Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Best Snow On Earth

Mid November and it has been snowing in the mountains for a few weeks.  If I lived in Connecticut, I would be cursing this fact.  But in Utah, winter is the best season and snow is celebrated. 

 Snowbasin received over a foot of snow Tuesday, while here in the city, we just saw some rain and slush. That is sort of the beauty about Salt Lake City and snow. You get snow where you want and need it (in the mountains) and snow where you do not want it (downtown, on your commute to school or work).  This happens for a few reasons. First, the mountains are at a higher altitude than the city, so they are much colder and precipitation that falls this time of year is going to be in the form of snow. Secondly, Salt Lake City is a prime example of the urban heat island effect. Because of all of the paved surfaces, lack of trees, and built environment, the city remains much warmer than the suburbs and surrounding areas, a phenomena that is really noticed during winter and at night. 

So as it snows in mountains, I figured today would be a good day to talk about Utah's snow. The snow here has been quoted by many as the "Best Snow On Earth". After a bad snow year last year, I can't fairly say it's the best, so I will let a few other sources do the talking on why this snow got its claim to fame. Utah takes this claim so seriously that it is even trademarked by the state. Ski industry advertisements often claim that Utah’s snow is the greatest because it is lighter and drier (low water content)... Powder! 

Utah’s Wasatch Mountains have a strong powder skiing reputation. For example, Alta and Snowbird ski areas, which are located in the Wasatch Mountains east of Salt Lake City, are the top rated resorts for powder in North America by Skiing Magazine and nearby Solitude and Brighton ski areas also rank in the top five. Source  As noted by legendary avalanche researcher and powder skier Ed LaChapelle, “the best deep-powder skiing is not found in the lightest snow, but rather in snow with enough ‘body’ to provide good flotation for the running ski” . Source

Utah receives an average of 500 inches of snowfall each year, with 18 storms bringing 12 or more inches of snow each. Each year Utah sees 40 snowstorms, and 250 days of winter according to the graphic below.

Think dense base, with fluffy snow on top, made possible by the Salt Lake (after crossing the lake, snow storms get colder and drier). Its important to remember its not just the TYPE of snow that gives Utah its fame, but the abundance of snow, ski resorts, and the proximity to the resorts. 11 ski resorts without an hour of the airport.  You can land at the international airport and be at many of the mountains in 30 minutes.  Or on a students term, you can go to class in the morning, ski all day, and make it back for your class at night.  

Utah also boasts the largest resort and most skiable terrain with the combination of Park City's two large resorts, Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons.   7,300 acres of skiable terrain and $50 million dollars in mountain improvements.  Its the combination of Utah's resorts and Utah's snow that gave it the term "Best Snow On Earth".  and with ski season just around the corner and snow falling in the mountains, now is the perfect time to catch up on your Utah ski facts.

See you on the slopes!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Let's Chat!