April 28th, 2016 in Yesterday
In the past we have always been open to the end of April. Our final weekend usually was celebrated with a ski to the High Meadows. Of course even this year there will be snow in these high elevations at the end of April and also clear into late June. The difference is the melt out at lower elevations.
Of course last year we closed at the beginning of April with the road melted out clear to Windy Corner. It was a low snow year and that was to be expected. There was also melt out above Windy Corner that made snowmobiling in challenging. This year we had snow clear down to mid mountain, but the melt out spots higher up made the trip rough for the first 2 miles. We had snow clear up to High Camp for the last 2.5 miles on the snowmobiles. That snowline is about 1/2 mile higher now.
I guess my point is we are feeling the pinch of climate change not so much at High Camp where snow remains until late May but at lower elevations where the snow is melting out much earlier. The skiing at High Camp and above is great through May…we just don’t have the vehicles to get through the snowmelt on patches higher than where we can drive the suburbans. As a result we have been closing earlier in April depending on the snow fall particular to each year and the reservations guests are making. The spring time ski bug is not as strong as in the past. There is great corn snow out there, but skiers are so used to early snowmelt at lower elevations they don’t realize skiing is still good higher up.