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You’re a Snow Reporter, so What Does That Mean?

Butte Buzz Winter

You’re a Snow Reporter, so What Does That Mean?

Crested Butte You’re a Snow Reporter, so What Does That Mean?

A lot rides on our Snow Reporter’s ability to get to the mountain two hours before sunrise. Let me explain…

On days I snow report, the alarm is set for 4:02 am. The buzzer barely goes off, and I’m up and rushing. This is the one job I absolutely can not be late for. The mountain relies on me, the community relies on me and everyone who loves Crested Butte relies on me to get there right at 5 am. In order to get the good word out the report must be filed and published to the website by 5:30 am. I know what you’re thinking, “Can’t you just look at the PowCam to see how much snow we’ve received?” friends there’s much more to it than that.

As you may or may not know, ski patrol clears the PowCam every day when the lifts close at 4 pm. Therefore, what falls from 4 pm to 5 am the next morning is added to what already fell the previous day from 5 am to 4 pm. To add a little more to that equation, the groomers actually use a different snow stake located in a protected area to get the most accurate reading of how much snow has actually fallen. Therefore, when it’s snowing the PowCam could have 4 inches on it but the snow stake actually has 6 inches. Snow has a better chance of accumulating on the ground because it’s more protected from wind and unfortunately, the platform of the PowCam will actually melt the first ½ inch or so. Our grooming team delivers a report based on the snow stake to the office each morning at 5 am, and that’s when the Snow Reporter’s job really begins. 

At 5 am, the snow report is in my hand from the hard working groomers, who have been on the mountain since midnight, and I’m updating multiple websites to let the world know what they are missing out on by not coming to Crested Butte Mountain Resort (sometimes my job can be hard because I don’t want everyone to know what they are missing out on, but that’s a moot point). 

Between 6 - 6:30 am, I have updated all the necessary websites and I’m ready to update social media, which includes putting on my uphill gear, skinning up to where the sunrise is the most dramatic and getting a stunning photo that you can’t get from many other places. My morning solo photo shoot can take anywhere between an hour to two hours, all depending on how many times I have to stop, which can be a lot because we all know how incredible the scenery is here. 

By 8 am, social media is updated and everyone within a 100 mile radius is probably making their way to the slopes of Crested Butte Mountain Resort because we only get a season like this once every blue moon.  

By 9 am, the lifts are running, lines are forming and skiers and riders are getting ready for what is sure to be a phenomenal day on the slopes. My day, as a snow reporter, is slowly coming to an end and I’m getting ready to head down town to my other job. 

So, if you get anything out of this little blog, here it is: don’t believe everything you SEE, but you can believe what you read. The PowCam is always a good reference for overnight snow totals but know that it does snow more (or less) in other places #burythebutte