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Accurate, Informative & Trustworthy Snow Reports vs Vague & Questionable Snow Reports

bdfreetuna

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Accurate, Informative & Trustworthy Snow Reports vs Vague & Questionable Snow Reports

The idea for this thread came because I consider Mad River Glen to be extremely detailed and accurate in their snow report. So much so, in fact, that if somebody tells me it sucks and MRG snow report says it's good, I trust MRG over a random person with a different opinion.

Magic Mountain is also very detailed and honest. They will tell you to avoid certain trails unless you're willing to accept scratches and so forth.

Mad River Glen is so detailed they will tell you if there is "scratch between the bumps" or not. And exactly what kind of snow you should expect. Much much more detailed than the typical "Packed Powder / variable" you get at most places.

Bolton can be pretty detailed too, Burke as well.

So I'm getting the feeling that basically the Indy resorts at least in some cases will give you detailed information to make an informed decision. Many of the bigger resorts give you straight BS "PP/variable" and leave it at that.

Feel free to discuss and do so tangentially if desired.
 

Edd

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Wildcat historically will point out possible issues, like wind. Not sure what’ll happen when Vail digs into it.


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ss20

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I don't think it necessarily has to do with an independent mountain or not. Killington will say a couple times a season stuff like "sleep in" or "drink that extra cup of coffee" if it's shitty out. Also not afraid to say when a storm is a whiff.

Truthfully in this age of the informed consumer you're not gonna see flagrant snow report truth stretching. Sugarcoating yes, but trying to say stuff like packed powder conditions two days after rain is not something I have seen.
 

bdfreetuna

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I think it has generally improved... and it's definitely not Indy vs Affiliated as a rule.

For example Berkshire East gives almost zero information on their website, except you can tell if a trail is groomed or not.

Killington and Pico I find generally vague, and spending most of the "snow report" text on promotion of upcoming events and unrelated things, but as you said ss20, they will occasionally let you know if it really sucks.

Webcams do help for sure -- you can pretty well see for yourself especially if it's a high res cam pointed at the slopes at multiple locations. Pretty much ideal.
 

mister moose

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I think they should start including town wide happy hour specials and beer tap lists. A pothole update would be nice.

I've noticed the past 5-7 years Killington's snow reporting has been pretty much on the money. There have been a few WTF days, but I have to say the overall snow reporting is very good. Conditions reporting is still pretty much sunshine and lollypops, unless its a lift icing day or a wind hold day.
 

bdfreetuna

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snow reporting has been pretty much on the money...Conditions reporting is still pretty much sunshine and lollypops, unless its a lift icing day or a wind hold day.

How do you define the difference between "snow" and "conditions" reporting? That was pretty much synonymous in my mind.
 

bdfreetuna

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^
agreed... it's almost worth looking at a Bolton and Smuggs report if you plan to head to Stowe and aren't sure about conditions
 

tumbler

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Sugarbush's is ok, luckily I can read Mad River's if I am questioning what SB's says.
 

mister moose

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How do you define the difference between "snow" and "conditions" reporting? That was pretty much synonymous in my mind.
Snow reporting = amount that fell in inches, type (sleet, crust, powder)
Conditions reporting = Come on out it's going to be a fun day, fresh corduroy, etc. Today's description:

"With excellent surface conditions the whole mountain is skiing great. The cold temps this week coupled with the hard work of our snowmakers have brought our available terrain to more than xxx trails and nearly xx miles. We’re now at more than xx percent of our total acreage and our fingers are crossed for another snowy gift from Mother Nature this weekend."

This could be essentially any day from January to March, with the exception of the disaster blowtorch meltdown morning after. Whereas snow reporting has been quite accurate.
 

sankaty

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I've noticed that several years ago many resorts basically stopped trying to describe surface conditions, defaulting to "Machine Groomed," which conveys precisely zero information. It annoyed me at first, but then reflecting on how useless the more detailed but inaccurate reports were, I suppose it was never a good use of anyone's time to make up fictional surface reports.

Lots of respect for mountains (MRG, Magic, etc) that go the extra mile to give real info. Seems that many mountains will let you know when conditions are either exceptionally good or really, really bad.

Forums like this one have been so important for getting accurate info on conditions. I'm guessing the Internet has been a major reason why the fictional reports have dwindled.
 

BenedictGomez

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I'm guessing the Internet has been a major reason why the fictional reports have dwindled.

It is THE reason for sure. Ski resorts lying is pointless now, they get called out immediately, and with mass connectivity of the customer base.
 

WWF-VT

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There must be a new "Mad River Glen Cloud" . Sugarbush website says 12" of snow in the last 72 hours while MRG is reporting 22" for the same snow event.
 

bdfreetuna

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There must be a new "Mad River Glen Cloud" . Sugarbush website says 12" of snow in the last 72 hours while MRG is reporting 22" for the same snow event.

Smuggs is reporting a rediculous amount of snow but I'm not questioning it seeing the powder shots they posted today. Sugarbush might have got a bad measurement, or else they got screwed on a fine line of freezing precip vs snow. MRG's reporting is more what you'd expect considering Middlebury Snow Bowl reported 18" and Bolton had higher amounts too.
 

Sirbannedalot

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There must be a new "Mad River Glen Cloud" . Sugarbush website says 12" of snow in the last 72 hours while MRG is reporting 22" for the same snow event.
I've heard reports from people who were up at Sugarbush today and reported 18" up top. Maybe it's an average number they post. Or maybe the measurement is from mid or base. It definitely varies depending on elevation especially with this type of storm.
 
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I would call “shenanigans “ on Josh Fox. His weather reporting has highly inflated snowfall amounts vs. what actually happens. Pure BS
 

BenedictGomez

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I would call “shenanigans “ on Josh Fox. His weather reporting has highly inflated snowfall amounts vs. what actually happens. Pure BS

I havent read his stuff in a while so I dont know specifically what you're referring to, but one thing I will say is he gets highly optimistic ahead of the key revenue driving time periods for ski areas. Not sure if he receives funding or if he just feels it's his duty as a local to "help out" the economy, etc..., but it's pretty obvious if you've followed his stuff a number of years.
 

sankaty

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Sugarbush was great today, but from my nonscientific and purely anecdotal perspective, seemed like much closer to 12" vs. 22" today. It wasn't hard to find good soft snow, but also not hard to find underlying scratch later in the day.
 
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