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Another great month of snow for the Vail Valley
VR environmental director Luke Cartin on Tuesday's powder day
Photo by Reid Griebling 

Another great month of snow for the Vail Valley

By Reid Griebling

February 29, 2008 —  Vail Mountain saw 95 inches of snow during the month of February, and March is annually one of the wettest months in the Centennial State.(Beaver Creek was not available at the time). And with spring slowly creeping upon us, daytime temperatures will begin to soften the snow on the south facing aspects of both Vail and the Beav'. This freeze-thaw pattern will continue throughout the remainder of the ski season, and with it, are some local tips that can help those of you who are unfamiliar. Temperatures during the overnight period are still well below freezing, keeping the snow cold, however, when the sunrises and begins to warm the air, the snow on the mountains begins to "thaw" giving snow-riders soft and very fun snow conditions. During the morning hours on the mountain, skiing on trails that are ungroomed can be a nightmare. There are many different names for these snow conditions: death cookies, chicken heads, and my favorite, the coral reef. None of these names sound good for snow-riding; and they aren't. Until after the noon hour, the best skiing on the mountain will be on the groomed trails. Be sure to pick up a grooming report at the base of every lift each morning.

Groomed trails will vary each day, so be sure to check with anyone wearing a yellow jacket. Also, be aware that many of the Back Bowls will be closed until the snow softens, please feel free to ask anyone in a yellow or red jacket if the bowls are open and respect the rope closures that are put in place, they are there for your safety. The weather for the upcoming weekend looks favorable for more snowfall. Saturday looks warm with increasing winds from the west.

Temperatures look to reach the 30's on the mountain and 40's at the base. Winds should range anywhere from 15-25 mph during the day and increasing overnight as the next storm system makes its way into the northern mountains. Snowfall will increase after the midnight hour Saturday and continue through Sunday. We should see the bulk of the snowfall Sunday during the day as the storm moves eastward. Snow totals should range from 4-7 inches by Sunday p.m. Temperatures will be colder on Sunday, with highs in the low 20's.

Winds should range anywhere from 10-20 mph. Monday the storm moves out and leaves us under partly cloudy skies and warmer temps. Hopefully we see enough moisture and cooler temperatures to get a good amount of accumulating snow from this storm, we will watch.

Again, if you are planning on snow-riding during the morning hours, pick up a grooming report and stick to the front side of the mountain while the sun works its magic for the Back Bowls. Happy March!

- Reed



Comment on article  1 Comment on "Another great month of snow for the Vail Valley"


Luke — March 2, 2008

Another rough day at work! Your pictures came out great!



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