The 22/23 season delivered multiple records in multiple States. Chasing powder was so abundant that many of the top days of the season became a blur or endless powder days. Let's look at some data and photos from the top chases this season.
22/23 started out with a strong signal of La Niña with the PNW and Northern Rockies leading the pack early this season. There were many early season powder days with Utah, Wyoming, and some areas of the Cascades starting out well. California was out of the loop in November with locals saying "It's going to be a bust". Suddenly storms shifted south and as the winter moved along storms shifted south over Oregon and the Sierra nearly consistently through much of the winter. In fact, the Sierra snow lab recorded the 2nd snowiest season in history with over 700 inches (60 Feet) this season. 812 inches fell in 1952. There is more snow in the forecast this week but the record will not be broken. The season was so deep that much of the highlights are a white room blur to me.
Below: Sierra Snow Lab snow totals compared to the median from 1991-2020.
At one point this season, folks were celebrating 400-inch totals, then it was
"Wow we just passed 600 inches" and 600 became 700 and can anyone believe that Alta surpassed 900 inches? We still did not break the all-time snow record at Mt Baker of 1,140 inches in the 98/99 season we will likely hold onto that record in my lifetime.
Here is a quick summary of some resorts that broke all-time records with very impressive totals. More snow is in the forecast for California this week (Light or moderate totals above 8,000).
Eagle Point, UT – 367 inches
Cherry Peak, UT – 459 inches
China Peak, CA – 549 inches
Heavenly, CA – 566 inches
Jackson Hole, WY – 595 inches
Deer Valley, UT – 598 inches
Snowbasin, UT – 613 inches
Park City, UT – 636 inches
Bear Valley Resort, CA – 672 inches
Kirkwood, CA – 705 inches
Mammoth Mountain, CA – 705 inches
Palisades Tahoe, CA – 710 inches
Dodge Ridge Mountain Resort, CA – 731 inches
Boreal, CA – 735 inches
Solitude Mountain Resort, UT 809 inches
Snowbird, UT – 831 inches
Brighton, UT – 878 inches
Alta, UT – 903 inches- WOO HOO and the snowiest March on record with179 inches with a normal of 88.
Below: Courtesy of ABC News Utah showing snowfall records for Alta. The Cottonwoods Crushed it, as did so many ski resorts in several states this season.
Below: Here is the SWE map (Percent of normal) of water if you melted all this snow as of April 17th. Notice that the northern Cascades of WA were near normal with much higher totals in Oregon and 273% of the average for Tahoe, with big numbers also in Utah s-central Idaho, northern New Mexico, Nevada, and most of western Colorado. Many storms in Colorado focussed on Steamboat and the western side of I-70 through the Elk Mountains near Aspen, Crested Butte, Silverton, and the Southern San Juan range. Looking at Arizona on a separate map as of April 27th Flagstaff is sitting at 500% of normal (398 inches for AZ Snowbowl this season). In December folks were worried about seeing any snow!
Here are some highlights from Powderchaser Steve this season.
Below: Crystal Mountain early season with South Back opening and 1-2 feet of high-quality powder. My track is on the far right. I post-holed for 20 minutes in waist-deep snow with our European Forecaster Luke to get this line after hiking to the King. @powderchasersteve
Below: Endless hikes all season at Snowbird on High Baldy. It's all a blur to me on which days were the deepest and perhaps this one was special with the solidarity of snow and a sun peak. In fact, just last week on Monday I scored a country club day with 10 inches at the summit that skied fantastic.
Below: February 8th - I'm the first public rider at Stevens Pass with my favorite named resort. I almost never miss 1st chair.
Below: My incredible chase of 20-30 inches of snow for the Tetons driving on a Donut spare after rocks came down near Alpine Wyoming destructing my snow tire. This donut saw 2 feet plus of snow! Kudos to my VW Alltrack manual that got me to the resorts on the donut over 2 days. Kudos to Discount Tire in Idaho Falls that allowed me to chase to Snowbird on the way back ($650 bucks later). @powderchasersteve
Below: December Dump at Palisades-30-50 inches in 24 hours. All this snow in the pic is overnight in Truckee and the resort stayed closed that day. I have never seen this much snowfall from 11 PM to 5 AM (Car totals).
Below: My longest inter lodge ever at Snowbird making history with its seasonal record of 783 inches being broken (786 as of the picture on April 6th). We were inter lodged from Sunday night through early Friday with the resort open Monday (Country Club Powder), and again Thursday morning (Country Club). An out-of-bounds slide from White Pine around noon closed the ski area again with the road remaining closed. The damage from Slide paths is impressive with temporary closures even at press time due to significant warming.
Below: Cars were buried during that inter lodge with 90-111 inches (April 6-11). This guy is not sure which is his. Photo: @powderchasersteve via Instagram
Farewell everyone for the 22/23 season. Every year I ask myself how I can keep posting with my 4-5 AM wake-up calls, chasing powder, and still holding a real job. It's really tough to start the season of writing but once you get in the groove it becomes a habit. It is sad to make this my last 22/23 post, but also a big relief. I may have exceeded 700-1000 inches of powder this season. I hope all of you scored powder! Please drop a line to the OpenSnow Contact link on the support page if you have any specific questions about the Chase Forecast. Hopefully, I will see you all in 23/24. "it is always snowing somewhere and I will see you on the first chair" You can ping me on Instagram.
Powderchaser Steve @powderchasersteve on Instagram- Snow- Travel- Outdoor Fun