Tony Crocker's no-nonsense BESTSNOW.NET offers quick access to concise information and commentary on snow conditions at most lift-serviced ski areas in western North America, the Northeast, Europe, Japan and the Southern Hemisphere. It also reports on some popular off-piste ski areas and includes very detailed information on Southern California ski areas, snow conditions and snow accumulation history.
For planning a ski trip, this information is vital if you prioritize snow conditions over menu and lodging options. Every skier and snowboarder should check out BESTSNOW.NET before investing the many dollars generally required of a great ski or boarding trip.
Currently BESTSNOW.NET reports that a late January Sierra storm dumped a foot of snow at Mammoth, "but only a few inches at Tahoe, while a larger storm farther south dumped 4 feet of snow in Arizona but was mostly rain in Southern California."
Most Lake Tahoe areas are 100 percent open and have from 102 percent (Squaw) to 137 percent (Heavenly) of annual snow fall. Mammoth has 136 percent, according to BESTSNOW.NET.
The website notes that "during the first week of January almost no place in the western US got as much as a foot of snow and most places had less than 6 inches." The site reports "a few Colorado areas remain in severely limited operation, very unusual this late in the season."
While Steamboat got a late January dump approaching 3 feet, the I-70 resorts have base depths “still mostly less than 3 feet...some of the skiing remains sketchy, particularly for the areas 70% or less open.” BestSnow.com says “A-Basin is only 20% open, and Loveland, Copper and Keystone are also worse than last year at this time.”
In Utah, “Late January snow was 3 feet in the Cottonwood and Ogden areas and half that at Park City.” But only Snowbasin is over its normal snow accumulation, at 103 percent.
BestSnow.net's webmaster, Crocker, "is a skier at heart, but a numbers guy all the way." Employed as an actuary (the mathematics of insurance and pensions) at Transamerica in Los Angeles, he has a Princeton degree in statistics. A visit to BESTSNOW.NET is not as much fun as skiing, but it can make your ski trip more fun than dodging rocks. It's no surprise that it won the 2008 Harold Hirsch Award for Internet Writing from the North American Snowsports Journalist Association.