2006/2007 Ski Area Snowfall Log

for the Silver Valley

I moved to Wallace in January 1993 because it was a charming village halfway between TWO ski areas, a dozen miles in either direction on Interstate 90 in northern Idaho's Silver Valley. This page will log the snowfall statistics for both Silver Mountain, a gondola ride away from Kellogg, and Lookout Pass, at the Montana border. Click on the animated color bars to move between the top and bottom of the data.
Greg Marsh
2001/2002 Snowfall Log 2002/2003 Snowfall Log 2003/2004 Snowfall Log 2004/2005 Snowfall Log 2005/2006 Snowfall Log
click to move to bottom of data
Silver Mountain
The Lodge, elevation 5650 feet, is at "Mid Mountain," while Kellogg Peak, top of Chair 2, has an elevation of 6200 feet.
See trailmap for orientation
CLOSED FOR SEASON
on April 28.
Lookout Pass
The Lodge is at base of Runt Mountain. The chair runs from an elevation of 4800 feet to the top of Runt at 5650 feet.
See trailmap for orientation.
CLOSED FOR SEASON
on April 7.
132 Days Open in 2006/2007 season as of
April 28
106
The early morning temperatures listed below were recorded between 5 and 7 AM at the
Silver Mountain Lodge and/or at the Lookout Pass Lodge .
A (temperature) means it was recorded/reported after 7 AM.
Date 24 hr
New
at
Lodge
at
Summit
temp
°F
Date 24 hr
New
at
Lodge
at
Summit

/ (32°) Thursday
Nov 16
2" 20" 36"

/ 24° Friday
Nov 17
0" 20" 35"

/ 29° Saturday
Nov 18
0" 20" 35"

/ 28° Sunday
Nov 19
0" 20" 35"

/ (35°) RAIN CLOSURE
Nov 20
0" 19" 34"

/ (28°) Thanksgiving
Nov 23
4" 22" 38"
Friday
Nov 24
15" 30" 48" (21°) / 27° Friday
Nov 24
14" 30" 56"
Knee-deep powder on the day after Thanksgiving! This should be a great season for skiing and boarding, if El Niño doesn't keep things too warm and dry later on. On the same day in 2003, Lookout had 36" and 62" at the Lodge and Summit, and that season turned out very well for both areas. I rode up with Jim and made 8 runs between 9:00 and 11:00 AM as the weather alternated between snow squalls and sun breaks. The Backside was OPEN, making Lookout 100% up and running, but knee-deep powder made for slow going on Keystone. The "groomed" Frontside was more manageable, but even the most recently groomed runs had 6 or more inches of fluff on them. The expanded Last Chance Glades provided more knee-deep powder and the opportunity for a snow snake to grab one of my skis. This caused a humorous slow motion fall and subsequent hunt for the invisible lost ski.
Saturday
Nov 25
8" 38" 56" (23°) / 27° Saturday
Nov 25
8" 38" 65"
Drier powder fell since yesterday, so now the knee-deep powder was more manageable. We made 8 runs, had coffee, made 2 more runs and were gone by noon on a high traffic day. However, even when there is a Saturday lift line on the Frontside, the terrain remains uncrowded at Lookout Pass. While much of the chopped-up deep powder on the Backside might be called "crud," it was "HERO crud"... at least at the speed we were going. The enhanced Last Chance Glades and the Lucky Friday Glades on the Frontside were heavenly with many pockets of untouched powder. It seemed hip-deep in places, but the snow snakes were gone and no falls were taken.
Sunday
Nov 26
2" 36" 55" (22°) / 16° Sunday
Nov 26
5" 40" 67"
Monday
Nov 27
9" 42" 58" 28° / 24° Monday
Nov 27
11" 46" 75"
Tuesday
Nov 28
5" 42" 59" (12°) /
(2")
Wednesday
Nov 29
1" 42" 60" (1°) /
(3")
Thursday
Nov 30
6" 44" 66" (18°) / 19° Thursday
Nov 30
4" 47" 76"
Eleven powder runs, no falls and back in the office by noon. I live in heaven! The recent cold weather has dried the fluff to perfection. During a morning that went from light snow, to fog, to partly sunny, Jim, Del and I made first runs down Whitetail on the Backside, then hit Niagara and the Montana Face on the Frontside. Easy powder... just keep your speed up. Speed is your friend. Then we hit the Glades and never left. DEEP powder lurking everywhere and NO OTHER PEOPLE around to enjoy it. Too bad. Take next Thursday off and see what I mean.
Friday
Dec 1
1" 44" 67" 20° / 20° Friday
Dec 1
5" 48" 77"
Saturday
Dec 2
trace 42" 55" 16° / 17° Saturday
Dec 2
1" 48" 77"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on Dec 2, 2006 New this year is an expanded food court and a bay of ticket windows located at the base of the renovated Lodge. Del and I made 5 quick runs beginning before the Saturday crowd arrived and departed with stories of secret powder stashes found off the beaten track. Before the battery in my digital camera froze, I was able to get some keepers that now begin my 2006/07 Lookout Pass Photo Album.
Sunday
Dec 3
0" 41" 55" 21° / 17° Sunday
Dec 3
0" 48" 77"
Monday
Dec 4
0" 41" 55" 28° / 22° Monday
Dec 4
0" 48" 77"
Skied 15 runs with friends from Coeur d'Alene, Robb and Bill, who had never been to Lookout Pass before. It is now their favorite resort thanks to great grooming, well laid out terrain and NO lift lines on weekdays. While some of my friends are strictly powder hounds, I also enjoy skiing at top speed on perfect corduroy and this was the day for it! We did find some powder in the trees, but mostly we just boogied down the Backside. The best moguls were found on lower Whitetail and upper Niagara.
Tuesday
Dec 5
4" 42" 59" (23°) /
(5")
Wednesday
Dec 6
0" 42" 59" 29° /
(0")
Thursday
Dec 7
0" 41" 58" (38°) / 24° Thursday
Dec 7
0" 46" 75"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on Dec 7, 2006 Skied 18 runs on a day that started with a massive inversion as a cold river of fog flowed over the pass and into Idaho. So when it was 24° and foggy at the Lodge, it was 32° and sunny at the summit of Runt Mountain. During the day, the fog went away and the sunshine stayed put. The 5" of snow that fell Monday night was still present amongst the trees, making the Glades and the Wetlands even more fun than Monday. Most of the runs were groomed making them fast and easy cruisers, but Niagara and lower Whitetail still had powder bumps to navigate through. See big bumps, fog effects and forest creatures in the 2006/07 Winter Photo Album.
Friday
Dec 8
0" 40" 53" 30° / 23°   Friday
Dec 8
0" 46" 75"
Saturday
Dec 9
0" 35" 48" (37°) / (23°) Saturday
Dec 9
0" 45" 72"
Sunday
Dec 10
trace 35" 48" 27° / 29° Sunday
Dec 10
trace 45" 72"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on Dec 10, 2006 Made 20 runs between 10AM and 3:30PM on a foggy day made for exercise. Although the parking lot was full, I never had more than a 5 minute lift line. Made a couple of tree runs, but the snow was crusty and too much concentration had to be engaged. I preferred to cruise down Cloud 9 and Keystone with their occasional views of the spectacular St. Regis Lake Basin. Another view of this cross-country skiing playground may be seen in the 2006/07 Winter Photo Album.
Monday
Dec 11
2" 36" 49" 32° / 31° Monday
Dec 11
1" 45" 72"
Tuesday
Dec 12
5" 36" 49" 27° /
(10")
WIND CLOSURE
Dec 13
5" 47" 50" 28° /
(5")
Thursday
Dec 14
4" 50" 54" 32° / 31° Thursday
Dec 14
2" 54" 82"
Made 12 runs with Larry from 10AM to 2PM on groomed runs, alternating between Backside and Frontside cruisers. At noon, we stopped our wind sprints long enough to devour delicious drunken bratwurst sandwiches in the upstairs Lounge. The 17" of heavy powder that fell since Monday made the groomed runs quick and easy, but the snow in the trees was too "crusty" to be much fun. We left in a blizzard of large flakes, however, and with a winter storm warning this evening, tomorrow should be righteous all over.
WIND CLOSURE
Dec 15
0" 50" 54" (34°) / (31°) POWER LOST
Dec 15
4" 54" 82"
Saturday
Dec 16
4" 48" 53" 20° / 21° Saturday
Dec 16
7" 57" 86"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on Dec 16, 2006 Made 8 lazy delightful runs before 10:30AM on the Champagne Powder left beside the machine groomed packed powder on major trails. As predicted, the trees were wonderful once more as well. Last Chance Glades had the best deep powder that I found on this crisp and beautiful day. Captured the mood and added six more photos to the 2006/07 Winter Photo Album.
Sunday
Dec 17
0" 48" 53" 23° / 12° Sunday
Dec 17
0" 57" 86"
Monday
Dec 18
0" 47" 52" 12° / Monday
Dec 18
0" 57" 85"
Tuesday
Dec 19
0" 47" 52" 20° /
(0")
Wednesday
Dec 20
0" 47" 52" 30° / 14° Wednesday
Dec 20
0" 57" 85"
Thursday
Dec 21
1" 48" 52" 36° / 22° Thursday
Dec 21
trace 56" 84"
Snowfall beginning about 6 AM made for smooth sailing on two inches of fluff at 10 AM, when fog was the major weather feature. Several inches had fallen by noon, when I left after making eight fun runs down both sides of Runt Mountain.
Friday
Dec 22
1" 48" 52" 28° / 23° Friday
Dec 23
3½" 57" 86"
With a bit more snow on the ground than noonday yesterday, the weather varied between light snowfall with fog, and clouds with sun breaks. Made ten leg-burner wind sprints and bought a "Learn to Ski" Christmas gift certificate between 10 AM and 1 PM. Good moguls on Niagara. A full parking lot and no lift lines made everyone's day!
Saturday
Dec 23
2" 48" 52" 25° / 25° Saturday
Dec 23
2" 57" 86"
Sunday
Dec 24
2" 48" 59" 23° / 20° Sunday
Dec 24
5" 59" 90"
What a great day to ski, but what an aweful day to forget one's camera! It was a gorgeous blue sky day with new powder in the trees and perfectly groomed corduroy on the runs. Nine, mostly Backside runs were made by 11 AM. Good moguls on Niagara, however. No lift lines on Christmas Eve, just happy people scattered about.
Christmas
Dec 25
7" 52" 74" 20° / 31° Christmas
Dec 25
7" 62" 96"
Snow fell all day, sometimes hardly noticeable, sometimes an inch an hour. Great powder everywhere... hard to see at times, but by braille, it all felt good. In the midst of making a dozen runs, I enjoyed a delicious Christmas buffet: salads, thirteen entrees, including turkey and ham, plus eggnog, soft drink, and desert for just $8.50 ($4.50 for kids). Lookout Pass was a great place to spend Christmas!
Tuesday
Dec 26
5" 58" 79" 32° / 31° Tuesday
Dec 26
9" 68" 103"
Wednesday
Dec 27
3" 61" 79" 32° / 32° Wednesday
Dec 27
4" 70" 105"
Thursday
Dec 28
2" 62" 79" 24° / 23° Thursday
Dec 28
4" 72" 106"
Curiosity made me catch a ride to the Pass, but I hitchhiked back to Wallace after six runs beneath an overcast sky. The trouble with being a local with a season pass is that you get spoiled rotten. The otherwise perfect corduroy was "firmer" than I liked and the powder under the trees was "inconsistent." The exercise was great, the runs were unblemished and the lift lines and wind were non-existent, but I was preoccupied with year-end webwork waiting for me back at the office.
Friday
Dec 29
0" 62" 79" 23° / 20° Friday
Dec 29
0" 72" 106"
Saturday
Dec 30
0" 62" 79" 23° / 20° Saturday
Dec 30
0" 72" 106"
Sunday
Dec 31
0" 62" 79" 28° / 17° Sunday
Dec 31
0" 72" 106"
  New Year
2007
0" 62" 79" 28° / 23° New Year
2007
0" 72" 106"
The overcast yet mild weather was similar to last Thursday, but cold temperatures at night seemed to have made the snow surface more consistent and manageable... or maybe it was just my attitude that had improved. Made 15 happy runs between 10 AM and 3 PM, with time taken to appreciate a bowl of chicken gumbo soup in the Lodge and a couple of bratwurst sandwiches in the Loft.
So how are we doing this year from a historical perspective?     We are matching the stellar 2001/02 season!
New Year
2006
5" - 10" 20" 45" 29° / 30° New Year
2006
6" 33" 64"
New Year
2005
1" 27" 41" 27° / 16° New Year
2005
3" 30" 58"
New Year
2004
3" 44" 58" 16° / 16° New Year
2004
3" 62" 90"
New Year
2003
2" 30" 44" 22° / 25° New Year
2003
2" 40" 63"
New Year
2002
none 70" 92" 22° New Year
2002
none 68" 109"
WIND CLOSURE
Jan 2
1" 62" 74" 37° / 34° Tuesday
Jan 2
1" 72" 106"
Wednesday
Jan 3
8" 69" 84" 28° / 31° Wednesday
Jan 3
10" 75" 110"
Well, I have to admit it: the Mountain got the best of me today, but my better-equipped, powder hound buddy, Jim, was in heaven. Ten inches of new wet snow increasing by an inch/hour and consistently covering my glasses did not make for easy going in the otherwise wonderful untracked powder.    [I really need to find a pair of goggles that don't fog up worse than my naked glasses ice over.]    I was so unnerved by episodes of white-out vertigo that I stopped for coffee after ONE run. Fortified, I then made three more and called it a morning, happy that I had avoided falling, but exhausted by the effort required to keep from doing so. The driest snow seemed to be on the Backside. Odd to say, but I had my most fun SLOWLY navigating beneath Backside trees WITHOUT my glasses... the powder in the trees tomorrow will be epic!
Thursday
Jan 4
8" 69" 86" 21° / 25° Thursday
Jan 4
9" 78" 114"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on Jan 4, 2007 As predicted, today was a epic day to be one of the few people enjoying the deep powder and mild weather at Lookout Pass. No crowds or wind were noticed during the 21 runs made between 9:15 AM and 3:15 PM. The six hour workout included stops for a quick lunch and six Kodak moments. Twelve minute laps down Keystone or Cloud 9 on the Backside were possible, but slower progress through the trees between them was even more fun. I found deep powder runs hidden amongst the trees everywhere I looked... and believe me, I looked everywhere. The deep powder in the Last Chance Glades on the Frontside was delightful as well, but there is just more territory to explore on the Backside.
Friday
Jan 5
4" 69" 86" 10° / 19° Friday
Jan 5
6" 82" 118"
WIND CLOSURE
Jan 6
10" 69" 92" 23° / 23° Saturday
Jan 6
15" 90" 128"
WIND CLOSURE
Jan 7
1" 71" 95" 25° / 23° Sunday
Jan 7
1" 90" 128"
Monday
Jan 8
4" 71" 95" 25° / 28° Monday
Jan 8
5" 94" 133"
Made 16 sweet runs, mostly down the Backside, on a mild day that alternated between overcast and sunny. The warm weather made the new snow heavy but very manageable on the machine groomed terrain. The trees were still good... in a slow-motion spring skiing sort of way. Several times I skied directly to the Backside chair and simply sat down because there was no line whatsoever. Sometimes, I would stop and talk to the lift operator and let a few chairs pass. Although the mountain was deserted, those of us lucky enough to be there had a great day!
Tuesday
Jan 9
1" 71" 95" 33° /
(1")
Wednesday
Jan 10
3" 71" 95" 25° /
(1")
Thursday
Jan 11
4" 71" 95" 10° / Thursday
Jan 11
5" 95" 136"
Friday
Jan 12
0" 71" 95" / -3° Friday
Jan 12
1" 94" 135"
Saturday
Jan 13
0" 71" 95" / -4° Saturday
Jan 13
0" 93" 135"
Sunday
Jan 14
1" 66" 91" / -1° Sunday
Jan 14
trace 93" 135"
MLK Day
Jan 15
0" 66" 91" / MLK Day
Jan 15
0" 93" 135"
This season continues to be better than the last four seasons, and we are headed toward matching or beating the awesome 2001/2002 season!
MLK Day
2006
2" 52" 82" 20° / 23° MLK Day
2006
1" 65" 109"
MLK Day
2005
3" 34" 37" 32° / 32° MLK Day
2005
3" 44" 85"
MLK Day
2004
2" 47" 57" 25° / 29° MLK Day
2004
2" 65" 92"
MLK Day
2003
0" 31" 50" 28° / 27° MLK Day
2003
0" 50" 82"
MLK Day
2002
6" 81" 102" 26° MLK Day
2002
10" 82" 135"
Tuesday
Jan 16
0" 66" 91" 24° /
(0")
Wednesday
Jan 17
1" 66" 91" 23° /
(1")
Thursday
Jan 18
1" 66" 91" 25° / 16° Thursday
Jan 18
3" 94" 136"
Last year, this was a "POWDER THURSDAY with 17" of new snow since Monday." Today there were just 3 inches of fluff on top of perfectly groomed surfaces, gentle occasional snowfall, and no crowds. In fact, I rode alone on 13 out of 16 chairs to the summit. One companion remarked that it sure was nice that no one else was here. I thought: "NOT when there are EIGHT empty store fronts in downtown Wallace, it isn't!" So I will repeat exactly what I said last year on this same Thursday: "In other words, it was a perfect day that too many people missed. We need to find ways to get more folks from far away places to spend a week skiing and boarding in the Silver Valley, instead of wasting their money at crowded resorts found elsewhere in the Rockies. Unfortunately, this will require the two ski resorts to work together for the common good... " While they continue to compete for the same commuter (Spokane-Missoula) market, I believe we should all be working together to get distant people to consider the entire SILVER VALLEY as their "Winter Vacation Destination."
Friday
Jan 19
3" 66" 92" 27° / 26° Friday
Jan 19
1" 94" 137"
Saturday
Jan 20
8" 68" 94" 27° / 27° Saturday
Jan 20
5" 97" 142"
Sunday
Jan 21
4" 70" 97" 27° / 18° Sunday
Jan 21
4" 100" 145"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on Jan 21, 2007 Another great day of skiing on flawless terrain, be it cruising flat-out on groomed runs, or meandering through forests looking for untracked powder. Best of all, given my last rant, there was a good crowd of folks enjoying themselves at Lookout's Winter Carnival. In contrast to last Thursday, I rode alone on only 3 out of 16 chairs, and in several cases there was a 5 minute lift line. No Big Deal when compared with the 45-minute lift lines I remember from skiing Back East and at Lake Tahoe. I kept to the Backside, away from the festivities, until indulging in a bowl of potato soup and a bratwurst at lunch time, but the Frontside rocked with KIX 93 radio, the Pacific Northwest Wife Carrying Contest, face paint and other diversions.
Monday
Jan 22
1" 70" 97" 25° / 29° Monday
Jan 22
trace 100" 145"
Tuesday
Jan 23
1" 70" 97" 32° /
(2")
Wednesday
Jan 24
1" 70" 97" 32° /
(3")
Thursday
Jan 25
0" 70" 97" 36° / 23° Thursday
Jan 25
0" 101" 147"
Spring skiing in January... two weeks after a very unusual five-day single-digit cold snap! North Idaho weather is certainly unpredictable. In the morning, there was a pass inversion that made the summit about 10° warmer than the Lodge. By afternoon, there were three shirtless lads building a jump beside the Timber Wolf chairlift, and one girl riding in her sports bra. No wind and not a cloud in the sky during my 16 runs... 13 of which were preceeded by a solitary chair ride. I finally met up with a friend, so I had a companion on three runs. Machine-groomed packed powder surfaces with no obstacles made skiing easy; application of speed made it exhilarating and provided a good cardiac workout. Three Backside laps in 35 minutes (when there is no lift line) is a good workout for the thighs as well. Even the bottom of Sun Dance was technically "easy" in spite of its extremely steep two-way pitch.
Friday
Jan 26
0" 70" 97" 30° / 21° Friday
Jan 26
0" 99" 144"
Saturday
Jan 27
0" 70" 97" 25° / 15° Saturday
Jan 27
0" 97" 142"
Sunday
Jan 28
0" 70" 97" 20° / 17° Sunday
Jan 28
0" 95" 141"
Monday
Jan 29
0" 70" 97" 23° / 14° Monday
Jan 29
0" 94" 139"
Tuesday
Jan 30
1" 70" 97" 19° /
(2")
Wednesday
Jan 31
0" 70" 97" 19° /
(0")
Thursday
Feb 1
0" 70" 97" 14° / 16° Thursday
Feb 1
½" 94" 139"
Light snow in town made Jim and I dash up to the Pass about 10:30 AM, where we made 5 quick runs, beginning with the Montana Face. I liked the Backside best, as usual, because of the length of the runs, while Jim liked the Frontside best, as usual, because of the better snow quality. His was a judgement call based upon "three icy turns" on the Keystone steeps. I had to laugh, having skied the "blue ice fields" of Killington, Vermont. Believe me, there was NO ice on Keystone, just "very firmly packed powder" on some steep spots. However, we both agreed that the temperature seemed to be dropping. About noon, we headed to the Loft for warmth and coffee before returning to Wallace as the next cold front moved into the region.
Friday
Feb 2
1" 70" 97" 14° / 14° Friday
Feb 2
½" 94" 139"
Saturday
Feb 3
0" 70" 97" 18° / 17° Saturday
Feb 3
0" 94" 139"
Del, Jim and I got our morning exercise on perfectly groomed and very fast corduroy before the crowds arrived to celebrate the "Ole Olson Brewfest," complete with an "Octoberfest-appropriate" band beginning at noon. We missed this unique entertainment because we made six runs, had coffee and bratwurst in the Loft, and were back in Wallace by 11:15 AM! What a great town for a skiing fanatic to live near! (... I walk two miles from my home in Silverton everyday to be there in time to catch a ride to the Pass should the fancy strike me. When I'm not skiing, there is always ample webwork to keep me busy perched in my cluttered office overlooking the Center of the Universe.)
Sunday
Feb 4
1" 65" 90" 30° / 31° Sunday
Feb 4
½" 94" 139"
When I lived in Denver thirty years ago, I found that Super Bowl Sunday was a great day to go skiing because the Front Range slopes were deserted. I had the same revelation today as I leasurely made a dozen runs without seeing a lift line. The weather was warm and foggy, the snow was soft yet fast, and the woods were skier-packed but empty.
Monday
Feb 5
0" 63" 87" 41° / 37° Monday
Feb 0
0" 91" 137"
Tuesday
Feb 6
0" 59" 82" 43° /
(0")
Wednesday
Feb 7
0" 60" 84" 37° /
(0")
Thursday
Feb 8
0" 60" 84" 34° / 33° Thursday
Feb 8
0" 84" 129"
Friday
Feb 9
1" 60" 84" 29° / 29° Friday
Feb 9
trace 82" 127"
Saturday
Feb 10
4" 60" 86" 30° / 29° Saturday
Feb 10
2" 82" 127"
My 25th time skiing at Lookout Pass this season was a good workout due to interesting surfaces where 2 inches of fluff rested on much firmer skier/machine packed surfaces... until warmed by the noonday sun... which kept disappearing into the warm fog. I made 16 runs with 14 of them on the Backside due to the very popular Big Air Contest being held on the Frontside as part of the Idaho Winter Games. I passed up that exhibition of skill and daring in favor of my own solitary adventures SLOWLY exploring the untracked forest west of Rainbow Ridge, normally seen only by cross-country skiers. One has to take care, obviously, not to go too far west, since entry back onto Rainbow at some point is mandatory for a pleasant (non-walking) experience. The Timber Wolf lift line varied from five minutes to non-existent as the crowds were drawn to the Frontside festivities.
Sunday
Feb 11
1" 60" 86" 32° / 31° Sunday
Feb 11
trace 82" 127"
Monday
Feb 12
1" 60" 86" 30° / 30° Monday
Feb 12
2" 79" 126"
Tuesday
Feb 13
1" 61" 87" 28° /
(1")
Wednesday
Feb 14
1" 61" 88" 24° /
(3")
Thursday
Feb 15
3" 63" 89" 30° / 30° Thursday
Feb 15
3" 81" 128"
Last year on this Thursday, it was also snowing on top of 3" of new snow, but the temperature was 20° colder. On both days, I made only 6 runs because of the cold. Today the cold was not that spectacular, just annoying. I became overly conscious of my inadequate gloves and the effect my wet glasses had on my perception of movement. I actually missed a turn and fell to my inside hip on Gold. I bounced back upright as quick as I could, but not before friends on the lift had a good laugh. The deepest untracked powder I found was on Upper Whitetail, Lower Keystone. The snow on the groomed runs was becoming homogenized with the wet snowfall mixing well with the firmly-packed but warming snow surface. Conditions for snowfall skiing were actually quite nice, but I opted for early coffee and bratwurst. When we left around 11 AM, it was snowing heavily. Big wet flakes, but still snow. Let's hope it gets cold again... mid-twenties would be perfect. Remember that it is easy to check the weather at Lookout Pass.
Friday
Feb 16
3" 66" 90" 25° /
28°
Friday
Feb 16
4" 82" 129"
I walked into town late on a gorgeous morning and was regretting my decision to skip skiing, when a friend asked me to take emergency lunch money to her son on the mountain using her car to get there. I love the way serendipity works in a small town. So I made 8 runs at midday under perfect spring conditions: warm, sunny, and uncrowded. Naturally, the snow varied from crusty to slushy on the Backside, depending on elevation, but I spotted no obstacles. I did see a couple of "thin cover" warning signs, but I didn't see what was being marked. It was all pure white to me. As I mentioned last Saturday, the cross-country trail west of Rainbow Ridge holds my interest because it is a very quiet and fascinating area to explore with the caveat that one must leave the trail and return to the ski run through the gently sloping forest before hitting the flats, or be prepared to "walk." On my third excursion, I waited too long and ended up stationary in the trees watching quickly moving skiers a hundred feet away. It was actually helpful that the snow was crusty/slushy near the bottom because even a tiny gradient allowed forward movement, and when sidehilling was required to gain an advantage, it was easy. Much better than my previous experience a couple of years ago, when deep powder in the same area made progress both comical and exhausting.
Saturday
Feb 17
trace 66" 90" 32° /
34°
Saturday
Feb 17
trace 82" 129"
Sunday
Feb 18
trace 66" 90" 30° / 31° Sunday
Feb 18
2" 82" 129"
  Presidents
Day
4½" 66" 93" 21° / 25° Presidents
Day
4" 84" 131"
I made 13 runs in light snowfall on both sides of the mountain, before leaving at 1:00 PM. The recent snowfall laid a thick blanket over previously icy groomed surfaces, and buried the crusty inconsistencies in the trees. The ungroomed, untracked "crud" on the sides of Whitetail, Keystone and Cloud 9 was very accommodating, giving fluid passage without resistance. I naturally played in the woods as well; today my favorite forests were between Keystone and Cloud 9, and between Gold and Silver on the Frontside. The Last Chance Glades were fun as well. More snow on the way!
This season has already been superb with some of my best powder days ever... I'm sure of it. While down slightly from last year's Presidents Day snow depths, we are sitting pretty when compared with the 2002/03 and 2004/05 seasons. The 2001/02 season will probably keep it's lead, however, unless we get some big March powder dumps as happened in the late blooming 2002/03 and 2004/05 seasons. Compare the Presidents Day depths below with season finals to see the possibilities.
Pres. Day
2006
0" 81" 125" 16° / 14° Pres. Day
2006
0" 87" 148"
Pres. Day
2005
0" 21" 42" 18° / 17° Pres. Day
2005
0" 23" 48"
Pres. Day
2004
1" 60" 78" 28° / 22° Pres. Day
2004
1" 78" 110"
Pres. Day
2003
8" n/r 64" 24° / 23° Pres. Day
2003
6" 55" 98"
Pres. Day
2002
1" 131" 161" 29° Pres. Day
2002
2" 106" 180"
Tuesday
Feb 20
13" 70" 104" 30° /
(15")
Wednesday
Feb 21
6" 70" 98" 21° /
(5")
Thursday
Feb 22
1" 75" 105" 28° / 25° Thursday
Feb 22
2" 92" 144"
With over 20 inches of fresh powder since Monday, and more falling every minute, the skiing was fabulous this morning, especially in the trees. Boot deep, dry and untracked was how I found the snow in my favorite forest between Cloud 9 and Rainbow Ridge. I only made 7 runs before catching a ride back to Wallace, but there is a "snow advisory" until 10 PM tonight, so tomorrow should be epic with a 40% chance of snow and a predicted high of 33°. But this is North Idaho, so you might check the weather at Lookout Pass if you are driving from far away. For me, it's all good.
Friday
Feb 23
4" 79" 100" 21° / 24° Friday
Feb 23
6" 96" 149"
"As predicted, today was an awesome powder day." I said this exactly one year ago, and it was true today as well. Blue sky, snowfall, fog, and graupel alternated throughout the day. Mountain vistas opened up and closed again, but the snow remained deep and sweet. Maybe a little heavier than yesterday, but light enough to make the trees move out of the way in an orderly fashion. Most of my 16 runs were Backside forest explorations, usually between Rainbow Ridge and Cloud 9, but the cross-country area mentioned earlier was also visited. I should point out two things about this designated area if you are on downhill skis:
1) Your desire to descend should always be mitigated by the greater need to follow the curve of the hill to the left in order to join with Rainbow Ridge before the flats. This is harder to do as the powder gets deeper.
2) Mining exploration pits may be encountered. These pits were dug decades ago by mining companies and present "pit-falls" for the unattentive skier. A series of these piles and pits were transformed by the Batwaves Underground into Buzzards Valley in the late 90's; this terrain park originally discovered and built by locals is now called B-52. However, the isolated exploration pits that you might discover in the cross-country area would not be that much fun to wallow around in. Therefore, if you are exploring, use caution until you know the terrain.
Saturday
Feb 24
8" 84" 109" 16° / 18° Saturday
Feb 24
5" 97" 150"
Sunday
Feb 25
4" 84" 109" 30° / 28° Sunday
Feb 25
2" 98" 151"
Monday
Feb 26
2" 84" 106" 23° / 27° Monday
Feb 26
5" 100" 153"
It just keeps getting better and better. I made 16 runs on what might be called cream cheese snow because it was so smooth, but I had so many delicious moments today that I'm going to call it cheesecake snow instead. I visited unique spots in the forest that I had skied Friday and could barely see my tracks beneath a foot of fresh powder. Since there were often no other tracks to confuse the issue, I guess I have found a few private lines. Speaking of lines, there were none at either chairlift. I really mean none. From my first chair at about 10 AM, I counted TWELVE people on the entire Frontside during the six minute ride. Two were Ski Patrolers adjusting tower pads. I can remember standing in 45 minute lift lines Back East and elsewhere, but I cannot remember skiing on better snow. If you are standing in lines where you ski or ride, I have to ask: Why?
Tuesday
Feb 27
2" 84" 106" 19° /
(1")
Wednesday
Feb 28
1" 84" 108" 21° /
(3")
Thursday
Mar 1
7" 90" 115" 18° / 19° Thursday
Mar 1
16" 106" 163"
I always try to avoid using the term "epic" until conditions are truly outstanding... and this was the day! The light powder was past your knees everywhere that was not groomed, such the Frontside Faces and Glades. I made the first and second tracks through my favorite Backside Meadows, where the powder often broke around my thighs as I floated weightless through it. The groomed runs had between 3 and 8 inches of powder on them depending on when they last saw the groomer. The weather alternated between sunshine and snow flurries. A Perfect Day. On my first run, however, I lost my balance on the Montana Face and did an "eskimo powder roll" (i.e., a forward fall in deep powder converted into a summersault where the skis end up back under you and you ski away wondering "How'd I do that?"). My second and last fall, was on run #11 in the Backside Meadows and was more serious. It is VERY important to remember that a little creek runs through the wetlands and that the water hollows out a tunnel along its path under its snowy blanket. Earlier in the season, the danger was quite apparent as you could look down a crevasse and see the water, but with all the fresh powder and the exhileration of effortless movement, I forgot where the creek was... until I dropped into it. I pulled a muscle (hamstring?) when a binding did not release, but I still had to Huckleberry Ridge it back to the Loft and a ice pack... so I'll probably won't be out again until... Monday, maybe. This was STILL my best ski day this season (up to a point, anyway).
Friday
Mar 2
5" 90" 117" 14° / 17° Friday
Mar 2
1" 106" 163"
Saturday
Mar 3
trace 90" 117" 27° / 24° Saturday
Mar 3
trace 106" 163"
Sunday
Mar 4
0" 86" 117" 36° / 32° Sunday
Mar 4
trace 104" 161"
Monday
Mar 5
0" 83" 111" 32° / 34° Monday
Mar 5
trace 102" 159"
Tuesday
Mar 6
0" 81" 111" 37° /
(0")
Wednesday
Mar 7
0" 78" 108" 43° /
(0")
Thursday
Mar 8
2" 78" 109" 23° / 28° Thursday
Mar 8
2" 95" 152"
Friday
Mar 9
1" 78" 109" 28° / 26° Friday
Mar 9
2" 95" 152"
Saturday
Mar 10
0" 77" 108" 34° / 33° Saturday
Mar 10
trace 94" 151"
WIND
CLOSURE
0" 75" 109" 34° / 39° Sunday
Mar 11
0" 89" 147"
WIND
CLOSURE
0" 75" 109" 40° / 45° Monday
Mar 12
0" 87" 145"
Tuesday
Mar 13
0" 65" 97" 32° /
(0")
Wednesday
Mar 14
0" 63" 97" 32° /
(0")
Thursday
Mar 15
0" 63" 97" 23° / 21° Thursday
Mar 15
½" 76" 133"
Friday
Mar 16
1" 64" 98" 34° / 33° Friday
Mar 16
2" 70" 128"
Saturday
Mar 17
0" 65" 97" 46° / 33° Saturday
Mar 17
1" 68" 125"
Sunday
Mar 18
0" 60" 96" 39° / 38° Sunday
Mar 18
0" 62" 119"
Monday
Mar 19
0" 60" 95" 43° / 31° Monday
Mar 19
0" 62" 119"
I decided that I had sufficiently recovered from my "epic powder day" fall on March 1 that I could risk another day on the slopes. The implementation of my Opportunity of a Lifetime to live in Wallace, Idaho, demands that I be 100% physically fit before returning to lead the county's Fire Mitigation crew back into the "Wildland Urban Interface," beginning on April 2. Working with a pulled calf muscle on steep forest terrain is not fun. However, I had a wonderful day making 16 runs on perfect spring snow under sunny skies, and suffered no discomfort. Sure, there were some stumps showing toward the bottom of some Backside trails, and yes, some snow was brownish at the bottom on the Frontside, but when you get to ski in the sunshine without needing gloves or hat, how can it get any better? Well, it did when I got to introduce a new Wallace resident to the mountain; John was ecstatic when he realized that we pretty much had the ski area to ourselves. We NEVER saw anyone in lift line ahead of us on the Backside. The Frontside groomers had the most consistent snow quality, however. John is an example of the type of person my websites are trying to attract to Wallace as new residents. After being a Wall Street financial analyst for enough years, John decided that he no longer wanted to live in a city, or even a suburb. So he GOT ON HIS BICYCLE AND RODE 11,000 MILES looking for the perfect small town in which to live. In a year, he checked out a thousand small towns across America, up close and personal, before deciding that he liked Wallace the best. He is currently buying a house and will start a business once he determines what his new hometown needs most. If this sounds like you, please follow the link shown above.
Tuesday
Mar 20
2" 63" 97" 32° /
(0")
Wednesday
Mar 21
8" 66" 102" 23° /
(6")
Thursday
Mar 22
0" 66" 102" 27° / 30° Thursday
Mar 22
0" 64" 125"
On Monday, I found that two heel screws were missing from one of my Elan skis, which certainly accounts for why that binding did not release on my epic powder day. So I rented Atomics when I skied with John on Monday, and bought some K2 fourR's today from the rental shop at Lookout Pass. The shop is changing over from K2 to Atomic skis and made me a sweet deal: $100 for skis, boots and poles! Call Angela Messinger at the Ski & Snowboard Rental Shop, (208)744-1301, ext. 11, to see what is still available in your size. I made six runs on 181's, then switched to 174's for my last two runs before heading back to Wallace with Jim and Del. The shorter ski seemed to handle more similar to my 183 Elan's, which were more shaped. So while Jim and Del boogied in the powder, I went back to school on well groomed runs to get "the feel" back.
Friday
Mar 23
1" 66" 102" 36° / 33° Friday
Mar 23
1" 64" 125"
Saturday
Mar 24
0" 62" 99" 39° / 40° Saturday
Mar 24
0" 64" 125"
Sunday
Mar 25
1½" 58" 96" 39° / 39° Sunday
Mar 25
0" 58" 119"
Monday
Mar 26
8" 63" 100" 27° / 23° Monday
Mar 26
3" 61" 122"
Yesterday was "Season Pass Holder Appreciation Day," but a free lunch was not worth skiing in snain (snow/rain). Today, however, was a glorious sunny day with at least 3" of powder to push around. I spent most of my time exploring Backside forests, where the soft snow mitigated my speed along untracked passageways through sunshine and shadow. As the day warmed, even the hardpacked snow on groomed runs became very pushable and fun. I only made 7 runs because a friend had loaned me her car so I could ski for the 35th time on a beautiful day, and I did not want to make her anxious by being gone too long, but it was truly a wonderful day for the few of us lucky enough to be there. The K2 skis that I bought from the Rental Shop on Thursday are now in sync with my body. I think their shorter length is helpful in the trees.
Tuesday
Mar 27
0" 60" 98" 27° /
(0")
Wednesday
Mar 28
trace 60" 98" 28° /
(2")
Thursday
Mar 29
0" 60" 98" 30° / 34° Thursday
Mar 29
0" 61" 122"
Friday
Mar 30
0" 59" 97" 30° / 26° Friday
Mar 30
0" 58" 119"
Saturday
Mar 31
trace 57" 96" 32° / 30° Saturday
Mar 31
0" 54" 115"
Del, Jim and I made 9 rigorous runs by 11 AM. Del and Jim were keen to ride the first chair up at 8:30 AM, but I lagged behind in the Lodge. As a result, I got to witness amazing acoustics fifteen minutes later, when I could barely see Del from ¾ of the way up the lift as he carved turns on Lower Silver, yet the delayed sound of his scape was crystal clear. There were no other early morning snowboarders on the hill to confuse the sound effect. They went in for coffee, and I went to the south-facing Backside where the snow was "less firm." Jim and Del joined up with me and agreed that Keystone had the best snow on the mountain, nicely groomed and starting to soften by 9:30 AM. Del soon raved that it was the best fast riding snow of the season. After we had bombed a few runs down the Backside without seeing anyone, we asked the lift operator how many people he had seated. "Seven counting you three." We left when he told us later that the count was up to fifteen people sharing the five runs. We are so spoiled. YOU can be spoiled next week, when all tickets are $10 on Monday, Thursday and Friday. Saturday, April 7, will be the last day of a great season.
Sunday
Apr 1
1" 60" 98" 27° / 24° Sunday
Apr 1
1" 52" 115"
Monday
Apr 2
0" 60" 98" 25° / 25° Monday
Apr 2
trace 50" 113"
Tuesday
Apr 3
4" 61" 102" 25° /
(3")
Wednesday
Apr 4
0" 60" 98" 34° /
(0")
Thursday
Apr 5
0" 60" 98" 36° / 33° Thursday
Apr 5
3" 52" 115"
Friday
Apr 6
0" 60" 97" 42° / 33° Friday
Apr 6
0" 46" 109"
Saturday
Apr 7
0" 58" 95" 43° / 32° Saturday
Apr 7
0" 45" 108"
Jim, Del and I started at 9 AM; Larry, John and I quit at 3:30 PM, 19 runs later. What a perfect day to finish a great season: deep blue sky above almost blemish free white slopes warming into the 60's. Maybe the temperature got even higher: in the afternoon, we noticed half a dozen guys in loud Bermuda shorts, and one exquisitely beautiful twentysomething in an orange bikini. In the morning, Black Bear to Copper was so good that we did it half a dozen times. Keystone became the best cruiser by midday. Naturally there were bare spots on the steep slopes on the lower Backside, but it was never a problem to find a good line past them. On the Frontside, the only brown snow visible was in the high traffic area near the lift and lodge. I capped off the day by purchasing my 2007/2008 Season Pass for only $179.14, including Idaho's 6% sales tax. While this is a $10 increase over last year's early bird pass, next season will feature A THIRD LIFT SERVICING FIVE NEW RUNS! This has to be the best $10 trade that I have ever made!
Sunday
Apr 8
0" 58" 95" 37° /
Saturday
Apr 14
0" 54" 94" 37° /
Saturday
Apr 21
1-2" 53" 96" 33° /
Saturday
Apr 28
0" 40" 89" 45° /
click to move to top of data
132
117"
Days Open in 2006/2007 season
Maximum snow depth at summit
106
163"
118
139"
Days Open in 2005/2006 season
Maximum snow depth at summit
111
168"
97
80"
Days Open in 2004/2005 season
Maximum snow depth at summit
83
85"
136
85"
Days Open in 2003/2004 season
Maximum snow depth at summit
104
119"
101
111"
Days Open in 2002/2003 season
Maximum snow depth at summit
69
130"
90
209"
Days Open in 2001/2002 season
Maximum snow depth at summit
80
225"
click to move to top of data
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on Lookout Pass

 

 
 
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Marsh Scientific Services

 
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    doing business as     Marsh Scientific Services is Greg Marsh, Ph.D.
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