Why 2017 Could Be the Best Year Ever for Spring and Summer Skiing

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Based on this year’s record snowfalls across the Western United States, forecasters say 2017 could be one of the best years ever for spring and summer skiing. “Typically, Western states have good spring conditions, but since they’ve had near-record snow pack this year, it’s a reasonable expectation that there's going to be a very long spring season,” says Gus Goodbody, a forecast hydrologist at the National Weather and Climate Center. He adds that this could mean the best conditions “in recent memory.”

Epic snowstorms dumped record inches on mountains on the East and West coasts. Many bases across the West, especially Mammoth, which currently has the top snowfall depth in the U.S., and others in the Tahoe region are already 200 percent over their record snowfalls.

“California is the obvious standout, but really it's decent all the way up through Oregon, southern Washington, and southern Idaho,” says Goodbody. “Around Jackson Hole, and all the way down into Utah and most of Colorado, those areas have near-record conditions. It’s quite expansive this year. There's a lot of snow in the Western mountains.”

Even as temperatures heat up and the sun comes out, Goodbody says the current base levels at the different mountains suggests the season will last for a while. Many higher elevation mountains, like Breckenridge, Loveland and Telluride, will also keep their snow longer, and they will continue to get more.

“I think we can use what's on the ground now as a determinant for how those bases are going to look,” Goodbody says. “Also a lot of these continue to accumulate snow through March.”

Fortunately, skiers have time to take advantage of these conditions, and mountains are expected to stay open longer this year. Forecasters estimate ski season could last for several more months in the West and East. Squaw and Mammoth are expected to be open until July 4; Arapahoe, Snowbird, and Killington will be open until at least until late May; and Breckenridge, Stowe, and Vail are expected to close in late April.

Here are some expert predictions for 2017’s Best Spring Skiing based on current base, elevation, average temperature, sunny days, and close date.


Mammoth

  • Base: 175”–330" approximately, 200 percent above average snowfall
  • Average Sunny Days: 300
  • Avg. High Temp. in April: 40 degrees
  • Summit Elevation: 11,053 feet
  • Predicted Close Date: July 4

Kirkwood

  • Base: 210”–230", 174 percent above average snowfall
  • Average Sunny Days: 250
  • Avg. High Temp. in April: 46 degrees
  • Summit Elevation: 9,800 feet
  • Predicted Close Date: April 17

Squaw – Alpine Meadows

  • Base: 115"– 235", 195 percent above average snowfall
  • Average Sunny Days: 271
  • Avg. High Temp. in April: 56 degrees
  • Summit Elevation: 9,050 ft
  • Predicted Close Date: July 4

Alta

  • Base: 120”–120”, 160 percent above average snowfall
  • Average Sunny Days: 230
  • Avg. High Temp. in April: 42 degrees
  • Summit Elevation: 10,550 ft.
  • Predicted Close Date: April 16

Silverton

  • Base: 90”, 110 percent above average snowfall
  • Average Sunny Days: 250
  • Avg. High Temp. in April: 44 degrees
  • Summit Elevation: 13487 ft
  • Predicted Close Date: April 9

Snowbird

  • Base: 122”–122", 160 percent above average snowfall
  • Average Sunny Days: 220
  • Avg. High Temp. in April: 42 degrees
  • Summit Elevation: 11,000
  • Predicted Close Date: May 28

Whistler Blackcomb

  • Base: 125”, 119 percent above average snowfall
  • Average Sunny Days: 281
  • Avg. High Temp. in April: 52
  • Summit Elevation: 7493ft
  • Predicted Close Date: May 22