Mike McPhillips uses his smartphone to video his grandchildren skiing at Steamboat Ski Area on Wednesday. McPhillips, in town from Cocoa Beach, Fla. with his family, was enjoying the week. "There's more sun here than in Florida," he said.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Mike McPhillips uses his smartphone to video his grandchildren skiing at Steamboat Ski Area on Wednesday. McPhillips, in town from Cocoa Beach, Fla. with his family, was enjoying the week. "There's more sun here than in Florida," he said.

Steamboat tops 300 inches of season snowfall with 31 days remaining in ski season

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— In the midst of a ski season when powder sometimes has come in intense bursts followed by quiet periods, Steamboat Ski Area passed a snow landmark this week with 307 inches of season snowfall accumulating at mid-mountain. Thirty-one days remain in the ski season to boost that number.

“It’s been a snowy season so far and with the recent snow, Steamboat-Ski Town, U.S.A. is one of only three resorts in Colorado with a summit base over 100 inches,” Chris Diamond, president & chief operating officer for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., was quoted saying in a press release.

Diamond added that the 307 inches at mid-mountain equates to more than 25.5 feet of snow. The base on the summit now stands at 102 inches thanks to 353.5 inches that has fallen above 10,000 feet on Storm Peak.

Breckenridge was reporting 361 inches of season snowfall Wednesday at its mid-point, which is at 11,237 feet.

The ski area just emerged from a storm cycle that as of 5 a.m. Wednesday yielded 4 inches at mid-mountain and 8 inches at the summit in the preceding 24 hours, 7 inches at mid-mountain and 9 at the summit in 48 hours, and 20 inches at mid-mountain and 28 inches at the summit for March.

Steamboat has seen 40 inches in October; 47.5 inches in November; 60.25 inches in December; 79.25 inches in January; 60 inches in February; and 20 inches in March, according to the ski area.

Steamboat has logged 19 days this winter through Thursday when 6 inches of snow or more fell in the 24 hours preceding the morning ski report. Ironically, six of those abundant powder mornings arrived before the ski area's opening day. The early snow made for good opening days conditions Nov. 25.

Late November was dry and the first real freshies of the season arrived for skiers with 9 inches at mid-mountain Dec. 4. Another 4 inches was recorded Dec. 8 with 6 more Dec. 9.

After 10 days of modest snowfall in mid-December, the storms intensified beginning Dec. 20. After back-to-back accumulations of 3 inches, Dec. 22 produced 7.5 inches and Dec. 23 nearly doubled up with 13.5 inches. Holiday skiers enjoyed 3 inches of overnight fluff on top of that base on Christmas Eve and again Christmas Day.

Things turned quiet in the last week of the month with just 2.25 inches additional snow by Dec. 31.

The New Year got off to a rapid start with 59.25 inches at mid-mountain by Jan. 14. That included 16 inches at mid-mountain Jan. 4 to 6 with 9 inches on the morning snow report Jan. 5. Skiers and riders who headed straight to the top of the mountain found 15 inches had fallen in 24 hours.

The summit of Storm Peak was the place to be Jan. 10 to 15 with 23 inches of fresh snow in six days.

But then, things went quiet and Steamboat saw just 4 inches of snow in 14 days until the dry spell was broken with 8 inches of new snow Jan. 30 and another 7 inches Jan. 31. The trend continued right into February with 24 inches in the first 14 days of the month. There was only one day in the first two weeks of the month when at least 1 inch of snowfall wasn’t measured at mid-mountain.

Still, double digit powder days have been hard to come by this ski season — the biggest daily snow total in that time frame was the 7 inches recorded Feb. 9.

The month of February finished with 80 inches recorded at the summit.

Seven of the first 12 days in March came through with measurable snow at mid-mountain but Wednesday’s 4 inches topped the list.

The ski season comes to a close April 13.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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