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

SnoCountry SnoCast: Making Turns Into March

SnoCountry SnoCast: Making Turns Into March

This is what 75" of snow in 7 days looks like at Snowbird. (Chris Segal)
We're turning the calendar into March, and still looking for some good turns on the slopes. While February was a blur, much of the country basked in warmer than normal temperatures. Looks like some colder air moves in for the start of the new month. 

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Free Ski School 75 Years Old at Lookout Pass

Free Ski School 75 Years Old at Lookout Pass

Lookout Pass powder run. (Lookout Pass/Facebook)

Who says there’s nothing free in the world? Every Saturday at Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation, dozens of youngsters will hit the slopes for instruction in skiing and snowboarding – without cost.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Winter Weather Going Strong

SnoCountry SnoCast: Winter Weather Going Strong

With over 20 feet of snow in January, Mammoth Mountain set a new monthly record for snowfall. More snow in the forecast here turning into February. (Mammoth Mountain/Twitter)

It’s shaping up to be an active week across the U.S. ski areas with plenty of opportunities for snow. And after an unusually warm January in Canada, colder weather (and snow) return to the forecast picture, too. Check it out in this week’s SnoCast.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: New Year, New Snow!

SnoCountry SnoCast: New Year, New Snow!

More snow on the way turning the corner to 2017. Read on to see what's cookin' in this week's SnoCast with meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin. (National Weather Service)

We’re saying “peace out, 2016”, and hello to a beautiful new (hopefully snow-filled) 2017. Our resolution to ski and ride more in 2017 will be no problem with a Nor’easter in the East to finish this week, and a more active pattern digging into the West after the turn of the new year.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: "Chilling" Like Mid-Winter

SnoCountry SnoCast: "Chilling" Like Mid-Winter

Layers will be key as you hit the slopes this week! With the right precautions, nothing can stop skiers and riders from getting the fresh snow at Jay Peak Resort where a quick hit of arctic cold air is followed by some fresh snow for the weekend. (Photo: Christopher Kurdek)

We are going to see some temp swings both in the East and West in this week’s outlook. From warm ups to January-like cold snaps, and snow in between, here’s the breakdown of the forecast in this week's SnoCast.


 

We’re in mid December, the holidays are coming right up, and the ski conditions look great. Last winter was (not so fondly) "the winter that wasn't" for a lot of the East, no thanks to very warm temps. This year...much better! About 40 percent of the U.S. has snow on the ground, and nearly 100 percent of Canada. Compared to this time last year, many ski resorts are happy leading into the holidays. 

Snow cover comparison from this year to last year.

This week's outlook (Dec. 14-19) is quite a different story. Unlike last year with warm temps, we are in for some really chilly snaps that will have you digging for the layers before hitting the slopes in some areas. Oh, and snow, too. Here's what to expect by region.

Northeast: It seems we keep getting hit after hit of snow in the Northeast. While each system is generally small and quick moving, it has helped generate good early season skiing and riding. It’s going to be brutally cold (like, lots of layers and frequent 'pop-ins to the lodge’ cold) to finish this week. Most ski areas will have temps below zero in the mornings in New York and New England, and daytime highs in the single digits Friday. That arctic chill breaks a bit for the weekend, though, as a system moves through the Great Lakes. Expect a few inches of fresh snow on the mountains Saturday. Get out early before milder temps build back in through the day (and maybe a little mixed precip). The numbers below show the GFS model output, but do not account for any melting after as temps climb Saturday-Sunday. Look for another quick cold snap behind that system for early next week.

Snow forecast from the GFS (American) model

 

MidWest:A forecast with “book-end” arctic air for our Midwest ski areas this week. Bone-chilling mornings and mid-winter like days finish this work week. Look for a small shot of natural snow later Friday night into Saturday as a quick moving system drops a few inches of snow. That system pulls in yet another taste of arctic air to follow for early next week. One word: layers.

West: Western ski areas may also have some temperature swings to deal with this week. A storm system moving through northern California has tons of moisture with it Wednesday-Thursday (Dec. 14-15), but snow levels will be very high as warmer air comes in from the Pacific. As that system pushes inward, there will be enough cold air to get snow over Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming mountains Thursday and lingering into the start of the weekend. Look for the highest amounts, a foot or more, over the Wasatch of Utah and the Wyoming Wind River and Teton Ranges. Get out Friday for best conditions, since bitter cold air pours in by the weekend for a lot of the interior west mountains. Another quick shot of snow comes into the Pacific Northwest (Washington/Oregon Cascades) Sunday with a few more inches.

Snow forecast from the European ensemble output model.

Canada: Certainly enough cold air to go around now. Very cold, arctic air will dip through eastern Canada finishing this work week. Another pocket of cold, arctic air also swings through central Canada over the weekend. So, where’s the snow? The storm system mentioned in the Northeast section will deliver several inches of snow for ski areas in Ontario and Quebec Saturday. There will be plenty of time to make snow for ski areas with ample cold in place. Look for deeper moisture over British Columbia, the coastal range and Rockies by the end of the weekend and especially early next week. This will likely bring big accumulation over several days, really picking up intensity sometime mid next week. We’ll be talking about that in next week’s SnoCast. 

Cold temps remain in place for Canada over the next 5 days 

That's all 'til next week's SnoCast.

Special thanks to Lyndon State College students Amanda Stone, Chris Kurdek, and Scott Myerson for weekly contributions and forecasts.

 

 

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SnoCountry SnoCast: December Arrives, Cold Not Far Behind

SnoCountry SnoCast: December Arrives, Cold Not Far Behind

Over 100" have already fallen at the higher mountains of British Columbia this season--including Whistler.  (Whistler Blackcomb/Facebook)

While there will be some temp swings in the days ahead, there will be opportunities for snow in many areas. Looking in the longer term, it looks like the coldest air of the season will settle in to some of the country in the not too distant future.

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Tamarack Home Owners Rescue Resort … Again

Tamarack Home Owners Rescue Resort … Again

The future seems brighter at Tamarack, thanks to home owners (Tamarack/Facebook)

The home owners at Tamarack Resort have once again dug in their heels and assured that the troubled Idaho mountain will be open for skiing and snowboarding this season.


The Tamarack Municipal Association paid off nearly $270,000 in back taxes to the county and now has control of winter and summer operations, including six lifts, lodging, food and beverage services, and a zipline. From 2009 to 2014, the resort has been run by the homeowners association that encompasses some 400 properties around the base of the mountain, until a management firm took over last season.


The future of a number of other properties around the base area still must be determined, likely through public tax auction, but all the facilities necessary to operate the 900-acre ski and snowboard mountain are in place for this season – and possibly beyond.


Tamarack

“The long-term outlook is very positive, because the owners can be very proactive towards finding developers and investors to help finish our unfinished real estate projects,” GM Brad Larson told local media.


Opening date for 2016-2017 season is set for Dec. 9, and season tickets are on sale at $419 for adults until Nov. 14. In addition, the central Idaho resort has begun holding job fairs for winter employment.


Officials believe that the solidity in ownership will re-establish the Tamarack and its 2,800 feet of vertical as a destination for both regional skiers and riders from Boise, and those from Spokane, Seattle and Portland.


Tamarack was opened in 2004 as a year-round, major destination resort. But plans got waylaid in 2008, when the former owner disappeared and his banker, Credit Suisse, had to assume the assets. The bank was the sole bidder in a bankruptcy auction.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Making Snow In East; Stormy Northwest

SnoCountry SnoCast: Making Snow In East; Stormy Northwest

Jackson Hole may see snow at upper elevations from the coming storm. (Jackson Hole Mountain Resort)

Get ready, skiers and riders. There are more early signs that the season isn’t far away.

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Schweitzer’s New Summit Lodge Offers Views, Culinary Options

Schweitzer’s New Summit Lodge Offers Views, Culinary Options

Rendering shows what new three-story lodge will look like. (Schweitzer Mountain Resort)

For the first time, skiers and snowboarders on Schweitzer Mountain will be able to unbuckle and kick back right on the mountain.

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Checking In On El Niño As Western Season Winds Down

Grand Targhee powThe Pacific Ocean warming phenomenon known as El Niño came roaring into the West this winter with great promise of above-average snowfall for all. For some resorts, that was true -- but not for all.

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Ski, Snowboard Ambassadors Of The Year Named

Ski Ambassador of YearAri Gutman, a physician from Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, has been named the Ski Ambassador of the Year for the Learn to Ski and Snowboard (Month)/Bring a Friend initiative. Dr. Gutman took his two sons, Jonathan (14) and Matthew (13) to Spring Mountain, Pennsylvania for lessons and entered the Bring a Friend Challenge.

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Shiffrin, Steigler End Season On High Notes; 1-2 In National GS At Sun Valley

Resi Steigler at NationalsIn the final day of action at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships in front of a big crowd of ski racing fans at Sun Valley, Idaho, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO – U.S. Ski Team) wrapped up the season with her second national title in giant slalom Sunday.

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Shiffrin, Chodounsky Bring 'A' Game To U.S. Slalom Final

David Choudounsky wins US SlalomMikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) and David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) brought their "A" game to the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships slalom at Sun Valley, Idaho, proving to the rest of the field that it’s hard to beat two of the best slalom skiers in the world.

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Good First Year For Idaho Nonprofit Soldier Mountain

Soldier Mt.The new owners of Soldier Mountain have had a nice first year at the central Idaho day-trip mountain – and now local charities will join in the good fortune.

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Bogus Basin Forced To Ditch $199 Season Pass Sale

Bogus BasinSales for next year’s season passes are beginning earlier and earlier, with competition slicing prices to the bone. But one Idaho resort has decided that enough is enough.

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Storm Track To Deliver Big Snow To West, Upper Midwest

ForecastGroundhog Day (Feb. 2) may be one that skiers and snowboarders would like to relive day after day as an active storm track is set to move a pair of systems out of the Rockies and into the Upper Midwest, delivering potentially huge snowfall totals.

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Back To Normal: Snow Keeps On Falling All Over Idaho

TamarackSnow storms both big and small have been rolling into the mountains of Idaho since Thanksgiving, giving skiers and snowboarders what they want for the holidays and beyond – and erasing memories of a couple of lean years on the slopes.

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'Uphillers' At Western Resorts Grow In Popularity, Rules, Regulations

A-Basin upholdersOn any given day at winter resorts in the West, dozens of people on skis, snowshoes or foot can be seen heading out of the base area to get in a run within resort boundaries without riding the lift.

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Idaho Resorts Welcome New Season With Upgrades; New Triple At Pomerelle

New chair at PomerelleSki and snowboard resorts all over Idaho have lifted the ropes on the 2015-2016 season as timely snow and low temps have produced solid bases at most of the state’s 17 mountains.

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Idaho Resorts Forge Into New Season; New And Improved Lodges, Terrain

Sun Valley LodgeLast year’s tough winter in Idaho hasn’t deterred projects at a number of resorts that aim to upgrade everything from mountain terrain to on-mountain lodges to overnight accommodations.

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