2007/2008 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 2006/2007 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 JUNE 1!.
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 6.
128 Days Open in 2007/2008 season as of
June 1, 2008
98
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.

A (new snowfall) number records new snow when a resort is closed.
Date 24 hr
New
at
Lodge
at
Summit
temp
°F
Date 24 hr
New
at
Lodge
at
Summit

(1") / 20° Thursday
Nov 29
2" 15" 24"
13 days later than last year's opening day, Lookout Pass opened the Idaho Side and discounted tickets.

(0") / 16° Friday
Nov 30
trace 14" 24"

(0") / 12° Saturday
Dec 1
1" 14" 24"

(12") / 28° Sunday
Dec 2
16" 22" 36"

(16") / 32° Monday
Dec 3
22" 30" 47"

(0") /
(10")

(0") /
(trace)

(0") / (28°) Thursday
Dec 6
trace 28" 52"
The Back Side opened today with "excellent machine groomed packed powder conditions with good coverage on the front side and some obstacles on the backside." Contrast this with the knee deep powder found on the day after Thanksgiving last year.
Friday
Dec 7
0" 21" 50" 19° / 21° Friday
Dec 7
0" 26" 52"
The resort opened today with chairs 1 and 2 in operation, reduced rates and 20 trails, 10 of which were groomed. Compare these snow depths with last years' opening day after a huge November storm.
Saturday
Dec 8
0" 21" 50" 11° / 18° Saturday
Dec 8
0" 26" 52"
Sunday
Dec 9
0" 21" 50" / 11° Sunday
Dec 9
0" 26" 52"
Monday
Dec 10
2" 23" 50" 18° / 17° Monday
Dec 10
3" 27" 54"
Tuesday
Dec 11
0" 23" 50" 18° /
(3")
Wednesday
Dec 12
1" 24" 50" 23° /
(1")
Thursday
Dec 13
1" 25" 50" 14° / 19° Thursday
Dec 13
2" 28" 55"
Friday
Dec 14
3" 28" 50" 20° / 22° Friday
Dec 14
6" 32" 58"
Saturday
Dec 15
1" 29" 50" 25° / 24° Saturday
Dec 15
3" 33" 59"
Sunday
Dec 16
3" 29" 50" 32° / 26° Sunday
Dec 16
5" 36" 62"
Monday
Dec 17
6" 32" 69" 24° / 25° Monday
Dec 17
4" 38" 64"
Chair 3 is now open, giving a total of 34 trails, 19 of which are groomed.
Tuesday
Dec 18
4-7" 32" 74" 24° /
(11")
Wednesday
Dec 19
3-5" 35" 78" 31° /
(15")
Chair 4 is now open, giving a total of 51 trails, 21 of which are groomed.
Thursday
Dec 20
12" 40" 83" 25° / 31° Thursday
Dec 20
25" 52" 82"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on Dec 20, 2007 28" OF UNTOUCHED SNOW SINCE MONDAY is what the snow report says. My math gives a bigger number, but I guess allowances were made for settling. In any case, as the snow on the chairs recently hung on the new lift shows, this was very much a Powder Thursday. I made six runs in light snowfall and fog before 11 AM, and was thoroughly tired as a result. I loved the boot-deep powder on recently groomed Rainbow Ridge and Cloud 9 on the Backside. And the knee-deep powder on Gold and Silver was an exhilarating challenge on the first day of my season. But the real fun was the waist-deep powder that I fell into when trying to get out of the way of the groomer coming down the hill behind me. I felt bad that he had to stop his machine and watch me wallow, but I think I may have provided compensating entertainment as I struggled to release my bindings and regain my upright composure. Click on the photo to see the start of my 2007/2008 Lookout Photo Album.
Friday
Dec 21
1" 39" 80" 25° / 21° Friday
Dec 21
3" 54" 84"
Saturday
Dec 22
0" 39" 80" 19° / 16° Saturday
Dec 22
trace 54" 84"
Sunday
Dec 23
1-2" 39" 80" 25° / 26° Sunday
Dec 23
1" 54" 84"
Monday
Dec 24
10" 39" 80" (32°) / 26° Monday
Dec 24
10" 59" 88"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on Dec 24, 2007 I made a dozen runs during a day where the weather alternated between snow, fog, and sunshine, but the powder was uniformly great! It was knee-deep in the trees, but drier and easier to navigate through than last Thursday. My favorite areas were the Lucky Friday and Last Chance Glades, where thigh-deep powder was often encountered, and the trees between Rainbow Ridge and Cloud 9 leading into the magical "wetlands." And of course, the short and sweet powder run through the trees between Gold and Silver was perfect as usual. More photos taken today may be found in the 2007/2008 Lookout Photo Album.
Christmas
Dec 25
0" 39" 80" 19° / 22° Christmas
Dec 25
3" 60" 89"
Wednesday
Dec 26
6" 41" 85" 16° / 21° Wednesday
Dec 26
5" 62" 90"
Today was the grand opening of Chair 3, North Star, which increases the terrain and challenge at Lookout Pass with five runs that drop a thousand feet through deeeep north facing powder. The intermediate run to the skier's right, Marmot, featured knee-deep "hero" powder at a perfect pitch that seemed to go on forever. At the other extreme on the skier's left is the Big Dipper, an expert run that is too steep to ever groom. I fell three times as I worked my way down the extreme slope that mixed never_been_touched surfaces and boulder-sized balls of skier crud. None of my falls were serious... in fact, they were all quite comical. When you push your pole straight down while trying to get up and never hit anything, you know you are sitting on bottomless powder and you need to make a new plan to rise above your skis. I made ten runs in light to moderate snowfall: five on the new terrain, plus five of my favorite tree runs.
Thursday
Dec 27
3" 41" 85" 18° / 20° Thursday
Dec 27
3" 62" 90"
Friday
Dec 28
1" 42" 86" 19° / 20° Friday
Dec 28
2" 62" 90"
Saturday
Dec 29
6" 42" 86" 23° / 24° Saturday
Dec 29
9" 67" 96"
Sunday
Dec 30
4" 42" 86" 18° / 20° Sunday
Dec 30
8" 72" 101"
Monday
Dec 31
6" 42" 86" 18° / 20° Monday
Dec 31
9" 75" 105"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on Dec 31, 2007 I made twelve runs on everything from fresh powder and machine groomed packed powder on the Montana Side, to knee-deep and very dry powder in the Lucky Friday, Last Chance and Gold/Silver Glades on the Idaho Side, to steep and deep skier packed powder on the new Hercules and Marmot runs on the North Side. More photos taken today may be found in the 2007/2008 Lookout Photo Album.
New Year
2008
0" 42" 86" 20° / 12° New Year
2008
2" 74" 105"
Q: So how are we doing this year from a historical perspective?
A: We have caught up with last year's snow depths, in spite of the two week delayed opening, and seem to be in the running to match the stellar 2001/02 season!
New Year
2007
0" 62" 79" 28° / 23° New Year
2007
0" 72" 106"
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"
Wednesday
Jan 2
0" 42" 86" (31°) / 14° Wednesday
Jan 2
0" 73" 104"
Thursday
Jan 3
1" 42" 86" 32° / 25° Thursday
Jan 3
2" 73" 104"
Friday
Jan 4
3" 42" 86" 28° / 31° Friday
Jan 4
9" 74" 105"
Saturday
Jan 5
4" 42" 86" 28° / 30° Saturday
Jan 5
4" 74" 106"
Sunday
Jan 6
2" 42" 86" 28° / 24° Sunday
Jan 6
4" 74" 106"
Monday
Jan 7
5" 44" 86" 18° / 18° Monday
Jan 7
5" 76" 108"
Tuesday
Jan 8
2" 44" 92" 20° /
(8")
Wednesday
Jan 9
10" 54" 102" 25° /
(7")
WIND CLOSURE
9:26 AM
2" 54" 102" 20° / 20° Thursday
Jan 10
10" 78" 113"

As you might suspect, I had a "leg-burning," 16-run epic Powder Thursday... but I also got to meet up with folks who I hadn't skied with in a while. Some were Silver Mountain employees who unexpectedly had the day off due to high winds rocking their gondola 24 miles away. While it snowed lightly all day at Lookout Pass, most of the flakes floated directly downward. As I've mentioned before, one reason why the two Silver Valley ski areas complement each other is because they enjoy different weather patterns. Pacific snow storms normally hit Silver full force from the southwest after traveling over the prairies of Oregon and Washington. Consequently, the resort often gets huge dumps of dry powder. Unfortunately, the only access to the mountain is a ridge-line gondola that intercepts the wind very effectively. Lookout accumulates more snow every season because it also gets a contribution from Canadian storms headed down the Rockies to Colorado. However, the ski area is on Runt Mountain, surrounded by much taller wind-breaking peaks, so the winds are usually, but not always, calmer.

Marmot on the new North Side was well groomed and a good workout twice, but for the sublime pleasure of making fresh tracks through calf-deep powder, nothing matched the trees on the Montana Side. When I asked Aaron where he and his wife wanted to ski, he said "Let's go to church." When I looked puzzled, he laughed and said "We read your snowlogs, so let's go to Greg's Church."

Friday
Jan 11
5" 54" 102" 28° / 30° Friday
Jan 11
8" 80" 116"
Saturday
Jan 12
0" 54" 102" 27° / 29° Saturday
Jan 12
3" 80" 117"
Sunday
Jan 13
1" 55" 103" 28° / 29° Sunday
Jan 13
1" 80" 117"
Monday
Jan 14
0" 55" 103" 28° / 19° Monday
Jan 14
trace 80" 117"
Tuesday
Jan 15
4" 55" 103" 19° /
(6")
Wednesday
Jan 16
0" 55" 103" /
(0")
Thursday
Jan 17
trace 55" 103" 15° / 16° Thursday
Jan 17
trace 82" 119"
Friday
Jan 18
0" 55" 103" 17° / 22° Friday
Jan 18
0" 82" 119"
Saturday
Jan 19
0" 55" 103" 22° / 26° Saturday
Jan 19
trace 82" 119"
Sunday
Jan 20
6" 55" 103" 16° / 16° Sunday
Jan 20
6" 84" 121"
MLK Day
Jan 21
0" 55" 103" -6° /
-3°
MLK Day
Jan 21
0" 84" 121"

Since Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday (January 15, 1929) is observed each year on the following Monday, the relative snow levels on this holiday could be called a "fuzzy" benchmark. However, it is clear that we are having a very decent season, and are within reach of previous records. Notice from the graph that last year (blue line) went from above average (green line) to below average at about this time. This year (black line) has surpassed the 2005/06 season (red line) so far, but notice the great March we had in 2006.

Enlarge the updated graph (in a separate window) from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Idaho.

MLK Day
Jan 15
2007
0" 66" 91" / MLK Day
Jan 15
2007
0" 93" 135"
MLK Day
Jan 16
2006
2" 52" 82" 20° / 23° MLK Day
Jan 16
2006
1" 65" 109"
MLK Day
Jan 17
2005
3" 34" 37" 32° / 32° MLK Day
Jan 17
2005
3" 44" 85"
MLK Day
Jan 19
2004
2" 47" 57" 25° / 29° MLK Day
Jan 19
2004
2" 65" 92"
MLK Day
Jan 20
2003
0" 31" 50" 28° / 27° MLK Day
Jan 20
2003
0" 50" 82"
MLK Day
Jan 21
2002
6" 81" 102" 26° MLK Day
Jan 21
2002
10" 82" 135"
Tuesday
Jan 22
0" 55" 103" /
(0")
Wednesday
Jan 23
0" 55" 103" /
(0")
Thursday
Jan 24
0" 55" 103" 22° / 14° Thursday
Jan 24
0" 84" 121"
Friday
Jan 25
0" 55" 103" 22° / 20° Friday
Jan 25
trace 82" 119"
Saturday
Jan 26
0" 55" 103" 21° / 26° Saturday
Jan 26
trace 80" 117"
Sunday
Jan 27
14" 59" 108" 25° / 31° Sunday
Jan 27
16" 89" 130"
Monday
Jan 28
12" 65" 114" 16° / 18° Monday
Jan 28
13" 95" 138"
What a heavenly day of skiing! First, there was the familiar Lookout halo effect, where it's cloudy and foggy in every direction, except for the blue sky directly overhead. So while I never saw the St. Regis Basin, I was blessed with bright sun and dramatic shadows on the runs facing the Basin. While most of the 20 runs I made today were on the Montana Side as usual, I found the roughed-up powder on North Side's Big Dipper and Hercules to be forgiving in spite of the steepness. Marmot thankfully had an ungroomed strip down the middle that was very bouncy. The deepest powder was again to be found in the Last Chance Glades. These Idaho Side glades face the Interstate as it drops steeply into Montana and get the extra snowfall mentioned above. But for me, the most inspirational runs were through the trees on the Montana side, where untracked knee-deep powder was always available. I never saw anyone else while skiing these trees. I made first tracks through my wetlands church repeatedly; all the big bushes and little trees have long since disappeared, leaving only solitude.
Tuesday
Jan 29
6" 67" 116" 12° /
(3")
Wednesday
Jan 30
5" 72" 120" 12° /
(16")
Thursday
Jan 31
10" 75" 120" 19° / 23° Thursday
Jan 31
7" 108" 153"
Friday
Feb 1
12" 78" 130" 28° / 23° Friday
Feb 1
8" 110" 157"
Saturday
Feb 2
12" 84" 130" 21° / 21° Saturday
Feb 2
8" 112" 159"
Sunday
Feb 3
1" 84" 130" 25° / 21° Sunday
Feb 3
6" 113" 160"
Monday
Feb 4
2" 84" 130" 17° / 20° Monday
Feb 4
3" 113" 160"
Del and I ran to the Pass for 7 quick runs in the morning. Recently groomed Marmot on the North Side was the best cruiser. The same pitch all the way down lets one establish a perfect cadence. We found untracked knee-deep powder in the Montana Side trees as usual, and, of course, in the Last Chance Glades. I got into trouble in "church" however, when I decided to follow the path I had warned you about in December. "I'm sure there is enough snow NOW that the stream won't be a problem" I thought to myself. This bad thought quickly turned into a a slow speed sit-down in an invisible ditch, followed by a period of severe exercise. My second and final fall was on the steeps of Sun Dance near the Montana Side chairlift... but it was of the "tuck, roll and resume" variety usually accomplished by snowboarders. I know there would have been clapping from the chair... except there was no one on the lift at the time. It was a cardiac event I had no wish to repeat, however; it was time to call it a glorious day.
Tuesday
Feb 5
1" 81" 122" 15° /
(3")
Wednesday
Feb 6
1" 82" 123" 14° /
(6")
WIND CLOSURE
@ 5:54 AM
8" 82" 123" 19° / 28° Thursday
Feb 7
15" 121" 172"
I joined my powder hound friends Del, Jim and Art for a morning romp through the new powder, only to find myself skiing on the edge of my ability. The new snow was quite heavy. I watched folks coming straight down the Idaho and Montana Faces with untracked snow at their knees... only to have their speed drop to zero as the untracked snow reached for their hips. As Art observed from the chair, "sometimes you need to follow in others' tracks." I naturally tried to stay on groomed Idaho Side runs as much as possible, given the flat light and blowing snow. The half foot of new snow on the most recently groomed runs even proved challenging for me as it played "slip and grip" with my center of gravity. With all muscles on full alert, I skied untracked powder on Silver, but had to seek out previous tracks and adjust to sudden acceleration whenever my speed slowed too much. After three runs with no falls, but an overabundance of "severe equilibrium maintenance maneuvers," I went to the Loft for coffee, bratwurst and conversation. The Montana Side was closed due to high winds, but the North Side opened about 10:30, after the loading dock was found and cleared. Del and Art said that Hercules and Purgatory were steep enough that they could keep their speed up. Del added that he thought he was riding a bucking bronco instead of a snowboard.
WIND CLOSURE
@ 6:53 AM
6" 82" 123" 21° / 26° Friday
Feb 8
10" 124" 176"
Saturday
Feb 9
4" 82" 123" 26° / 29° Saturday
Feb 9
5" 125" 177"
Sunday
Feb 10
0" 82" 123" 32° / (33°) Sunday
Feb 10
2" 124" 176"
Monday
Feb 11
1" 83" 124" 25° / 26° Monday
Feb 11
3" 124" 176"
Tuesday
Feb 12
1" 83" 124" 27° /
(2")
Wednesday
Feb 13
3" 83" 124" 18° /
(2")
Thursday
Feb 14
0" 83" 124" 23° / 16° Thursday
Feb 14
2" 118" 175"
Friday
Feb 15
0" 83" 124" 25° /
20°
Friday
Feb 15
0" 118" 175"
Saturday
Feb 16
4" 85" 126" 22° /
26°
Saturday
Feb 16
4" 116" 174"
Sunday
Feb 17
0" 85" 126" 23° / 20° Sunday
Feb 17
trace 114" 172"
Wallace is certainly this skier's idea of paradise. I caught a ride from my Wallace office to the Pass at 8:15 AM, made 7 fast runs on beautiful corduroy with Jim and Del, had a round of coffee in the Loft at 10:30, was back in the office by 11, and on duty at the Wallace District Mining Museum by noon. The only bad part was that I misplaced my camera and today was absolutely gorgeous. The view of the St. Regis Lakes Basin over one's left shoulder from the Montana Side chairlift was dramatic in its transition from snow fields, to jagged cliffs, to blue sky, to the underbelly of the Basin's pet cloud. Marmot, Cloud 9 and Keystone were perfectly groomed and delightfully fast.
Presidents
Day
0" 85" 126" 23° / 20° Presidents
Day
0" 112" 168"

As shown by the graph of the Snow Water Equivalent, this season is far above average in the amount of snowfall measured at Lookout Pass Ski Area by Idaho's Natural Resources Conservation Service. However, as shown by the chart below, there was actually more snow at both ski areas on this date in 2002!

Yet the difference between the two winters is profound because the snow line is way lower this season. Temperatures throughout the region have been running several degrees colder than normal this winter. My normal winter observation as I walk between my home and office every day is a snow line 500-1000 feet above the town. Very picturesque. This year the snow accumulations in Wallace, elevation 2736 feet, and around Lake Coeur d'Alene at 2125 feet are challenging records set in the winter of 1915/16. In Wallace, city crews with huge earth movers have been working around the clock to clear the streets, and as a result a mountain of very compact and dirty snow now rises above the Interstate as it overpasses the town. Locals tell me that the last winter they remember like this was in 1967/68. Luckily the only calamity this year was the collapse of the school bus barn; three of the eight buses inside were severely injured. It is interesting to imagine how hard it must have been for those in Wallace during the winter of 1915/16 to walk the same streets and maintain the otherwise booming economy within the Wallace Mining District.

Enlarge the updated graph (in a separate window) from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Idaho.

Pres. Day
Feb 19
2007
4" 66" 93" 21° / 25° Pres. Day
Feb 19
2007
4" 84" 131"
Pres. Day
Feb 20
2006
0" 81" 125" 16° / 14° Pres. Day
Feb 20
2006
0" 87" 148"
Pres. Day
Feb 21
2005
0" 21" 42" 18° / 17° Pres. Day
Feb 21
2005
0" 23" 48"
Pres. Day
Feb 16
2004
1" 60" 78" 28° / 22° Pres. Day
Feb 16
2004
1" 78" 110"
Pres. Day
Feb 17
2003
8" n/r 64" 24° / 23° Pres. Day
Feb 17
2003
6" 55" 98"
Pres. Day
Feb 18
2002
1" 131" 161" 29° Pres. Day
Feb 18
2002
2" 106" 180"
Tuesday
Feb 19
0" 85" 126" 28° /
(0")
Wednesday
Feb 20
0" 85" 126" 29° /
(0")
Thursday
Feb 21
0" 85" 126" 28° / 20° Thursday
Feb 21
0" 108" 159"
The bright morning sunshine in Wallace drove me out of town with a Lookout employee to enjoy a "bluebird" day at the Pass. I flew down a dozen groomed runs under blue sky; my favorite flight was Black Bear to Marmot. Done quickly, the thousand foot drop was great aerobic exercise on four occasions. Red Dog next to Marmot was also fun, although the steep bottom funnel into the lift line is somewhat intimidating. Except today when I had the whole run to myself. In fact, that happened a lot. Especially on the Montana Side, where the well groomed runs went from "crispy" to "squishy" during the day, but the lift line was always absent.
Friday
Feb 22
0" 85" 126" 28° / 24° Friday
Feb 22
0" 106" 157"
Saturday
Feb 23
trace 85" 126" 27° / 31° Saturday
Feb 23
trace 104" 155"
Sunday
Feb 24
trace 85" 126" 28° / 28° Sunday
Feb 24
trace 104" 155"
Monday
Feb 25
trace 85" 126" 26° / 30° Monday
Feb 25
3" 104" 155"
Tuesday
Feb 26
3" 87" 128" 26° /
(5")
Wednesday
Feb 27
0" 87" 128" 30° /
(2")
Thursday
Feb 28
0" 87" 128" 30° / 34° Thursday
Feb 28
trace 104" 151"
Friday
Feb 29
0" 87" 128" 36° / 29° Friday
Feb 29
0" 104" 151"
Saturday
Mar 1
2" 89" 130" 30° / 31° Saturday
Mar 1
2" 104" 151"
Sunday
Mar 2
2" 89" 130" 23° / 23° Sunday
Mar 2
3" 106" 154"
Monday
Mar 3
0" 89" 130" 23° / 26° Monday
Mar 3
trace 105" 154"
Several people told me that yesterday was a perfect spring skiing day: blue sky, corn snow, powder stashes in the trees, and a band in the Lodge. I missed the party, but had a fine time today instead. Two differences in the days were the weather and the population density. After making a couple of runs on the Montana Side without seeing anyone else, I asked Russ, the lift operator, where the crowd was. He pointed uphill and said "there is a third of the crowd now," referring to the lone skier approaching us. "There is one other guy on this side, as well, plus three ski patrollers... so I guess we have a crowd of six this morning." I thought to myself: "a ski patroller for each customer... this resort must have the highest customer service ratio in the nation." This impression was reinforced when I went into the Lodge for a bowl of chili at 10 AM and had the entire kitchen staff at my service. The nine runs I made by 11:30 AM, were mostly on groomed runs, but I also explored the out-of-area trees west of Rainbow Ridge, where the slope is gentle but the solitude is steep. This forest is not patrolled, but is open for cross-county skiing, snowshoeing, and careful exploration by local alpine skiers who know when to turn back toward the resort. For me, this is a place to appreciate nature in slow motion. At the other activity extreme, I made three Black Bear/Marmot runs at top speed. My best "flat out" time for the thousand foot drop was 2 minutes, 51 seconds. When the snowfall intensified, I caught a ride back to my office, properly rejuvenated.
Tuesday
Mar 4
8" 91" 136" 22° /
(10")
Wednesday
Mar 5
3" 92" 139" 17° /
(3")
Thursday
Mar 6
0" 92" 139" 20° / 20° Thursday
Mar 6
0" 109" 158"
Friday
Mar 7
0" 92" 139" 34° / 31° Friday
Mar 7
0" 108" 157"
Saturday
Mar 8
0" 92" 139" 28° / 31° Saturday
Mar 8
trace 107" 156"
Sunday
Mar 9
0" 92" 139" 25° / 24° Sunday
Mar 9
0.5" 105" 154"
Monday
Mar 10
0" 92" 139" 31° / 26° Monday
Mar 10
0" 103" 152"
Tuesday
Mar 11
1" 92" 139" 29° /
(1")
Wednesday
Mar 12
2" 94" 141" 25° /
(3")
Thursday
Mar 13
0" 94" 141" 34° / 26° Thursday
Mar 13
0" 103" 152"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on March 13, 2008 I made fifteen solitary runs on a mostly overcast day with occasional sun breaks. For the most part, I stayed on the well groomed packed powder runs; there was a collapsible crust in the trees that made things more interesting than necessary. Today, I wasn't into technical challenges... I was looking for firm and fast snow and opportunities to try out my new camera. I found both. My best time down Black Bear/Marmot is now 2 minutes, 40 seconds. More photos taken today may be found in the 2007/2008 Lookout Photo Album.
Friday
Mar 14
4" 96" 145" 25° / 29° Friday
Mar 14
3" 104" 153"
Saturday
Mar 15
5" 100" 148" 22° / 29° Saturday
Mar 15
1" 104" 153"
Sunday
Mar 16
7" 104" 155" 22° / 28° Sunday
Mar 16
4" 107" 156"
Monday
Mar 17
3" 104" 158" 22° / 25° Monday
Mar 17
2" 109" 159"
Tuesday
Mar 18
2" 104" 158" 24° /
(6")
Wednesday
Mar 19
6" 108" 164" 17° /
(6")
Thursday
Mar 20
5" 110" 168" 26° / 24° Thursday
Mar 20
5" 116" 171"
Today combined a little bit of everything in the way of spring skiing: alternating snowfall and sunshine throughout the day produced the entire gambit of snow surfaces. For example, the super dry, turn-on-a dime, powder under the Montana Side trees transitioned to 'Sierra cement' on the untracked sun-baked southern exposure near the bottom of Chair 2. Marmot off Chair 3 was good as usual, offering varying levels of powder depending on grooming history, but Red Dog was better as the totally ungroomed surface had a more consistent top-of-boot depth. After three solitary runs, I met up with my friend Ron from Spokane and we made ten more runs together. Altho Ron is a snowboarder, he also enjoys exploring the out-of-area terrain west of Rainbow Ridge, which today involved way more exertion than necessary because we entered the area before the slope was steep enough... except in the direction that we did NOT want to go (heading down to the Nor Pac Trail and an uphill walk to Chair 3). So even though our day's total was just 13 runs, we were both exhausted by 2 PM, just about when it started to snow heavily again.
Friday
Mar 21
4" 112" 170" 23° / 25° Friday
Mar 21
1" 116" 171"
Saturday
Mar 22
8" 116" 174" 20° / 18° Saturday
Mar 22
5" 117" 174"
Sunday
Mar 23
0" 116" 174" 25° / 21° Sunday
Mar 23
0" 117" 174"
Monday
Mar 24
1" 116" 174" 21° / 19° Monday
Mar 24
5" 119" 178"
Click to see more photos taken by Greg Marsh on March 24, 2008 All the new snow fell last night when it was in the teens, so it stayed consistent as the mostly sunny day warmed into the forties. When it was fluffy, it was fluffy throughout; when it was cream cheese, it was spread evenly. In other words: perfect spring conditions. For example at 1:00 PM, west facing Red Dog was a steep mix of skier crud and still untracked patches of powder, yet all turns were smooth regardless of how the surface looked. I made 11 runs during the mid part of the day, and as usual, I spent some time exploring the Montana woods west of Rainbow Ridge. More than I had in mind it turned out as I learned the true meaning of the words Saint Regis Pass: BIG FLAT PLACE. I had a great workout as I trekked through the beautiful, but too gently sloping woods back to Lift 2. However, the new snow was a uniform surface for my cross-country adventure and the exercise was a useful tune-up for my upcoming summer job, again leading the County's Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Mitigation crew. This is a free service for homeowners who want excess fuels removed from their forested property. Call Jeff Legg at (208) 752-8891 for more information.
Tuesday
Mar 25
0" 116" 174" 18° /
(0")
Wednesday
Mar 26
0" 116" 174" 20° /
(0")
Thursday
Mar 27
5" 118" 176" 18° / 22° Thursday
Mar 27
3" 119" 180"
In accordance with their three_and_we_go rule, Jim and Del picked me up in Wallace at 8:30 AM, since the lifts open at 9:00 on weekdays. We parked in the deserted lower parking lot directly below Lift 1, and after booting up, walked a few feet up a berm to the chairlift and chatted with Kenny the lift operator before boarding. It was snowing lightly, the sun was trying to break through the clouds... and yet something felt very wrong. It took me a couple of minutes before I noticed that not only were there no people visible on the mountain there was no one else on the lift other than the three of us. Spooky! It was 9:02 and the start of a great day that way too many folks were going to miss. Thankfully, by the time we quit at 10:30, after making 8 fast runs on all possible surfaces, both snowfall and population had increased to a satisfying degree. Snow conditions were quite variable depending on location. Keystone on the Montana Side was a tricky mix of hard corduroy and wind blown powder, while Black Bear/Marmot was consistently good from top to bottom. However, the best powder on the mountain, in our opinion, was on Golden Eagle and Bonanza, to the skier's right on the Idaho Side. On the other hand, we all had trouble in the Lucky Friday Glades because the new snow hide the chaotic crusty surface beneath. We'll be back when such inconsistencies are gone.
Friday
Mar 28
3" 118" 176" 18° / 19° Friday
Mar 28
4" 120" 181"
Saturday
Mar 29
6" 112" 170" 13° / 20° Saturday
Mar 29
7" 124" 186"
Sunday
Mar 30
6" 118" 174" 17° / 24° Sunday
Mar 30
12" 128" 192"
When Del, Jim and I loaded at 8:35 AM today, there again was no lift line... but there were a dozen chairs occupied ahead of us on this sunny, dry powder Sunday. The recent cold nights had minimized the moisture content of the new snowfall to the point where bouncing in the boot-deep snow to the side of groomed Keystone was like floating in air. Turning in Red Dog's endless knee-deep powder, on the other hand, was quite a workout: the turns were not that difficult, but there were a million of them. Equally good exercise, Marmot presented a much different surface at 9 AM: smooth wind pack. It sounds worse than it was. The top few inches were predictably pushable the entire way down. Naturally, I also frolicked beneath the trees in the easy untracked snow between Rainbow Ridge and Cloud 9. The deepest powder that I encountered was in the Last Chance Glades, as usual, but on my last run, I found an untracked line through calf-deep powder in the trees between Gold and Silver. I completed ten runs by 10:52, and met Del and Jim in the Loft for coffee. Much more skilled than I, they had "dropped the corner" for their last run. You have to be a local to know what that entails. OK, here is a hint: waist-deep powder followed by walking. My bottom line: I was back in Wallace at 11:45 to open the Wallace District Mining Museum. We are open every day from noon to 5 PM, October through April. It is a tight schedule when you have to drop 10,000 vertical feet through dry powder snow on the way to work.
Monday
Mar 31
6" 122" 178" 16° / 23° Monday
Mar 31
10" 129" 194"
Tuesday
Apr 1
5" 122" 178" 16° /
(5")
Wednesday
Apr 2
0" 122" 178" 16° /
(2")
Thursday
Apr 3
0" 122" 178" 25° / 22° Thursday
Apr 3
trace 132" 197"
Friday
Apr 4
0" 122" 178" 36° / 26° Friday
Apr 4
0" 129" 195"
After hearing that skiing yesterday afternoon was "like cutting through butter with a hot knife," I was eager to experience the same effortless exercise today. Unfortunately, the butter froze overnight, leaving an odd substance in its place for the entire day. I would not call it "icy" because for me, "ice" is reserved for the blue boilerplate native to New England ski areas. I have NEVER seen such a horrible beast at Lookout, yet what was under me today didn't really feel like snow either... I felt like a puck made of dry ice on a table in an eighth grade science experiment. I will describe the surface on the groomed runs as "extremely well packed powder" becoming "exceedingly slick" and approaching "frictionless." Feeling like a awkward tyro, I stayed out of the trees and did not attempt any North Side runs. It was a continuous battle to remain in control of my speed. Today it was not "dance down the mountain;" it was "hang on for dear life." I made ten careful runs between 10 AM and 2 PM, with a couple of retreats into the Lodge for food, coffee and inspiration. Another storm moved into the area as I headed home.
Saturday
Apr 5
3" 122" 178" 21° / 27° Saturday
Apr 5
2" 129" 195"
Sunday
Apr 6
1" 122" 178" 23° / 24° Sunday
Apr 6
2" 129" 196"

On a perfect final day, I made 25 vigorous runs between 8:45 and 3:30, with an hour out for lunch with friends. What a difference two cold days and 4 inches of new snow made! The perfectly packed powder on almost all runs accommodated the normal spring day temperature cycle, absent on Friday, to provide a consistent surface to push against all day long: crisp to moist to crisp again. The only time I slowed down was run #17, ungroomed Hercules with its steep and deep skier crud. I did not fall, but stopped to catch my breath often. At the other extreme, my best time down Black Bear/Marmot is now 2:25. ... Actually, my best time was spent skiing several runs with Dan, Kathy and Joe, season pass holders from far away. Dan and Kathy live in Fremont, California, and yet ski exclusively at Lookout Pass, where they are often joined by his dad, Joe, who lives in Spokane. They also had a hard time keeping their balance on Friday, but today we all boogied. Click to enlarge photo taken by Greg Marsh on April 6, 2008, in a separate window Dan had sought me out on Friday because he is a reader of these commentaries, and wanted to know "where is the corner powder drop?" It was a rush to know that folks in California are interested in what I have to say about skiing in Idaho.

At the end of a glorious day, management threw an employee party in appreciation of both a great season and Kenny Walker, retiring after twenty years as lift operator. The trophy goblet was presented by the Lookout Pass Free Ski School in recognition of the thousands of timid kids that Kenny has helped onto their first chair.

Saturday
Apr 12
0" 122" 178" 32° /
Click to enlarge this photo taken at Silver Mountain by Greg Marsh on April 12, 2008, in a separate window On the first Silver Saturday of 2008, I made 20 vigorous runs between 9:45 and 3:00, when I stopped to bask in the sun outside the Lodge and celebrate an absolutely gorgeous day where temperatures reached into the 60's. I never saw a blemish on the snow on any run: no brown spots, no rocks, no ice. Naturally, as the temperature rose, the snow got slower and slower, but for the most part, its composition stayed consistent, permitting care-free cruising on well traveled runs. Towards mid-afternoon, the jump in speed when skiing from sunshine through shadows became dramatic, but predictable. It has been a few years since I last skied Silver Mountain and I noticed a new double-black diamond run, Moonshine, and a lot of glading on steep terrain that was new to me. While I stayed off these expert enhancements, preferring to minimize challenge while maximizing speed, I took over twenty photos that will work themselves into a Silver Mountain Photo Album over the summer.
Saturday
Apr 19
2" 110" 160" 19° /
The second Silver Saturday of 2008 saw a return to winter conditions: light snowfall all day mixed in with fog and peek-a-boo sunshine. The two inches of "new" was on top of 3 inches of "recent," so snow surfaces stayed cold and reasonably consistent in spite of the date. Thus, I was able to stay calm during a couple of runs down Steep and Deep, and had only minimal trouble with "slip and grip" snow on less steep terrain. The flat light, however, kept me on my toes and ever vigilant, so I was exhausted after eleven runs when I came in for stew at 1:30 PM. I was met by my ride, Del, who had joined up mid-morning with hard-core buddies to pound the double-black diamond run, Moonshine, and the glades below it leading to the bottom of Chair 4. He was beat and ready to head home, saying "it is too hard keeping my speed down."
Saturday
Apr 26
4" 112" 163" 23° /
Click to enlarge this photo taken at Silver Mountain by Greg Marsh on April 12, 2008, in a separate window The third Silver Saturday of 2008 was perhaps the best spring skiing day of my life! From the early rope drop at 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, I made 22 runs under flawless conditions, with time out for a bowl of stew and to spectate at the annual Leadman Triathlon (ski/ride, mountain bike, run) from the top of Kellogg Peak to the Gondola Village in Kellogg. It snowed a little bit every day last week with night time temperatures in the 20's, making all surfaces very homogeneous, and with 4" falling in the last 24 hours and 9" in the last 48 hours, conditions could not be more ideal. On my first run down intermediate Paymaster at 8:00 AM, I found perfectly groomed crispy corduroy that allowed me to go very fast in total control. On my two last runs of the day, with the temperature in the 60's, I found Paymaster to be a sea of mush that again allowed me to go very fast in total control. Never during the day, did I encounter the "slip and grip" snow beast that normally accompanies spring skiing. Rather, I would describe most of what I skied on as "cream cheese on toast." There were two exceptions, however. Run #4 down expert Tall Paul kicked my butt with its nine or more inches of DRY powder. I didn't fall, but my heart rate sure maxed out. On Run #10, I checked out the "south-of-the-border" out-of-bounds area where the untracked, south-facing slopes were covered with very heavy deep snow. Although I was prepared for "mashed potatoes" in this popular area marked with signs that begin "You Will Die," I found to my delight that my potatoes were covered in gravy. Since 1600 folks shared this perfect day with me, there will be another Silver Saturday on May 3.
Saturday
May 3
0" 100" 143" 36° /
More than a thousand enthusiasts showed up for the fourth Silver Saturday of 2008, and the coverage is amazing, so they will be open next Saturday as well, 7 AM to 3 PM!
Saturday
May 10
0" 72" 132" 36° /
More than a thousand enthusiasts showed up for the FIFTH Silver Saturday of 2008, and the coverage is STILL amazing, so they will be open next Saturday as well, 7 AM to 3 PM!
Saturday
May 17
0" 57" 125" 56° /
CLOSED TODAY. Unfortunately, they had an unforeseen mechanical issue with the gondola gear box and therefore, will not be open for skiing. They are hopeful to have it repaired this coming week and plan to be open next Saturday & Sunday May 24 and 25.
Saturday
May 24
0" 30" 60" 38° /
SUNDAY
May 25
0" 30" 60" 39° /
The first ever SILVER SUNDAY ends a spectacular season! The slow spring melt (now causing flooding near Cataldo) meant that 46 trails were still open today with 13 of them groomed. Only the unnecessary Chair 5 was closed on the 126th day of operation for Silver Mountain.
Saturday
MAY 31
0" 22" 40" 45° /
SUNDAY
JUNE 1
0" (22") (40") (45°) /
The second ever SILVER SUNDAY actually ends this spectacular season! The Resort opened their new indoor water park on Saturday and offered an incredible "Stay, Surf & Ski" package for the weekend, so even though less than a thousand folks took to the slopes on this weekend, it was both a great promotion and a great moment in Silver Valley recreational history! On Saturday, chairs 1 & 2 served 19 open slopes, 8 of which were groomed. While there was no published snow report for Sunday, an employee told me that all 200 die-hards had a good time on Silver Mountain's 128th day of operation.
This Snow Water Equivalent Graph dated June 3, 2008, captures this truly historic ski season.
Lookout Pass SNOTEL Elevation 5140, Snow Water Equivalent
click to move to top of data
128
178"
Days Open in 2007/2008 season
Maximum snow depth at summit
98
197"
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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Marsh Scientific Services


 
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Wallace is at the center of a universe filled with mountain recreation and Old West history that you will want to visit more than once. Please tell me what you would like to see on this and other pages at my Historic Wallace Idaho webworks.
Greg Marsh, Ph.D.
    doing business as     Marsh Scientific Services is Greg Marsh, Ph.D.
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last update on Sunday, October 15, 2017