washington opened Wednesday. (Crystal Mountain/Facebook)

A powerful weather system delivers heavy snow across the West through Friday, then leads to lake effect snow during the weekend for the East.

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Bavaria Comes To Oktoberfests In The West

Breck-Oktoberfest

Celebrations at Breck. (Breckenridge/Facebook)

As if to say auf wiedersehene to summer and willkommen to winter, Oktoberfest in the Western mountains is celebrated just as the seasons pivot away from fun-in-the-sun and toward the upcoming ski and snowboard season.

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Mammoth Finally Calls It A Season

Mammoth-Summer-Boarder

Good times kept rollin' at Mammoth. (Mammoth Mountain/Facebook)

It will take a record 270 days, but Mammoth Mountain will finally put an end to the 2016-2017 ski and snowboard season Aug. 6.

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Keep On Keepin' On At Western Resorts

Hittin' the summer ski scene at Squaw. (Squaw Valley/Facebook)

Hittin' the summer ski scene at Squaw. (Squaw Valley/Facebook)

After one of the best snow season in recent times, a quartet of Western mountains will keep the lifts turning well into what should be the season for sun-bathing and surfing.

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Endless Winter: Where To Keep Skiing, Riding In West

Endless Winter: Where To Keep Skiing, Riding In West

Squaw-Alpine wants to stay open all summer. (Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows/Facebook)

A bonanza year in much of the Sierra Nevada and plenty of late-season snow in the Rockies will keep a dozen ski and snowboard resorts operating into May and beyond.

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Aspen Skiing Company, KSL Partners To Acquire Mammoth Mountain

Aspen Skiing Company, KSL Partners To Acquire Mammoth Mountain

Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Partners are purchasing four California resorts, including Mammoth Mountain.

Moving quickly after purchasing Intrawest resorts, a new Aspen-based ownership group announced it has bought Mammoth Mountain and three other resorts in the Southern California mountains.


The heretofore unnamed entity, formed by Aspen Skiing Corp. and KSL Capital Partners, said it will close this fall on a sale of a quartet of areas including Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain.

The announcement comes on the heels of the group’s industry-rocking purchase of Colorado’s Steamboat and Winter Park, Quebec’s Mont Tremblant, Vermont’s Stratton, Ontario’s Blue Mountain and West Virginia’s Snowshoe. The four Aspen mountains and Squaw Valley-Alpine, a KSL property, will come under the umbrella of the new group but will continue to operate independently.

Because both purchases aren’t expected to be finalized until next fall, resort-specific season tickets will be honored for next season. So will the M.A.X. Pass, Rocky Mountain Super Pass and Mountain Collective that overlap into the partnership’s new portfolio in various ways.

“We had greater plans for Mammoth but the Great Recession and then some less favorable weather, interfered with our strategic aspirations in a finite life investment vehicle,” said Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital Group that owned Mammoth and the other resorts “We know Aspen and KSL have the experience, commitment, and balance sheet to help make our vision a reality.”

No upgrading plans have been announced yet, but indications are that the new entity has the capital to put into improvements at these resorts – for both winter and summer. However, official statements have noted that coordinating e-commerce technology among all the resorts will a high priority in order to expand the marketing capabilities of all the mountains.

The move by Aspen Skiing Corp. to acquire and consolidate some 15 resorts under the Aspen-KSL roof is seen by industry officials as a response to Vail Resort’s two-decade effort to acquire 14 resorts across the U.S. and Canada.



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Season Extensions Lengthen Around Tahoe

Season Extensions Lengthen Around Tahoe

Deep powder prevails at Heavenly (Heavenly/Facebook)

Both Heavenly Mountain and Northstar were slated to shut down their lifts on April 16, but massive snowfall this winter – more than 50 feet total in some places – changed things.

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Mammoth Open Till Fourth Of July

Mammoth Open Till Fourth Of July

Plenty of pow at Mammoth. (Mammoth/Facebook)

The sudden turn of fortune for Mammoth Mountain – and the rest of the Sierra – has prompted the California resort to stay open until the Fourth of July.


Officials said a record month in December, another 20 feet in January and more to come made the decision easy. This season’s July 4 closing is the first time since 2010-2011 season when nearly 56 feet – 668 inches -- piled up.

Mammoth

Not only are skiers and snowboarders stoked by the record snowfall, California water officials are too: The snowpack in the Eastern Sierra is 173 percent of normal – with several months of winter to go.

Since Mammoth opened for the 1969-70 season, there have been six seasons with more than 500 inches falling from the sky, according to stats from mammothsnowman.com. The bleakest winter at the California mountain came in 1976-77 when a mere 96 inches came down – with none in December!

Thigh-deep in powder Mammoth

 

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The Rich Get Richer: Storms Keep On California

The Rich Get Richer: Storms Keep On California

Mammoth's mammoth weathers the storm. (Mammoth/Facebook)

After a month of January that put up to 20 feet on the ground in the Sierra, you’d figure things would calm down at bit. But before that happens, there’s a couple of more feet on the way.


OpenSnow.com forecasters say that snow at Tahoe-area resorts should drop between one and two feet this weekend – and storms will stick around for another couple of days beyond that. Up north, Washington and Oregon resorts should benefit as the jet stream shifts to a more northern route in February.

“We should see a break Saturday night into Sunday but with winds picking back up,” said OpenSnow’s Bryan Allegretto about Tahoe. “Then another storm moves in Sunday night into Monday. This storm also has snow levels near lake level until falling later Monday. We could see 3-10 inches at lake level, and 4-15 inches on the mountains by Monday night.”

Plowing at Mammoth

For example, China Peak was expected to get more than a foot over the weekend, pause on Monday, and then get ready for up to four more feet next week, according to OpenSnow forecasts.

Get out the snorkel at China Peak

This on top of a month of January that recalled years gone by when double-digit snowfalls were standard. At Mammoth Mountain, the month included one-day dumps of 42 inches (Jan. 4) and 91 inches total in the week of Jan. 7-13. Total for the month topped 200 inches.

No more need for these guys this winter

California water officials say that the month’s moist largesse helped replenish a third of the state’s “water deficit,” refilled reservoirs and setting up for a spring melt that would refurbish some of the state’s groundwater supply. But they warned that without consistent precipitation, the benefits of the winter’s snow bonanza will diminish fairly soon.



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SnoCountry SnoCast: Extremely Active West, Colder Turn In The East

SnoCountry SnoCast: Extremely Active West, Colder Turn In The East

Mammoth Mountain boasts 24-46" in just 24 hours as of Wednesday. A steady plume of moisture means rounds of big time snow out west. (Mammoth Mountain/Facebook)

Happy Wednesday, all. It’s the best time of the week, SnoCast time! Let’s dig into this week’s forecast and find out where the best conditions will be for hitting the slopes. 

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