Many of you may be curious about how we report snow at Monarch Mountain. There are written guidelines on how ski areas should report snow. Ski areas are asked to measure their base at a mid-mountain location that represents settled, undisturbed snowfall for the season. This is a ten-foot stake in the ground that has one-inch increments marked on it in ascending order from the ground level.
The base reading does not indicate that the depth of snow is equal at all locations on the mountain. Snow doesn’t fall like a blanket in the mountains. In some areas it may be deep, wind drifted snow. In other areas, it may be scoured from the wind or been compacted. So, depending on wind direction and loading, slope aspect and elevation, skier traffic and grooming, there will be areas on the mountain that have deeper coverage and some places with less.
For many years, we reported two 24-hour readings. One at 4 am and one at 7 am. This got an early jump on our backcountry forecasting but was confusing for our guests (and some employees). This season, we have simplified the system and now only report a single 24-hour snowfall report around 5:45 am.
On the various snow reporting sites (including skimonarch.com), we also report a 48-hour total, a 7-day total, and a year-to-date total. These additional items are calculated by adding the 24-hour intervals for these different timeframes.
Finally, we also report how much snow fell overnight (since the lifts stopped turning = FRESH TURNS!). We clear this board every day at 4 pm and report what has accumulated by the morning reading.
Hope this helps to clarify the snow reporting procedures. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to stop by and ask. We love to talk about real snow here at Monarch.