Mountain Cams

  • Pow Cam
    The pow cam is cleared daily at 4pm by ski patrol staff.
  • Official Snow Stake
    The official snow stake of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Cleared automatically at 5 a.m. daily.
  • Paradise Warming House
    Located at the bottom of Paradise Express Lift.
  • Umbrella Bar at Ten Peaks
    Located at the top of Painter Boy, Gold Link and Prospect Lifts.
  • Base Area
    Located above the deck at Butte 66 Roadhouse Bar & Grille.

Faq's

At Crested Butte, we are committed to reporting our snow accurately and transparently, according to strict standards for the industry. Snowfall from each storm can vary widely across our mountain, but reporting standards and consistency require that we measure snow at a single location every day, season to season.

Our snow reporting location is at the base of the High Lift. At 11,276 feet, within the upper third of the mountain’s elevation (which spans from 9,100 ft to 12,162 ft). The Snow Stake and the Pow Cam are both located at this site. This is the single location where we record the official snowfall data that is passed on to the media. 

Our Communications team reads the official Snow Stake Cam just before 5:00 a.m. each day. Therefore, the official 24-hour snow report is the amount of snow which fell between 5:00 a.m. one morning to 5:00 a.m. the next day. We also read our Snow Stake Cam at 4:00 p.m. each day. That way, we can also report the amount of snow which fell overnight (from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.) which is a fraction of the total 24-hour snow total. Most skiers like this report since it shows the amount of snow which fell after the area closed the day before. 

In addition to the official Snow Stake Cam, we also have a base stake that records the amount of snow on the ground at this site. Base readings are always much lower than the total amount of snow that has fallen over the season due to settlement, melting, and sublimation.

We measure snow using the Snow Stake Cam. Daily snowfall measurements are made on a flat white board with a stake on it that is graduated in inches. The height of snow can be read directly from the official Snow Stake Cam at 5:00 a.m. each morning. After each 5:00 a.m. reading, the board is swept clean via an automated dumping system. The height of the snow on the board at any time is therefore the amount of snow that has fallen since the previous 5:00 a.m. dump.

The overnight snowfall is measured via the official Snow Stake Cam. Snowfall is recorded at 4 p.m. and then subtracted from the 5 a.m. measurement.

Pow Cam

  • Cleared daily at 4 p.m.
  • Cleared manually by Ski Patrol
  • For your viewing enjoyment (who likes reading overnight numbers anyway?)

Snow Stake Cam 

  • Cleared daily at 5 a.m. 
  • Cleared by an automatic dumping mechanism 
  • The official snowfall measuring stake. All official snow is reported based on the snow stake, not the Pow Cam.

These numbers may not be the same for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is due to the first ½ inch to an inch melting on the Pow Cam platform before the snow starts to stack up.

Take this example: 

Monday

  • No Snow 

Tuesday

  • It snows two inches between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. – we’re rocking two inches on both the Pow Cam and the Snow Stake Cam. 

Tuesday at 4 p.m.

  • Patrol clears the Pow Cam. Therefore there is no snow on the Pow Cam. 
  • The Communication Center records 2 inches at 4 p.m. via the official Snow Stake Cam 

Tuesday Night (Here’s where it gets tricky so pay attention) 

  • It snows three inches between 4 p.m. and 5 a.m. 
  • Pow Cam – The first inch completely melts because its falling on a warm plastic platform. 
  • Snow Stake Cam – The three inches stacks neatly on the cold snow left on the Snow Stake Camera. 

Tuesday Morning at 5 a.m.

  • Our Communication Center records five inches in 24 hours and three inches overnight.
  • You wake up, it says 3 inches overnight but you only see two on the Pow Cam! Liars! Except now you know, it’s not a lie. 
  • The Snow Stake Cam has zero inches because it was cleared at 4:59 a.m.
Our snow reporting location is at the base of the High Lift. At 11,276 feet, within the upper third of the mountain’s elevation (which spans from 9,100 ft to 12,162 ft). The Snow Stake and the Pow Cam are both located at this site. This is the single location where we record the official snowfall data that is passed on to the media.

Before 5:00 a.m. Usually the Communication Center records the snow between 4:45 and 5:00 a.m.

The amount of snow at the stake is recorded into our database which is then automatically delivered to the websites, email system, text message system, and third party websites like OpenSnow.com and OnTheSnow.com.

Sign Up for Text Alerts Here https://www.skicb.com/account/sms.aspx 

Sign Up for Email Alerts Here https://www.skicb.com/account/email-search-page.aspx

We also record the settled base snow depth each morning at 5:00 a.m. This figure is read from a permanent stake that measures height of settled snow above the ground. Base depths are read as the level of snow outside the influence of the settlement cone, or about 2 feet from the stake. To make this measurement consistently, the Communications team averages the height of snow against the stake in front of and behind the stake.
234 inches per year or 594 centimeters.

Mistakes happen. We’re all human. However, we strive for accuracy every day based on the tools and resources available. The most common mistakes that occur are typos, when someone mistypes a number. These errors are usually obvious, and are rectified quickly.

If you ever have a question, concern or notice an inconsistency, please contact us immediately at news@vailresorts.com.

No. The snow totals reported to the public are the direct measurement of snow on our official snow stakes according to simple but strict standard operating procedures that are standardized across all of our resorts.

Following industry standards, we report a base of 18" when the majority of skiable terrain is on manmade (snowmaking) snow. It is assumed that at least 18" of artificial snow is present on these trails even when the natural snow base is less than 18".

Even in early season, ski patrol still records natural settled base for our records, but when most of the open terrain is on manmade snow, we report 18" since that is what our customers will be skiing on.