Friday, June 18, 2010
World of Wonders
After I wrote yesterday's screed, I heard that Kirkwood is going to offer lift tickets over the Fourth of July Weekend! In disbelief, I clicked over to Kirkwood's Website, and sure enough they were touting their Independence Day Weekend Wares!
This got me thinking, and I remembered a website headquartered near the Ancestral Digs that publishes snow reports, deals on resorts and travel, and everything winter sports related. I found the site via an article in the Contra Costa Times newspaper's Business Section that announced the local website's acquisition by Mountain News Corp.
My first experience with OnTheSnow.com was a little embarassing...they said Donner Ski Ranch was going to be open over Memorial Day Weekend (along with Squaw Valley and Mammoth, that actually were open). I messaged Jeweler the news, and he was nonplussed. Then I checked the Ranch's website and discovered OnTheSnow's error (as well as my own!)
Interestingly like Kirkwood, Donner Ski Ranch also is taking advantage of the 09/10 Season's bountiful snowpack and they will turn their Lift #2 on Saturday June 19th and Sunday June 20th as part of their WEROCK Festival combining 4x4 Rock Crawling competition with almost summer skiing, live music and BBQs.
I returned to OnTheSnow.com and poked around and saw some more skiing opportunities coming online this Summer. The Theodul Glacier above Zermatt Switzerland opens for skiing on June 26th. Here in North America, SoCal's Mammoth Mountain, Mt Hood's Timberline Lodge are open for sliding. OnTheSnow.com says Alyeska in Alaska is open too...but their website doesn't say there's any lifts spinning. Most of their webcams show lush green grass, not piste.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Planet...there's one week of Fall left in the Southern Hemisphere. There's already a few Ski Resorts open in New Zealand and Australia! I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that these are Glacier Skiing places.
Looking back at our season...this one might be the longest on record. Remember the big September Cold Snap that allowed a Colorado Resort to open one chair serving three trails with man-made snow on October 6th? By firing up their Snowmaking System on September 21st, Loveland pulled off their earliest opener in 40 years.
Mammoth Mountain will end their 2009/2010 season on July 4th. Doing the Math...that looks like two days shy of 10 months! I shudder to think of running a Groomer for 10 months...I love what I do...but there are limits!
It seems I can't stop once I get going...I took a look at the Climate Prediction Center's latest 90 Day Outlook Discussion, and the CPC has all but predicted a La Niña beginning this Summer! I'm going to stew a few days before I venture a guess on what this means in our new PDO-Negative Era...