Photo by Jason Sumner
Playing the snow report lottery
December 15, 2008 —
My mornings are filled with routine. Most of it is standard stuff: get up, brush teeth, shower, make breakfast and coffee, get to work. But on ski days, which usually fall on the weekends save for the occasional hooky day, the first order of business (sometimes before ‘get up’ thanks to the iPhone) is the snow report check.
I liken it to playing the lottery. I’ve got my numbers — or in this case potential places to ski that day. The snow report is the newspaper, informing me whether or not I’m holding a winning ticket.
This information is collected via a quick Internet surf session that typically includes visits to the Colorado Ski County USA website (for all Colorado areas except Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Breckenridge), Snow.com (report locale for the Vail Resorts quartet ever since it split from CSCUSA), and of course RealVail.com, which posts reports from both sites and boasts critical local knowledge 411.
And unlike the real lottery, where winning is a pipedream, these snow reports often deliver good news. That was certainly the case this past weekend, when in 48 hours every resort in the state scored at least seven inches of white fluffy fun.
The bad news was that, in continuing with my lottery analogy, I only managed to match a few numbers. Reason being is that my initial foray into the 2008-2009 season happened to be in Breckenridge where I spent the weekend at a buddy’s condo. And unlike the lucky folks at Vail, Beaver Creek and almost everywhere else in the Centennial State, Breck didn’t get the big dump.
On Sunday, while all my RealVail friends were boot deep in a foot of fresh, Summit County was claiming only 5 inches of new. Funny thing is, I found myself bemoaning our “bad” luck, telling my friend Ryan how we would have been better off driving to Vail.
But Ryan, being the positive thinking guy he is, looked at it the other way. Sure, a 12-inch day at Vail is about as good as it gets, but it’s not like we were having a bad time at Breck. The skier’s right runs off Chair 6 were in great shape, and we even caught a rope drop on the south side of Horseshoe Bowl where the only tracks ahead of us were ski patrol zig zags. And by staying put, we saved ourselves $25 in parking fees and at least an extra two hours in the car, which for better or worse is always a crucial consideration for the Front Range skier.
The point of all this, you ask? Well, call it an early New Year’s resolution. My goal for the ’08-09 ski season — besides 40 days — is to start looking at snow report lotto tickets just as I would the real thing. Sure, you always want to match all the numbers, but there’s certainly no reason to bum out when you hit two or three.
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