Vail hits 500 inches of snow this season
April 21, 2011
VAIL, Colorado – With 149 days on the mountain this season, almost all of which have been at Vail, Cesar Hermosillo knows how good the snow has been this year.
Wednesday was just another powder day – an April 20 powder day, that is – during a season that Hermosillo ranks as one of his best ever.
“My season has been phenomenal,” Hermosillo said. “Overall, it’s been amazing.”
Hermosillo, 27, has lived here his whole life. He grew up in Minturn and said he can’t remember snow like this since he was a little kid.
Amazing. Epic. Insane. Memorable. These are the words skiers and snowboarders used to describe the 2010-11 season on Wednesday.
Noah Goldmann, a Vail ski instructor, said that of his 134 days on the mountain as of Wednesday, about 40 of them were deep powder days.
“Like 6 inches-plus – face shots,” Goldmann said.
Joey Bojalad has been skiing Vail since the 1980s and said you just don’t normally see the mountain this strong this late in the year.
It’s a nice little bonus for Vail Mountain, which has one of its latest closing dates ever because of the a Easter this year. At the beginning of the season, Vail Resorts officials were keeping their fingers crossed that the snow Gods would take care of Vail this year.
“I think we would have been fine (to make it to closing day) with the amount of snow we had several weeks ago, but it just continues,” Vail Mountain Chief Operating Officer Chris Jarnot said. “This year was great early, great consistently and great even this week. It’s just been a remarkable year.”
Jarnot said snowfall measured at the top of the mountain puts this year just outside of the top five best years as of Wednesday, but it’s not an apples to apples comparison to previous seasons because the timing of when the resorts starts measuring snow for the season has been different throughout the years. This season is the best snow year since the resort started measuring at Mid-Vail 10 years ago, he said.
Joel Gratz, a meteorologist who runs the website Coloradopowderforecast.com, said the La Nina weather pattern typically means good snow for Vail, but this year was exceptional.
“Historically La Nina yields perhaps 100 to 125 percent of average snow for Vail. This season was about 150 percent of average,” Gratz said. “I would chalk up the higher numbers to some luck. The storms definitely lined up well for Vail thanks to La Nina, but you need a bit of luck to place the heaviest snow bands right over Vail Mountain.”
Drew Rouse was one of many local skiers who has been there just about every day to tear up the powder. He’s the guy Vail Mountain’s videographer has called all season for photo shoots on powder days – pictures and videos of Rouse have ended up splashed all over Vail’s website and Facebook pages.
“It seems like I’ve been skiing powder almost every day all year,” Rouse said. “It doesn’t seem like there have been any lulls.”