Will Snowbird’s season extension stick?

Posted By: The Ski Channel on May 24, 2010 10:05 pm

By  late Monday afternoon, Snowbird Ski Resort had recorded 10 inches of new snow to pass 600 inches for the season. Coming off the announcement last week that the Utah ski area would extend weekend operations through Father’s Day, June 20, Snowbird fans had to feel pretty good despite the fact lifts are not scheduled to open again until Friday.

Some pessimists with good memories, however, might remember last season’s dashed extension. On May 14, 2009, Snowbird decided to extend the 2008-09 season through June 14, 2009. Mother Nature had other ideas. Warm temperatures forced the cancellation of the last two weekends of bonus time.

While the valley floor of Salt Lake City received its latest snow on record Monday, snow levels for precipitation later in the week are forecast to be much higher. In other words, some dreaded rain could reach all but the highest elevations of Snowbird. Nonetheless, baring major rain or a heat wave, Snowbird is actually in much better shape this time around– despite slightly less snowfall for the season.

Just as in comedy, timing is everything. Last season, Snowbird breezed past the 600-inch mark about a month earlier on April 25, 2009. From that point, the resort picked up only another 21 inches. In 2010, the current 603-inch season total may lag slightly compared to last year overall, but more than 50 inches have fallen so far in May 2010 versus a warm May 2009. On June 1, 2009, the mid-mountain base depth had dropped to 81 inches. This year, the base currently measures a much healthier 127 inches.

Considering all those factors, the bottom line is that a Father’s Day ski outing with Dad at Snowbird is still probably a safe bet.

(Photo courtesy of Eric Wagnon)