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4th of July skiing across the West

A result of record snowfall last winter

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6 Jul 11 - As Fourth of July weekend kicks off, people across the West are hitting the slopes from California to Colorado, said this article in USA Today. They're "donning shorts, bikini tops and Hawaiian shirts — and then they're hitting the slopes."

Interestingly, the article waxed eloquent about all of the sunshine hitting the slopes and late-lingering snowpack, but somehow neglected to mention why that massive snowpack is there. It somehow neglected to mention the record-breaking snowfall last winter - two times, four times, even an incredible seven times normal.

California's Alpine Meadows has offered Independence Day skiing just one other time in its 50-year history, while Mammoth Mountain advertised that you could "ski to your heart's content all day long."

Colorado's Arapahoe Basin Ski Area last offered skiing on Fourth of July weekend in 1997, as did Washington State's Crystal Mountain Ski Area.

At Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in Utah, 783 inches of snow this season smashed the old record of 688 inches set in the winter of 1983-84. By the time the resort closes on July 5th, it will have been open a record 202 days.

But conditions are proving frustrating — even deadly — for campers and hikers.

At Yosemite National Park in California, several of the park's popular high-country campgrounds, cabins and other amenities remain closed due to snow.

Meanwhile at nearby Stanislaus National Forest, much of the terrain above 8,000 feet remains blanketed in snow, while some lower-elevation areas are blocked by high- and fast-running creeks and overflowing rivers fed by the massive thawing snowpack.

See also:
Snowbird snowpack 525 percent of normal
11 Jun 11 - "There are places on the mountain that will probably retain snow all summer long." That's how ice ages begin!
See Snowbird snowpack 525 percent of normal


The mighty NY Times: Record snowpack threatens western states
23 May 11 - Blizzard-filled winter and unusually cold and wet spring leaves record snowpack at more than 90 measuring sites from Montana to New Mexico and California to Colorado. It must have pained the New York Times to speak of this record snowpack. They'd much rather talk of global warming.
See Mighty NY Times - Record snowpack threatens western states


Historic snowpack brings historic flood threat for West
21 May 11 - Yesterday as I drove east from Libby, Montana, I kept seeing lakes that didn’t appear on my map. Then I noticed miles fence posts with only 2, 3, 4 inches of their tops poking out of the newly formed lakes.
See Historic snowpack brings historic flood threat for West

728 percent of normal snowpack on Mammoth Mountain

10 Jun 11 - At end of May it still had twice as much snow as during an entire normal winter.
See 728 percent of normal snowpack on Mammoth Mountain

Squaw Valley - Most snow in recorded
29 May 11 - Over 700 inches of total snow accumulation -- something that has never happened in Squaw Valley's recorded history, crows the Squaw Valley USA website.
See Squaw Valley - Most snow in recorded history

Record snowpack spoils Memorial Day plans across
27 May 11 - Epic snowpack in parts of CO, UT, WY, MT, ID, Oregon, WA and CA. Skiing great. Camping lousy to non-existent.
See Record snowpack spoils Memorial


Record Snowfall - Mt. Bachelor open for skiing on 4th of July
With a record 650 inches of snowfall this past season, management at Oregon's Mt. Bachelor ski area announced today that they are opening for skiing over the 4th of July weekend.



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