Steamboat Springs Steamboat Ski Area just put the wraps on a ski season that provided skiers and riders with above-average snow without the advantage of a single month with 100 inches of snowfall at mid-mountain.
In fact, there wasn’t a month this winter that topped 80 inches at mid-mountain, though January missed by just three-quarters of an inch.
10 years of season snowfall totals in inches
Mount Werner got a boost from a record 40 inches of snowfall at Thunderhead in October this winter. For the season, 346 inches fell at mid-mountain and 409.5 inches at the summit.
Ironically, the season ended April 13 with a big storm, but the total snow didn’t show up on the final ski report of the season.
Some of that spooky October snow likely didn’t carry over into the beginning of the ski season Nov. 27, but some of it did, and the ski area got off to a great start with 47.5 inches in November and 60.25 inches in December. (It’s interesting to note that December 2012 saw 105.25 inches, but ski season 2012-13 snowfall finished just behind this past winter, with 335 inches at mid-mountain).
The best powder day of the season at mid-mountain arrived Dec. 23 with 13.5 inches on the morning snow report. That snow blast landed in the middle of a six-day run ending Christmas Day that saw 27 inches accumulate at Thunderhead.
What powder dogs enjoyed in 2013-14 was frequent snows that regularly refreshed the slopes.
John Peretz, who ticked another item off his bucket list in the ski season that just ended by skiing 102 days, said he would take frequent snow over a handful of big dumps any season.
“The skiing and conditions this year were spectacular,” Peretz said. “It was spectacular almost from Day 1. It was a lot of 4- and 6-inch dumps, which was perfect. It seemed like every time it was getting ready to be not so good, the snow kept coming.”
Another way to express what Peretz observed is that, according to Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. records, there was not a single double-digit morning snow report at mid-mountain after Dec. 31. However, there were 51 days with measurable snow at mid-mountain beginning Jan. 1. And during one six-day period, Jan. 10 to 15, 32.25 inches of snow accumulated at mid-mountain and 41 inches blanketed the summit.
Let there be no doubt, days three, four and five of that stretch were powder days.
Peretz, who runs his own company, made sure to hit the powder days this winter by rising early and beginning his workday at 5 a.m. He took his daily ski break from 8:30 to 11 a.m., then went back to work.
“Since I moved here in 2005, I was bound and determined to ski 100 days,” he said. “I think it’s a lot easier now with smartphones” to allow remote workers to stay in touch with clients.
If it weren’t for the fact that he had to have surgery in late March, Peretz might have skied 118 days in a winter that will be remembered for consistent snow.
The number of days with measurable snow at mid-mountain included, by the month: October, nine; November, 11; December, 18; January, 16; February, 18; March, 13; and April, 4, for a total of 89 days with new snow. There was another handful of days when no snow was reported at mid-mountain but a small amount fell on the summit.
And skiing isn’t done in Colorado for the season. Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Mountain, Copper Mountain, Loveland, Snowmass and Winter Park all were open Wednesday with mid-mountain bases of 64 to 89 inches. A-Basin intends to remain open until an undetermined date in June.
Skiers and riders can stay up to date with conditions at www.coloradoski.com.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1