“I have skied for 72 years, and I’ve never skied snow like this in June,”

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah — At the base of a slope that at this time of year usually tests the skills of mountain bikers, roughly 60 skiers and snowboarders, hoping to get first tracks on the mountain, waited for the 8 a.m. opening of the tram at Snowbird resort.

These were not bitter-enders hoping to eke out runs on a thin swatch of snow. At this northern Utah resort, it is still winter. There is hardly a bare spot on the mountain. Piles of snow line the vast parking lot. With much of the country in the grip of record-high temperatures, it was 31 degrees here Friday morning. Snowbird has announced that it will be open for snow sports three days a week until July 4. And it could stay open even later.

An unusually heavy winter snowfall and a cold, wet spring have resulted in a record snowpack in much of the mountain regions of the West. Bob Bonar, the general manager at Snowbird, said the mountain received more than 775 inches of snow this season, well above its average of 500.

“We even got 20 inches of powder over Memorial Day weekend, and our current average base is more than 15 feet,” Bonar said. “The holiday may not even be the end. We may stay open a few weekends longer if the snow stays good.”

But if the giant snowpack remains a boon to skiers at Snowbird and at Snowbasin Resort about 70 miles to the north, it has been problematic to others.

Ed Chauner, director of the Intermountain Cup Mountain Bike Racing Series, said he had to change the site of a race last month because the original site, Sundance Resort, still had 10 feet of snow. A race planned at Snowbird on July 2 is also in jeopardy because, Chauner says, “there’s still 20 feet of snow on parts of the course.”

“All this weather is killing us,” Chauner said. “No one can get out and train during the week, because it’s been so cold and wet. If they can’t train, they don’t come out to race. Our rider numbers have been way down.”

The La Niña phenomenon is behind the weather anomaly, said Lindsay Storrs, a meteorologist at KUTV in Salt Lake City. In a La Niña year, she said, cooler than normal water temperatures in the Pacific off the coast of Chile leads to cooler and wetter weather in winter and spring in the western United States.

“Troughs develop along the West Coast of the U.S. when this occurs,” Storrs said. “That allows storms to continuously drop out of the Gulf of Alaska, giving the western U.S. above average precipitation.”

Snowbird’s full parking lot is testimony to the attraction of this season’s late snow.

“I have skied for 72 years, and I’ve never skied snow like this in June,” said Eric Jucker, 75, a Swiss citizen who travels back and forth from Laguna Beach, Calif., to Salt Lake City.



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25 Responses to “I have skied for 72 years, and I’ve never skied snow like this in June,”

  1. NikFromNYC says:

    The hills are getting higher too!

    NASA’s latest image of AGW shows Earth drastically changing shape:


    • Mike Davis says:

      In spite of some rumors to the contrary, Solid Ground is not solid and continues to change shape. The globe is not a perfect sphere and will never be as long as it rotates and is affected by external gravitational forces.
      Drastic is a little over board of a descriptor but NASA tends to exaggerate to justify chasing fantasies. They already found the pot at the end of the Rainbow. It is the taxpayers pockets.

  2. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    The ski industry is in trouble because of global warming. Snow is a thing of the past.


    • Jimbo says:

      Let’s be clear. Lack of snowpack was caused by global warming. Heavy snowpack is also caused by global warming. Why can’t you people understand this simple fact???? 😦

  3. Andy WeissDC says:

    If this trend continues, the ski industry will be doomed because the lodges will be buried under too much snow. Not exactly what they had in mind.

  4. NoMoreGore says:

    What is important here is Snowbird and Alta (In little Cottonwood Canyon). They are freaking awesome. Alta Has a little trough above the Extrovert Run that I love, and Snowbird has The Circ, Gad II, Little Cloud, Silver Fox.
    There are many steep Cornice drops and tight turns between trees for the adventurous.

    You haven’t experienced life until you’ve been down STH (Steeper Than Hell) after 2 feet of fresh snow. But the liftline at the top of GAD II is/was un-named and truly a test on icy days. When you come to the top of a run, and it has only a sign that says: DANGER , you know you’re going to have fun. A friend of mine fell (sat down, actually) on the liftline, and slid/cartwheeled several hundred feet to the bottom. There are much more difficult places in the world, but unless you’re Glen Plake, Snowbird has a lot to offer.

  5. Ill wind blowing says:

    Global Warming warms the oceans.
    Warmer water evaporates more
    More evaporation equals more rain and snow.

    Next, we shall sing the A.B.Cs.

    • Temperatures have been far below normal out west. The water in the Pacific Ocean has been far below normal. You should pay attention to what is actually happening in the real world.

      • Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

        Ill Wind likes to use bolds. He wants to make sure no one can miss how FUBAR he is.

      • Russ says:

        It picked a proper name for it’s self, with all that hot atomsphere it exudes here. The name of illwind blowing is befitting of you, but maybe you should have used “The Sky is falling again”, but one of your fellow cronies probably has that taken and registered it at GO Daddy or something.

      • Ill wind blowing says:

        “Temperatures have been far below normal out west.”
        Thank you for throwing that cherry at me. Here’s my cherry:

        Now if you get tired of this cherry fight there is always:

        On your buddy’s chart, you can compare our current La NIna month of May with the last La Nina month of May in 2008.

        The water in the Pacific Ocean has been far below normal.”

        There is a girl by the name of La Nina. She is always being chased by a boy called El Nino. Or is it the other way around?

        “You should pay attention to what is actually happening in the real world.”

        Who was it that predicted that the Arctic ice cap would regrow to 1979 extent in a couple of years and rethicken to 1979 levels in a few years? (amazing how 8, 9, and 10 year ice could sprout in just a few years)

    • suyts says:

      Not to mention all of the predictions of drought, if the west gets more snow, there’s no drought.

    • Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

      Ill Wind

      you somehow missed where global warming scientists said winters would end sooner. It’s been Spring for a long time and it’s almost Summer. This precipitation you speak of should be rain and not snow.

      • Jimbo says:

        According to Ill Wind when we have declining snowcover then it’s a sign of global cooling. They want to have their cake and eat it. The AGW scam is coming appart at the seams. 🙂

    • M White says:

      “Global Warming warms the oceans.
      Warmer water evaporates more
      More evaporation equals more rain and snow”

      So what about a cooling ocean

    • rw says:

      Then why were all the models predicting less snow 5 years ago? (My reference, which I don’t have right at hand, is a Geophysical Research Letters review from around 2005.)

      It’s one thing to change one’s predictions, but the change has to be justified. You can’t just say one thing one year and the then switch to the opposite without even acknowledging the alteration. That’s not scientific; in fact it’s pathological.

    • rw says:

      You guys really went around the bend when you started claiming that global warming will lead to greater snowfall. You’d have been much better off saying that this is a temporary effect occluding the general warming trend. The fact that you don’t say this is revealing. (Hint: you’re giving the game away!)

    • rw says:

      The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. He is the man who has lost everything except his reason

      G. K. Chesterton

    • Jimbo says:

      Ill wind blowing

      The lack of snow was also blamed on global warming. The Warmists inability to stick to their line is what is losing them support. By the way, ice ages start with global warming. 😉

    • I’m fairly certain that Utah is in the west, and that the moisture comes from the north Pacific Ocean. Both of which have been cold.

  6. John of Cloverdale WA (Aus) says:

    I have been surfing for 55 years and the surfbreaks and the low lying coastal properties are still there. Where is this great acceleration in sea level (due to “carbon” pollution) that will inundate our Australian coastline? I bet my grandchildren will be surfing the same spots and some may even be able to afford the same low lying coastal property in front of those breaks. By the way surfers, thank god for the petrochemical industry otherwise we couldn’t rip.

  7. Andy WeissDC says:

    hot=global warming
    cold=global warming
    wet=global warming
    dry=global warming
    little snow=global warming
    lots of snow=global warming
    rise in sea level=global warming
    no rise in sea level=global warming
    Easier than singing your A.B.C’s! You are sure to get your grant, no matter what the weather.

  8. Squidly says:

    This is contradictory to other research findings. It has been reported for a few decades now that the Earth is “rounding”, NOT bulging. I am wondering why this report is different, also is from 2002.

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