Snow Reports

Ed – First tracks on First Slide, two days running.

I think only the most naive would expect snow reports to be completely free of spin. Conventional wisdom is that people decide whether or not to ski based on the numbers that are publicized, so there’s a big incentive for resorts to be a little careless with the truth. Red Mountain is no exception. We’ve had a little new snow overnight these past three days, by my best estimation 3cm, 10cm, and 5cm (making for great shallow powder skiing these past two days), but the snow report has advertised 5cm, 6cm, and 10cm. The long term pattern is of exaggerating snowfall, both daily and in the cumulative total. Not an earth shattering issue, but one that contributes to the prevailing sense amongst skiers that Red Mountain is disrespectful and/or incompetent in this regard. I just want accurate information so that I can make informed decisions about my day. Most people I talk to assume that the information (snowfall data) is provided by those who are trained and experienced, and record the data every morning (ski patrol), to those responsible for publicizing it (marketing department). Unfortunately this is not the case, with the marketing department relying on their own personnel and systems, which clearly don’t work so well. A casual disregard for accuracy is also expressed in claims to Red’s average annual snowfall, currently claimed to be 750cm (295 inches). According to the data from the past 6 years that Red makes available on their website (also based on their own spurious recording) the average is 513cm (201.81 inches), and the best year (2007/8) was 649cm . The reality is that Red gets consistent, moderate amount’s of snow (with occasional snowy exceptions), but that many other places get significantly more. Regardless, what makes this a great place to ski is the extent and variety of challenging ski terrain, the consistency, coverage and skiablity of the snow we do get, and the relatively low volume of skier traffic. I suggest telling it and selling it as it is.



Filed under Eclectica, Red Mountain

2 responses to “Snow Reports

  1. gid

    Love the write up! Classic.

  2. Andrew

    Good article. How do these numbers compare to the official snowdata ( and the figures in Tony Crocker’s “Your Guide to Snowfall?”
    As an avid snowfall enthusiast, I share some of your skepticism, but you may be a little hard on Red. For example, do annual totals include snowfall in April (after ski area closes)?

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