El Nino added to Mammoth Mountain combusts into 140 percent more white

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on October 7, 2009 3:40 pm

On Sunday morning, residents of Mammoth awoke to a changed landscape.  The first winter storm had blanketed the fall browns in winter white.  Está usted, El Nino?

In the spirit of TV news and its ability to eliminate all nuance with the sound bite, we’ll eschew the science and debate behind El Nino, and just give you one number: 140.  In El Nino years, Mammoth Mountain has averaged 140% of its already largess average snow pack.  And in case you’ve been sleeping on the weather dial, it’s El Nino time once again.

“All factors leading up — including El Nino, the early storm, and local weather experts — indicate that we might be looking at something like the  record ’05/’06 winter where we had 680 inches of snow,” said Mammoth Mountain’s Dan Hansen.  “But I can’t ever recall getting 8 inches of snow in the beginning of October.  I might hike and ski today.”

Ah yes, the unbelievable ’05/’06 winter.  A winter so incredible that it is now talked about in hushed tones.  October is the skiing preseason, and optimism always runs high.  So while eight inches of snow (10 up top!) does not guarantee 672 more inches to follow, the odds of awesomeness are in Mammoth’s favor because of that number, 140.

It is the sum of the squares of the first seven integers.  140.  It is the character limit of an entry on Twitter.  For Mammoth Mountain 140 is the percent of average snowfall in an El Nino Year.  A glorious number that 140.

The early season snow at Mammoth did cause one hiccup.  No, it wasn’t caused by trying to sum the squares of the first seven integers.

“We were in the middle of regrading the Super Duper Pipe, so the snow kind of dinged our plans a little,” said Mr. Hansen.  ”But, we now have a work around, and it will be incredible for the USSA Grand Prix Pre-Olympic event here this winter.”

Hey, Switzerland sent 140 athletes to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.  The first football game ever played pitted Rutgers and Princeton Universities in 1869, which was…?  Yep, 140 years ago.

El Nino + Mammoth = 140.  Leave the rest to the scientists.

all photos by Brad Peatross/MMSA




Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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