2013/2014 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
Ten Day Weather Forecasts for both Ski Areas
  A crude measure of each previous season is given by the maximum snow depth recorded at Lookout Pass's summit. The Season Recaps link leads to more summary information presented at the bottom of the page.
2001/2002 Snowfall Log
225"
2002/2003 Snowfall Log
130"
2003/2004 Snowfall Log
119"
2004/2005 Snowfall Log
85"
2005/2006 Snowfall Log
168"
2006/2007 Snowfall Log
163"
2007/2008 Snowfall Log
197"
2008/2009 Snowfall Log
144"
2009/2010 Snowfall Log
90"
2010/2011 Snowfall Log
192"
2011/2012 Snowfall Log
176"
2012/2013 Snowfall Log
139"
Season Recaps
 
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
and today's Snow Report for operation confirmation.
  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
and today's Snow Report for operation confirmation.
 
96 Days Open in 2013/2014 season as of
April 26, 2014
108
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.
Click on the animated color bars to move between the top and bottom of the data.
click to move to bottom of data
Date 24 hr
New
at
Lodge
at
Summit
temp
°F
Date 24 hr
New
at
Lodge
at
Summit

/ 13° Thursday
Nov 21
0" 10" 26"
I rode up to the mountain with Jim, who made six runs without hurtful falls on a cold blue sky day. For my part, I was content to get my skis tuned and torque tested, my locker set up, and my season pass photo taken. I found that in my morning enthusiasm, I had forgotten to grab my helmet from my living room. It is ironic that I skied for 35 years without a helmet before being "forced" to wear one on March 7, 2011. Now the thought of not wearing a helmet while cruising over early season surfaces seems stupid. Instead, I had a good time sitting in the Loft catching up on ski season friendships.

/ 20° Friday
Nov 22
0" 10" 26"

/ 25° Saturday
Nov 23
0" 10" 26"

/ 25° Sunday
Nov 24
0" 10" 26"

/ 28° Monday
Nov 25
0" 10" 26"

/ 30° Thanksgiving
Nov 28
0" 10" 26"
Friday
Nov 29
0" 10" 20" 30° / 25° Friday
Nov 29
0" 10" 26"
3 lifts operating, 12 trails open, 8 groomed 2 lifts operating, most of Idaho Side open
Saturday
Nov 30
1" 10" 20" 30° / 34° Saturday
Nov 30
1" 10" 26"
CLOSED
by high wind
(2") / 32° Sunday
Dec 1
4" 12" 29"

/ 32° Monday
Dec 2
12" 24" 41"

/
(6")

/
(2")

/ Thursday
Dec 5
0" 24" 41"
Friday
Dec 6
0" 20" 34" / Friday
Dec 6
0" 24" 41"
Saturday
Dec 7
0" 20" 34" / -9° Saturday
Dec 7
0" 24" 41"
Sunday
Dec 8
0" 20" 34" / -2° Sunday
Dec 8
0" 24" 41"

/ 14° Monday
Dec 9
3" 25" 42"

/
(5")
Thursday
Dec 12
0" 26" 41" 27° / 23° Thursday
Dec 12
0" 26" 44"
5 lifts operating, 46 trails open, 17 groomed click to enlarge photo in a separate window
Jim picked me up at 8:30 and Mark dropped me at my office at 2:00. In between I made ten solitary runs on perfectly groomed slopes devoid of crowds. The photo was taken at 1:23 from the top of the Montana Face and shows a typical Lookout crowd density on a pleasant weekday. Chair #2 was open and Rainbow Ridge was in perfect shape. Naturally, early season conditions remained on Keystone's bottom steeps, so low-speed situational awareness was important there. The eight inches of powder under the Rainbow Trees was attractive, but the uncertain surface beneath it mitigated carefree with caution.
Friday
Dec 13
6" 26" 41" 23° / 20° Friday
Dec 13
3" 27" 46"
Saturday
Dec 14
3" 26" 41" 30° / 31° Saturday
Dec 14
2" 27" 46"
Jim, Del and I joined up with Spokane Ron and began our day at 9:00 with Cloud Nine, which as predicted, required navigational skills to avoid the remaining dark spots on the bottom steeps. After a couple of easy fast trips down Rainbow Ridge, we decided to check out the newly opened Chair 3 terrain. Del went down expert Hercules, while the three of us took advanced intermediate Marmot. We were all exhausted by the challenge. Last year, when Chair 3 opened on December 8, the challenge was 20" of champagne powder. This year, the challenge was obstacle avoidance. So we continued with Front Side groomers, where high speed and good snow provided exercise without apprehension. Light snowfall was always with us during our eight morning runs together. The photo taken by Ron shows the Three Amigos about to head into the trees.
click to enlarge photo in a separate window
Sunday
Dec 15
0" 26" 41" 30° / 32° Sunday
Dec 15
1" 27" 46"
Monday
Dec 16
0" 26" 41" 34° / 33° Monday
Dec 16
0" 27" 46"
Thursday
Dec 19
1" 26" 41" 20° / 23° Thursday
Dec 19
2" 27" 46"
Friday
Dec 20
0" 26" 41" 14° / 20° Friday
Dec 20
0" 27" 46"
Saturday
Dec 21
4" 28" 45" 18° / 21° Saturday
Dec 21
6" 29" 48"
Jim, Del and I joined Ron from Spokane once again and began a foggy morning with four tree runs: three Rainbows and a Cloud Nine. Unlike later in the season when all the little trees and windfalls are buried and travel is random and carefree, now one needs to plan ahead and pay attention. These runs were followed by a trip down the skier packed powder on Marmot. Still too much hidden rock anxiety for us, so we finished with a more relaxed romp thru the Gold/Silver trees on the Front Side... Well, they finished, but I left the Loft after coffee and made another couple of runs in bright sunshine. Sore thigh muscles come with the territory at the beginning of any season and is no excuse when it is sunny and warm on the slopes. Eight runs on a half foot of fresh snow: what a great way to start a day!
Sunday
Dec 22
1" 28" 45" 27° / 27° Sunday
Dec 22
0" 29" 48"
Monday
Dec 23
3" 28" 45" 31° / 31° Monday
Dec 23
2" 29" 48"
Tuesday
Dec 24
4" 28" 45" 23° / 26° Tuesday
Dec 24
5" 30" 51"
Christmas
Dec 25
0" 28" 45" 25° / 24° Christmas
Dec 25
0" 30" 51"
Thursday
Dec 26
0" 28" 45" 28° / 29° Thursday
Dec 26
0" 29" 48"
click to go to official events page
Del, Jim and I left 35° Wallace at noon to find the parking lot at 39° under an overcast sky. We found perfect spring conditions on the groomed runs... except that it is the day after Christmas and everyone is impatient for the big powder dumps that Lookout is known for. For example, check out the wonderful conditions last year at Christmas time. Today we made a couple of fast runs down unblemished Rainbow Ridge, shown above, then challenged ourselves on Marmot. It was not that bad as the thin spots were obvious and easy to avoid. However, we then went to the easy Idaho Side to complete our fun afternoon: five runs between 12:30 and 2:30. WAY better than sitting home!
Friday
Dec 27
0" 28" 45" 34° / 26° Friday
Dec 27
0" 29" 48"
Saturday
Dec 28
0" 28" 45" 25° / 28° Saturday
Dec 28
0" 29" 48"
Sunday
Dec 29
n/a n/a n/a n/a / (29°) Sunday
Dec 29
0" 29" 48"
Monday
Dec 30
0" 28" 45" 27° / 28° Monday
Dec 30
1" 29" 48"
Tuesday
Dec 31
0" 28" 45" 30° / 31° Tuesday
Dec 31
2" 29" 48"
  New Year
2013
2" 28" 45" 28° / 24° New Year
2013
2" 29" 49"
Q: So how are we doing this year from a historical perspective?
A: Similar to last year, we had a slow start to this ski season. Unlike last season, however, Lookout has accumulated 45 inches LESS snow at the summit of Runt Mountain by New Year's day. Sadly, as shown in the table below, this early season is the driest since I began recording Silver Valley ski conditions 13 years ago. While Midwest and New England states were brutalized by huge deadly winter storms, we started December with a week of bitter cold, when it was too cold to snow (or ski in my opinion), and continued with nice warm weather and no snowfall. Thankfully northern Idaho weather patterns tend to even out during the season. Check out the amazing photos taken at Silver Mountain on Silver Sunday, May 13, 2012, to see how dramatically snow levels can change in a season that started slow. To stay on top of seasonal variations, you should bookmark both my weather and snowfall forecast pages.
Greg Marsh
New Year
2013
0" 36" 58" 16° / 19° New Year
2013
0" 53" 94"
New Year
2012
1" 35" 51" 25° / 24° New Year
2012
0" 42" 64"
New Year
2011
0" 46" 69" / (5°) New Year
2011
trace 50" 92"
New Year
2010
1" 20" 45" 30° / 29° New Year
2010
4" 38" 67"
New Year
2009
4" 49" 64" 19° / 22° New Year
2009
8" 64" 85"
New Year
2008
0" 42" 86" 20° / 12° New Year
2008
2" 74" 105"
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"
CLOSED
gondola problem
/ 29° Thursday
Jan 2
0" 29" 49"
  Friday
Jan 3
0" 28" 45" 25° / 30° Friday
Jan 3
4" 30" 51"
Jim, Del and I joined Ron to make six runs between 9 and and 11 on a warm overcast morning. We began by attacking the 4" of untracked but heavy new snow on Marmot. The snowboarders had an easier time of it, but we all were exhausted by the effort. I actually had to stop halfway down to calm my heart and catch my breath. Three tree runs on the Montana side were then taken to everyone's satisfaction due to much drier snow under the canopy. Naturally one has to be much more vigilant when passing through a forest on a 4 foot base, than when cruising on the 8+ feet of snow normally found in the Cloud Nine and Rainbow trees. A fast Keystone run was followed by a final dash down the Front Side to coffee in the Loft. Naturally the bottom of Keystone and Cloud Nine still required some caution, but the entire Front Side was unblemished.
Saturday
Jan 4
0" 28" 45" 18° / 21° Saturday
Jan 4
½" 30 51"
Sunday
Jan 5
0" 28" 45" 16° / 14° Sunday
Jan 5
0" 30" 51"
Monday
Jan 6
0" 28" 45" 22° / 14° Monday
Jan 6
0" 30" 51"

/ 24° Wednesday
Jan 8
4" 31" 52"
click to enlarge in separate window Jim and I rode up with Del to meet Ron who drove for more than an hour from Spokane to reach the lift and 4" of new powder by 9 AM. Six runs later, we were in the Loft for coffee, discussing all of our exhausting misadventures beneath the trees. The photo highlights Ron as we begin a woodland adventure on good looking and almost sufficient new snow in the Rainbow woods. Soon a snow snake caught a pole and plopped me down on top of a previously buried dead tree. Ron dropped too far in those woods and ended up doing the fun-to-watch "deep powder snowboarder crawl" back up to the run. And Del, who otherwise rode with his usual elegance, made an emergency stop by grabbing a tree as a pivot point... not recommended. Finally, Jim took a turn around a stump near Niagara on the Front Side, only to find a buried branch which wanted a ski more than he did. However, everything else went smoothly under light snowfall, especially when cruising on inches of fast powder covering groomed trails.
Thursday
Jan 9
6" 28" 45" 27° / 30° Thursday
Jan 9
9" 37" 59"
click to enlarge in separate window Our four man posse returned to the mountain for what the snow report called "What we have been waiting for!" The eight inches that fell overnight were dry and truly delicious. I called it "hero powder" because I could bounce my way through calf and knee-deep quantities of it. Not always true for me. The photo of Del descending Red Dog shows the quality of the day. The boarders liked this steep Chair #3 terrain the best, but Jim and I took delight from the deep untracked powder on Silver. We all loved the elevated snow level beneath the Chair #2 trees. We are now back to making easy bunny rabbit turns through the woods without fear of lurking snow snakes. Seven runs by 11:15 left us all happy, well exercised, and glad to see our usual Lookout Pass conditions again.
Friday
Jan 10
4" 28" 45" 27° / 29° Friday
Jan 10
7" 39" 62"
Jackass Day
Jackass Ski Bowl was introduced to the world in 1968 with one chair where Chair 4 is today. Come celebrate their 46 year history with cool retro lift ticket price of only $12.00 plus tax!
All 6 lifts are running, 75 trails are open, 27 are groomed.
CLOSED
extreme weather
4" 28" 45" 29° / 32° Saturday
Jan 11
5" 40" 63"
Jim and Del spent a frustrating morning at the resort yesterday battling high winds, so they were eager to get a few runs in today, before the start of the famous ten week Free Ski School. In 77 seasons, the Lookout Pass Free Ski School has introduced more than 60,000 kids to the wonderful winter world of skiing and riding. So my friends convinced me to join them when Chair #1 opened. However, it was not a crowd of eager kids in lift lines that ended our day after two runs. It was the nasty weather: heavy wet snow falling on a surface that Del described as "freshly poured cement." He found toe side turns on Marmot to be difficult; I found Rainbow Ridge to be stressful. Unexpected gale force wind gusts added to the excitement in our separate survival games. When we left about 10:30, the temperature was dropping and the snowfall was increasing, so soon powder conditions will return.
Sunday
Jan 12
3" 28" 45" 23° / 26° Sunday
Jan 12
12" 46" 69"
Monday
Jan 13
6" 28" 45" 31° / 31° Monday
Jan 13
3" 47" 71"

/ 28° Wednesday
Jan 15
0" 47" 71"
Thursday
Jan 16
0" 55" 61" 30° / 28° Thursday
Jan 16
0" 47" 71"
Friday
Jan 17
0" 55" 61" 28° / 27° Friday
Jan 17
0" 47" 71"
Saturday
Jan 18
0" 55" 61" 32° / 24° Saturday
Jan 18
0" 47" 71"
Del picked me up at 8:10 AM in Silverton and dropped me in Wallace at 11:50, after we made eight runs on a warm and beautiful blue sky day. We were joined by Ron, and together we stayed ahead of the crowd until the Free Ski School got underway, and then it was time for us to leave. We liked cruising on mile-and-a-quarter-long Rainbow Ridge the most on the Montana Side, as the bottoms of Keystone and Cloud Nine were ice cube rubble fields requiring strong leg muscles to conquer. We were happily surprised to find Marmot on the North Side groomed and good all the way down. Naturally the softest machine groomed packed powder was on the Front Side, where Silver and Gold were perfect practice runs. It was great to see all the happy kids and families at the resort today. At Lookout Pass, lift lines are actually appreciated by the locals... because we are keenly interested in the next expansion of the resort happening as soon as possible.
Sunday
Jan 19
0" 55" 61" 32° / 29° Sunday
Jan 19
0" 47" 71"
Similar to last year, Lookout's WINTER CARNIVAL and FAMILY FUN DAY occurred on a a warm and sunny March day in January. Unfortunately we have 60% less snow at the summit this year due to the continuing Pacific Northwest drought. Still, all trails are free of obstacles, well groomed and fun. Sure it was icy corduroy in the morning, but by noon most surfaces had turned to "sugar." At 1:00 I had Keystone all to myself: no one seen ahead of me, and no one appearing behind me for a couple of minutes when I finished. I had the sugar (without ice cubes this time) all to myself because most everyone else was on the Front Side watching or joining in the Eighth Annual Wife Carrying Contest, a Three Legged Race, or a Snowman Building Contest. There was Beer Tasting and BBQ on the patio, volleyball, and two inflatable fun houses for kids, most of whom wore painted faces. In the Loft, keyboardist and singer Jimmy Finn entertained his own fun house. I made eleven runs during this pleasantly packed day, where the parking lots were full, yet my lift lines were always negligible.
  MLK Day
Jan 20
0" 55" 61" 27° / 20° MLK Day
Jan 20
0" 47" 71"

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. It is clear from the current graph and the historical chart that this winter is dreadfully below average as far as snowfall goes. However, we are actually slightly better than we were in 2012 at about this time, and 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010 MLK Days were also below average. Please remember that traditionally most of our snow falls from now on. Only the 2004/05 season did not recover,

Open the current LOOKOUT graph, in a separate window, from the Water and Climate Center, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Open the current graph from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Idaho,
      in a separate window

  MLK Day
Jan 21
2013
0" 37" 57" 33° / 32° MLK Day
Jan 21
0" 64" 113"
MLK Day
Jan 16
2012
5" 37" 56" 10° / 13° MLK Day
Jan 16
2012
2" 46" 67"
MLK Day
Jan 17
2011
0" 54" 79" 32° / 34° MLK Day
Jan 17
2011
trace 54" 99"
MLK Day
Jan 18
2010
1" 25" 54" 32° / 32° MLK Day
Jan 18
2010
1" 47" 81"
MLK Day
Jan 19
2009
0" 33" 70" 46° / 22° MLK Day
Jan 19
2009
0" 58" 84"
MLK Day
Jan 21
2008
0" 55" 103" -6° /
-3°
MLK Day
Jan 21
2008
0" 84" 121"
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"

/ 30° Wednesday
Jan 22
0" 47" 71"
Thursday
Jan 23
0" 55" 61" 28° / 26° Thursday
Jan 23
0" 47" 71"
Del and I joined Mark to make seven runs on all mountain aspects during a morning that began in a freezing fog that soon dissolved under a brilliant blue sky. Naturally we had to be content with perfectly groomed trails as tree skiing was not enticing. As the day warmed up, one could not ask for better snow and weather conditions, however. Since the machine groomed packed powder on the trails had not melted and refrozen recently, surfaces remained consistently manageable. Black Bear to Silver and Marmot were our Chair #1 and #3 favorites; Keystone was now unblemished and fun all the way down to Chair #2. Unfortunately I had to return to Wallace by noon; otherwise I would have wanted to ski all day in the sunshine on softening snow.
Friday
Jan 24
0" 55" 61" 28° / 28° Friday
Jan 24
0" 47" 70"
Cotton gloves, open jackets, bright sun in a cloudless dark blue sky, no lift lines, and "well conditioned" snow characterized another great morning for Del, Mark and I. We again made seven runs together on all aspects of the mountain without encountering ice or dark colored objects to avoid. Predictably Silver on the east-facing Front Side held the softest snow, while south-facing Keystone on the Back Side presented a firmer surface to race down. Marmot on the North Side was fun as well, especially where sunshine and shadows highlighted the surface contours. Del and I were back in Wallace by noon due to other obligations.
Saturday
Jan 25
0" 55" 61" 32° / 27° Saturday
Jan 25
0" 46" 70"
Sunday
Jan 26
0" 55" 61" 28° / 18° Sunday
Jan 26
0" 45" 69"
Del and I drove to the mountain for some afternoon exercise and to take in the annual BAVARIAN BREWS, BRATS and MUSIC FEST. We did six runs: Rainbow, Marmot four times and Silver. We both enjoyed Marmot as the machine and skier packed snow on this north facing trail had remained cold since our last visit. I found the surface on Rainbow Ridge and Silver to be "firm" but fun, but snowboarder Del called them "icy." As someone who spent many a day in New England negotiating BLUE boiler plate ice, I thought his definition of "icy" silly. The weather pattern that has governed the entire winter, where east of the Rockies from Texas to Maine has been brutally cold and unusually snowy, while the West Coast has been warm and dry, was summarized in the view from the top of Runt Mountain. To the west, blue sky, to the east, dark and promising cloud banks. Snowfall is expected this week. Finally!
Monday
Jan 27
0" 55" 61" 19° / 26° Monday
Jan 27
0" 45" 69"

/ 27° Wednesday
Jan 29
3" 47" 71"
This morning on NPR, it was reported that hundreds of kids in Georgia had to sleep in their classrooms overnight due to the SECOND "Polar Vortex" freezing most of the US east of us. Drivers in the South have an excuse for losing control in never-seen-before snow. Drivers here don't. We FINALLY get 3" to play on only to encounter two large trucks on the road to the Pass who obviously didn't believe the flashing sign that read "ALL TRUCKS MUST CHAIN UP WHEN LIGHTS FLASH." Del slid Jim and I between their jack-knifing carcases before the gap closed. We were the last folks to arrive at the resort for more than an hour. So we made nine runs on untracked white velvet with little competition. With inch/hour snowfall landing on the 3 inches of poof present at 5:30, things just kept getting better during a delightful morning. Under "Powder Rules" we all went our separate ways. I spent most of my time on the Front Side because there was always an empty chair and untracked powder in front of me. I also played a bunny rabbit hopping thru the Rainbow Woods once more.
Thursday
Jan 30
3" 55" 61" 22° / 25° Thursday
Jan 30
6" 52" 76"
Nine inches of LIGHT DRY POWDER since Monday made this a must-ski-day for Del, Jim and I. We met up with Mark and Ron at Chair #1, but under "Powder Rules" it was everyone for themselves after that. "No Friends on Powder Days." Varying equipment, abilities and attitudes disband the posse. I made eight runs by 11:15, beginning with first tracks through the Rainbow Woods. The others went to Chair #3 immediately; I concluded my day there with drops down Marmot and Red Dog. The latter was especially exciting in the quarter pipe above the chairlift, where a dark something under my feet made my heart skip a beat. On my final run back to the Loft on Gold, I noticed that there was still no lift line at Chair #1, in spite of the full parking lot and a promotion by Progressive Radio 95.3 KPND. For the last couple of weeks, folks in Spokane and Hayden were able to buy today's pass for $9.53 at two sporting goods stores. Snowfall expected all day and into the night... with sunshine tomorrow!
Friday
Jan 31
5" 54" 66" 21° / 21° Friday
Jan 31
11" 58" 82"
click to enlarge in separate window
As expected, the Three Amigos jumped on the lift when it opened. Another six inches of cold light snow fell overnight, adding to the five inches that fell during the day. So finally we have achieved the legendary champagne powder conditions that makes us famous. For me, nothing makes me happier than wandering through a sunny forest at a comfortable speed with a bow wave of weightless whiteness breaking at my knees. Del, on the other hand, was delighted and exhausted when he dropped down expert Hercules three times in a row. Jim, also a tree lover, alternated between mellow explorations and rigorous workouts. The photo shows the day's interesting weather mix and the new terrain currently being considered for expansion. "Four chair fog" covered the top and Front Side of Runt Mountain for most of our day, while blue sky was above us by midway down on the Back and North sides. We were all tired powder hounds when we left at 1:30; each us having completed twelve runs in our different ways.
Saturday
Feb 1
0" 54" 66" 16° / 24° Saturday
Feb 1
1" 58" 82"
Sunday
Feb 2
0" 54" 66" 21°) / 19° Sunday
Feb 2
1" 58" 82"
Monday
Feb 3
5" 54" 66" 16° / 18° Monday
Feb 3
6" 61" 85"
click to enlarge Dave Bishop in separate window
I had planned to get a lot of webwork done today, but at 8:00 Del knocked on my door and said: "The five inch rule is in effect, the posse must ride!" Actually six inches of the driest snow seen this year had fallen overnight and the eight runs we made by 11:30 were simply magical. The term "Champagne Powder" took on different meanings when we immediately split into two groups. Jim and I were intoxicated by the ease and beauty of making perfect S turns on Silver's untracked surface; ours was fancy wedding champagne. Snowboarders Del and Ron, on the other hand, headed down Hercules where "almost every turn produced a face shot; often it was impossible to see or breathe." After consuming this fraternity party champagne almost to excess, they joined Jim and I to romp through Montana Side forests where all of us were on a heavenly footing. As shown by the photo taken at the end of our morning, we had the place to ourselves. Silver is in the background, Dave Bishop and Del are in the foreground. Dave, a former ski jumper, ran the Ski Patrol at Silver Mountain for a decade, but today was only his seventh time on a snowboard. Del was able to give him some pointers, so now he really flys.

/ -5° CLOSED
Wind Chill
1" 61" 85"
Thursday
Feb 6
0" 58" 69" / -10° Thursday
Feb 6
0" 61" 85"
Friday
Feb 7
2" 58" 69" / Friday
Feb 7
2" 61" 85"
Saturday
Feb 8
2" 58" 63" (15°) / (13°) Saturday
Feb 8
½" 62" 86"
Sunday
Feb 9
3" 58" 63" 13° / 10° CLOSED
Chair #1 repair
3" 63" 87"
Monday
Feb 10
4" 58" 63" 16° / 24° CLOSED
Chair #1 repair
2" 63" 89"

/ 30° Wednesday
Feb 12
9" 65" 94"
With 3" overnight, 9" in last 24 hours and 16" falling since Sunday, Del, Jim and I HAD to check things out... in spite of the gentle rain falling in Wallace at 8:30 AM. Sadly, it was still raining in Lookout's parking lot. But we were dressed for the weather and we decided to see how things were at the summit. One of Del's bindings broke while getting on the lift, and we took that as an omen. Snowboarders pointed downhill below the Idaho Face, but not moving was another sign. Sure enough, we all found the catch-and-release collapsible "heavy powder" scary to move through because of its unpredictable nature. We came down the beginner trail Huckleberry Ridge for the first time in years, happy to have avoided injury on our one run. I know: you think we are spoiled wimps; we prefer to think of ourselves as wise connoisseurs.
Thursday
Feb 13
1" 58" 63" 32° / 32° Thursday
Feb 13
2" 65" 94"
Friday
Feb 14
1" 58" 63" 32° / 28° Friday
Feb 14
2" 65" 94"
Saturday
Feb 15
4" 58" 71" 28° / 27° Saturday
Feb 15
2" 64" 95"
Sunday
Feb 16
4" 58" 71" 21° / 29° Sunday
Feb 16
6" 67" 98"
click to enlarge in separate window
When Del and I pulled into the parking lot during an early morning snow squall, we were focussed on the five inches of new snow that had fallen overnight. We soon discovered that this was heavier than normal, but not wet as it was last Wednesday. I initially labelled it "difficult but doable," but as the day progressed and snow continued to fall, sometimes with blizzard intensity, the surface conditions improved, making turning easier and easier. When wind became an issue, retreating into the woods was often possible. As always, traveling through the woods presents its own pitfalls... as shown in the photo. Always explore unfamiliar places with care. Del wore himself out on Hercules, while I was content with the rigor of Marmot and Red Dog on Chair #3. We met up with others and completed ten runs before lunch, when we enjoyed the music of Jimmy Finn in the Loft as part of Lookout's Mardi Gras celebration. After lunch, we encountered our only lift line: Chair #1 at 1 PM. Go figure. We made a total of fourteen runs on a GOOD bad weather day.
  Pres. Day
Feb 17
5" 58" 71" 24° /
29°
Pres. Day
Feb 17
12" 70" 104"


In a repeat of last season, we have had below normal snow depths so far this year. This is very unlike most of the country, which has been brutalized by at least two monster winter storms stretching from Texas to Maine. However, as the graph shows, we are now catching up to our normal snowfall levels. However, in marked contrast to last season when early morning temperatures were in the 20's about 75% of the time, and only ranged from 32° to 10°, this season was punctuated by a couple of sudden cold snaps into the single digits. Today's graph of the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) measured at Lookout Pass Ski Area by Idaho's Natural Resources Conservation Service as part of their Idaho Snow Survey Program, shows that while we are still slightly below the 1981-2010 SWE average, we are headed in the right direction. We have now surpassed 2003, 2009 and 2010 President Day summit totals, leaving the dismal 2004/2005 season far behind. But even then, February 17, 2005, turned out to be a fun day at Lookout Pass.

Open the CURRENT graph in a separate window, or visit the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Idaho.

  Pres. Day
Feb 18
2013
2" 45" 69" 23° /
21°
Pres. Day
Feb 18
2" 65" 119"
Pres. Day
Feb 20
2012
2" 71" 98" 19° / 24° Pres. Day
Feb 20
2012
1" 88" 126"
Pres. Day
Feb 21
2011
1" 68" 92" 16° / 22° Pres. Day
Feb 21
2011
1" 74" 130"
Pres. Day
Feb 15
2010
2" 42" 60" 30° /
33°
Pres. Day
Feb 15
2010
1" 51" 89"
Pres. Day
Feb 16
2009
skiff 35" 70" 25° /
24°
Pres. Day
Feb 16
2009
2" 59" 85"
Pres. Day
Feb 18
2008
0" 85" 126" 23° / 20° Pres. Day
Feb 18
2008
0" 112" 168"
Pres. Day
Feb 19
2007
4½" 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 18
8" 71" 84" 24° /
Wednesday
Feb 19
10" 71" 84" 19° / 24° Wednesday
Feb 19
16" 83" 121"
Thursday
Feb 20
6" 71" 84" 20° / 23° Thursday
Feb 20
4" 83" 122"
My posse scolded me for missing EPIC POWDER yesterday, and said that there was no excuse for staying away today. "Office work? You're supposed to be retired!" So Del, Jim and I joined Mark, Ron and others to play in another almost blizzard. Everything was wonderful, except for visibility. Deep "hero" powder under the trees, and easy new snow on machine groomed packed powder trails made us all look good...
except once when snowboarder Ron had too much fun in the Rainbow Woods, went too far before heading back to the resort, and thus got to demonstrate the classic snowboarder powder crawl for our amusement. To be be honest, however, I also entertained when I took a tumble on my
thirteenth and final run ... at the bottom of Copper in full view of the gang watching from the Loft deck.
Friday
Feb 21
7" 73" 86" 20° / 23° Friday
Feb 21
7" 86" 127"
Saturday
Feb 22
1" 73" 86" 10° / 11° Saturday
Feb 22
2" 86" 127"
Sunday
Feb 23
0" 73" 86" (19°) / (19°) Sunday
Feb 23
1" 86" 127"
Monday
Feb 24
10" 80" 95" 17° / 17° Monday
Feb 24
10" 89" 131"
click to enlarge in separate window
Eight inches overnight on top of yesterday's two inches of light snowfall made for ideal conditions and a fun morning for Lookout's hard-core powder hounds. There were less than fifty of us in line when Chair #1 started loading at 8:55 AM. Under Powder Rules, we all headed out in different directions according to skill and desire. But given the resort's excellent design, where all three lifts come together at the top of Runt Mountain, reunions always happen. My eight runs took place for the most part under the Montana Side trees, where relief from the cold wind was possible and deep untracked snow was everywhere. The only bad part was the run out to Chair #2 where ice-cream headaches mitigated speed. Still, to my mind, nothing matches the quiet solitude and unexpected sculpture only found deep in the woods.

/ 14° Wednesday
Feb 26
0" 89" 133"
click to enlarge in separate window
Peer pressure got me to the resort with Del and Jim about 9:30, in spite of my misgivings. The ski report that mentioned temps in the teens and "moderate" winds was part of my reluctance. A winter cough was another factor mitigating my enthusiasm. However, once at the mountain, the blue sky lifted my spirits and camera... until the wind chill on my face below my goggles and inadequate gloves drove me inside for coffee after only three runs. It turned out that I actually made more runs than either Del or Jim. On Del's first run down Black Bear, he was thrown by a transition from wind pack to wind drift, tried to "tuck and roll," but instead went "tuck and splat." His back side ribs took the impact and cried out in pain. Jim helped him down to the Lodge and made one more run. The weather pattern is clear: blue sky to the west, dark clouds to the east. The THIRD major "polar vortex" of the season is beginning to move down from Canada into the Mid-West on its way to Texas, Georgia, and New England. Once again, Lookout Pass sits on the cusp of the major climate change that some politicians would rather not acknowledge.
Thursday
Feb 27
0" 80" 95" 34° / 20° Thursday
Feb 27
0" 88" 132"
Friday
Feb 28
6" 80" 95" 23° / 28° Friday
Feb 28
5" 90" 135"
Saturday
Mar 1
2" 80" 95" / Saturday
Mar 1
1" 90" 135"
Sunday
Mar 2
3" 80" 95" 19° / 11° Sunday
Mar 2
3" 90" 136"
Monday
Mar 3
13" 80" 95" 30° / 32° Monday
Mar 3
17" 95" 144"
click to enlarge in separate window
Let's see: 14" overnight, 18" during the last 48 hours as 5:30 AM temps went from 2° to 32°. Why did I think this would be fun? On my first run down Cloud 9, I realized how much I was skiing beyond my ability. Wet snow on top of dry snow gives a perfect storm of continual anxiety. I found myself awkwardly alternating between modified snowplows in heavy deep untracked snow and survival skiing on fast but collapsible corduroy. I fell once from exhaustion. However, Jim the better skier and Ron the snowboarder were able to complete 8 and 9 runs before collapsing in the Loft. I was content to make two runs without injury. I'm still recovering from a cold, so my early fatigue may have been due to more than just snow conditions and lack of ability. The fact that conditions were difficult for more than just me was demonstrated on my return to the lodge on Quicksilver, when I encountered a groomer that had slid off the cat track below Lucky Friday Glades. Don't hate me for smiling.
Thursday
Mar 6
0" 80" 95" 35° / 35° Thursday
Mar 6
3" 96" 149"
Friday
Mar 7
0" 80" 95" 30° / 31° Friday
Mar 7
1" 94" 146"
Saturday
Mar 8
2" 80" 95" 32° / 29° Saturday
Mar 8
0" 92" 144"
click to enlarge in separate window
Jim and I needed the exercise and today was the best day weatherwise in about a week, so we were happy to join the crowd on a warm and overcast morning. We were pleasantly surprised by the fun quality of the groomed trails. Better machine-groomed skier packed powder could not be imagined. It was soft, fast and easy all at once. Perfect ski school snow. Jim and I called it "technique snow" - snow ideal for practicing technique, style and grace. The photo reveals Jim on top of Cloud Nine in more ways than one. This view of the St. Regis Basin always stops me in my tracks on dramatic days. This was not a day, however, for woodland adventures as the snow under the trees was extremely crusty. We made ten runs before joining a happy crowd in the Loft. Actually the huge Saturday crowd was both welcome and incidental. The bigger the crowd, the closer we are to realizing the planned resort expansion. Yet we only encountered one lift line when we arrived at Chair #2 along with the Free Ski School and the Race Team. Big deal.
Sunday
Mar 9
0" 80" 95" 37° / 37° Sunday
Mar 9
0" 89" 141"
Monday
Mar 10
6" 80" 95" 31° / 31° Monday
Mar 10
3" 82" 134"
Thursday
Mar 13
0" 74" 94" 30° / 30° Thursday
Mar 13
0" 81" 129"
click to enlarge in separate window
Jim and I enjoyed ourselves on what the ski report called a "BEAUTIFUL BLUEBIRD DAY with excellent machine groomed packed powder conditions!" This was totally correct, and yet I counted only FIVE skiers/riders on the mountain during the seven minute ride up Chair #1 at 9:45 AM. It was a fun day to stay on the groomers because, as expected, the snow surface changed from noisy firm to almost catchy soft as the Lodge temperature climbed to 42° by 1 PM. The above photo shows Jim headed past the Rolling Thunder terrain park (originally called Buzzards Valley) with the majestic Copper Lake Basin in the distance. As gorgeous as the morning was, this was not a day for carefree passage through the woods. Carpiedog is shown below, UNHARMED, after demonstrating at slow speed how to make a non-turn in crusty snow. We made ten runs before retiring to the Loft. Our last trip down Gold was on perfectly packed powder.
click to enlarge in separate window
Friday
Mar 14
0" 74" 94" 32° / 32° Friday
Mar 14
0" 80" 128"
Saturday
Mar 15
3" 74" 94" 32° / 27° Saturday
Mar 15
3" 82" 129"
Sunday
Mar 16
3" 74" 94" 37° / 40° Sunday
Mar 16
0" 80" 127"
Monday
Mar 17
6" 74" 94" 25° / 30° Monday
Mar 17
4" 77" 124"
Thursday
Mar 20
9" 77" 94" 18° / 23° Thursday
Mar 20
7" 79" 127"
click to enlarge in separate window
Jim and I joined Mark and Ron on a fabulous powder day: 7" overnight with temps in the teens meant everything was wondrous. Light snowfall and sun breaks added to the magical effect during a morning that I spent for the most part enjoying the solitude of the woods. In marked contrast to the impossible crusty snow encountered a week ago, today's dry powder made wandering at random thru the forest effortless. Pictured is an area between upper Cloud 9 and Rainbow Ridge where the untracked powder drops quicker than it looks. I only made seven runs because my son and family are visiting from Florida, and are due to arrive by car from Seattle at midday.
Friday
Mar 21
2" 77" 94" 20° / 17° Friday
Mar 21
2" 80" 128"
click to enlarge in separate window
Rental of equipment went smoothly for my son Dan, his wife Debbie, and grandson Keegan. Debbie and Keegan took lessons on Chair #4 from Kelly, shown in the photo, while Dan and I skied together for the first time in 23 years. It was an interesting day weatherwise: bright sunshine mixed with gentle snow squalls to provide my family with a soft forgiving surface on their first day on the mountain. After their lesson, Debbie and Keegan spent more time on Chair #4 before advancing to Chair #1. One run was enough for Mom, but 9 year old Keegan took naturally to the sport. I made thirteen runs during the day, including some with Dan and Keegan on Huckleberry Ridge.
Saturday
Mar 22
0" 77" 94" 19° / 16° Saturday
Mar 22
0" 79" 127"
Sunday
Mar 23
0" 77" 94" 27° / 29° Sunday
Mar 23
3" 80" 128"
click to enlarge in separate window
Another warm and mostly sunny day made things again ideal for my visitors from Florida. Debbie went exploring around Coeur d'Alene, while Dan, Keegan and I skied on 3 inches of dry powder. Keegan appears to be a natural athlete. On his second run, he skied down Rainbow Ridge without falling! I found out that he had previously taught himself to use a skateboard and surfboard, so balance seems easy for him. In spite of the fact that the final races of the Emerald Empire YSL series, which began yesterday, were being held on perfect spring snow, the resort was not crowded. The photo and its mouseover closeup shows the quality of the day. I made fourteen runs mostly with my son and grandson.
Monday
Mar 24
2" 77" 94" 28° / 20° Monday
Mar 24
0" 79" 127"
On a spectacular bluebird day, Dan, Keegan and I had ourselves a ball. We stayed together as my grandson conquered Gold and Hoot Owl, as well as the outside trees along the side of Huckleberry and Rainbow Ridges. By the end of the day, Keegan was moving faster than his dad could video. Dan would race ahead, get his camera out and then get only a few seconds before his son would wiz past. The photos were pulled from a video that I made yesterday... when he moved slower. Today, I was amazed that the lad was able to stay ahead of me on Rainbow Ridge as I connected short swing turns in a relaxed manner. I only saw him fall once during his third day on skis. I made fifteen runs with my son and grandson. Keegan, boy wonder, made seventeen!
click to enlarge in separate window
Thursday
Mar 27
2" 77 94 28° / 30° Thursday
Mar 27
1" 75" 122"
Friday
March 28
7" 77" 94" 28° / 31° Friday
March 28
7" 77" 126"
Saturday
March 29
7" 77" 94" 31° / 33° Saturday
March 29
1" 75" 124"
Sunday
Mar 30
4" 77" 94" 28° / 31° Sunday
Mar 30
2" 75" 126"
Monday
Mar 31
3" 77" 104" 26° / 28° Monday
Mar 31
2" 76" 127"
Thursday
Apr 3
0" 77" 104" 27° / 29° Thursday
Apr 3
0" 70" 119"
click to enlarge in separate window
I rode up early with Mark and his daughter Kaitlyn, age 8, and made several runs with them during a gorgeous morning that reminded me of this Thursday a year ago when we also enjoyed spring skiing together. Today I was on the first chair at 9:00 AM and arrived in the Loft for coffee at 11:58, twelve runs later. Snow surfaces went from firm to soft with "perfect" in between as the summit temperature rose from 27° to 36° by 1:30 PM. Maintaining "perfect spring conditions" was a matter of following the sun and staying away from shadows and trees. Just before noon, the run out to chair #2 was starting to become sluggish, but as the photo of lower Cloud 9 and Keystone shows, these steeps remain blemish free at the end of a season that started slowly, had some cold days, but finished wonderfully.
Friday
Apr 4
2" 77" 104" 29° / 31° Friday
Apr 4
2" 69" 118"
Saturday
Apr 5
4" 77" 104" 27° / 31° Saturday
Apr 5
1" 69" 118"
  Sunday
Apr 6
3" 77" 104" 30° / 33°   Sunday
Apr 6
0" 68" 117"
click to enlarge in separate window
I made eight runs on a remarkable last day of the season. For one thing, today everyone received a FREE LIFT TICKET! And yet as the view from the top of Bonanza shows, the slopes were far from crowded. The mouseover closeup of the lift line at 11:52 reveals that NO BROWN SPOTS exist on the Idaho Side even beside Chair #1. In fact, the only discolored snow I saw was adjacent to Chair #3, and that was merely slightly tan. Naturally the "rain-packed-powder" resembled mashed potatoes... but it had a consistent density on all aspects of the mountain, so it was both easy and exhausting. During the day the conditions actually improved on the groomed trails as they became packed by recreational enthusiasts.
Silver
Saturday #1
Apr 12
0" 67" 94" 33° /  

5 lifts, 79 trails open
33 machine groomed trails
"It's a perfect bluebird day!"
  Silver
Saturday #2
Apr 19
1" 67" 95" 35° /
4 lifts, 79 trails open
33 machine groomed trails
"light wind, 48° expected"
  Silver
Saturday #3
Apr 26
3" 64" 96" 30° /
4 lifts and 79 trails open
30 groomed trails, Spring Conditions
calm, cloudy, high 37°
great weather for the ski/ride_to_bike_to_run LeadMan competition

"The Annual NASCO LEADMAN at Silver Mountain Resort is an exciting individual or team competition for those who prefer a rowdy adventure course and might be a bit softer than the traditional Ironman athlete! The race begins at Kellogg Peak on Silver Mountain when the gun is fired and competitors run about 200 ft to click into their gear for an approximate 1 mile ski/board to the mountain bike transition point. At that stage, competitors find their riding gear and mountain bikes and brave a mostly downhill dirt course to the City of Kellogg where the run initiates. After the 7 to 11 mile bike ride the runners take off for a 4 to 5 mile run to the finish line at Gondola Village at Silver Mountain Resort. The fastest times are under 50 minutes and the last racers cross the finish line in about 2 hours."


click to move to top of data
   
If you have followed wallace-id.com since 1998, and these snowfall logs since 2001, you know that this is my personal effort to bring attention to my adopted hometown of 784 individuals and the recreational opportunities that surround it. Although I charge $100 to build webpages for Wallace businesses, I host those pages free forever. Therefore the major way that I receive revenue is when readers chose to enter amazon.com through a wallace-id.com widget, either directly or via my Wallace Store
poweredbyamazon
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You only need to do this once if you then bookmark a page of your choice. My tag will be part of that URL, and I will receive 4 to 6% of your purchase.
Thank you for your support,
Greg Marsh

96
104" March 31
Days open in 2013/2014 Season
Maximum snow depth at summit
108
149" March 6

This Snow Water Equivalent Graph was downloaded on May 5, 2014, and shows that when compared with thirty year averages, this season produced more snow than average, yet we remain below average for total yearly precipatation. Also note that we did not attain our average amount of snowfall until the beginning of March. This meant that early season conditions continued into January far more than desired. My attitude that skiing should always be fun, coupled with three single digit cold snaps, dropped my on-snow days to 31 for a 28.7% attendance record, and my vertical-miles-skied to 49.7 or 1.60 vertical miles/day. Compare this with previous seasons:

Season Days Skied (% possible) Vertical Miles (per day)
2012/2013 44 (41.5%) 76.5 (1.74/day)
2011/2012 41 (36.3%) 72.4 (1.77/day)
2010/2011 51 (45.5%) 83.6 (1.64/day)

Open the CURRENT graph in a separate window, or visit the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Idaho.

Lookout Pass SNOTEL Elevation 5140, Snow Water Equivalent


click to move to top of data
 
Silver Mountain Lookout Pass
94
91"
Days open in 2012/2013 Season
Maximum snow depth at summit
106
139"
101
135"
Days open in 2011/2012 Season
Maximum snow depth at summit
113
176"
103
145"
Days open in 2010/2011 Season
Maximum snow depth at summit
112
192"
97
70"
Days Open in 2009/2010 season
Maximum snow depth at summit
111
90"
92
118"
Days Open in 2008/2009 season
Maximum snow depth at summit
93
144"
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"

 

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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.
greg4mss@hotmail.com

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