Saturday, February 4, 2012

Easterlies, Part II

Also related to the large-scale pattern and easterly flow discussed in the previous post is a major snowstorm that has pummeled Denver and the adjoining Rocky Mountain foothills over the past two days.  The snow accumulations provided by the CoCoRaHS network are impressive.

Source: CoCoRaHS
A curious aspect of many (but not all) of the major snowstorms that strike the Boulder/Denver area is that they are often confined to the plains and adjoining "foothills" of the Front Range.  Although the maps above do not include terrain, note how the heaviest snowfall (dark green and orange colors) is in Laramie, Boulder, Glipin, and Clear Creek counties, as well as environs to the east.  These areas are east of the Continental Divide, whereas the major ski areas are west of the Continental Divide and received far less snow.  Loveland Pass, which is located on the Continental Divide, reports only 4" of snow in the past 48 hours.

Thus, those looking for deep snow need to be thinking backcountry turns in the Front Range foothills or hitting one of the smaller, lesser known ski areas like Eldora or Echo Mountain.  Eldora reports 31" in the past 48 hours, whereas Echo Mountain reports 55".

I'd never even heard of Echo Mountain until I saw it pop up on the snow report.  It is a very small mountain with only 660 feet of vertical.  I suspect that most of the terrain is not steep enough to enable one to make turns in snow this deep.  Even if it is, it's closed this morning for a "snowdash event!"

Ah, the joys of skiing Colorado...


  1. hey Jim-

    yea downtown boulder got ~20", the mom got out the ruler stick this morning for me.

    Just wanted to drop a line and say i love the site, keep it up, and although down in Telluride, check it daily for my morning dork dose. LOVE IT.

    all the best

  2. Ian - There's always San Juan snirt skiing in the spring. Get after it when it flies.