Snow lovers often get giddy when forecasts call for big storms. Then we're deflated when they pass us by or leave little skiff of snow like a cruel teaser.
The Treasure Valley got about 5 inches of snow since yesterday, which makes us prone to extrapolating snow depths elsewhere.
"If we got 5 inches (put your favorite winter spot here) must have gotten a foot!"
Not quite. Ski areas got hit too, but in similar amounts to the Valley. When those snow storms hit the valley, they often dump a lot of their precipitation down low, which means the higher elevations don't get dramatically more.
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Bogus is reporting 7 inches, Brundage 8 inches, and Sun Valley about 7 on top and 3 mid-mountain. Sun Valley is also making snow and is scheduled to open on Thanksgiving.
Tamarack is reporting 4 inches at the base and 6 inches at the summit. It also has its snowguns fired up, and it's scheduled for a Dec. 13 opener.
Alan Moore, general manager for Bogus Basin, said the ski area needed at least a foot of snow to open — more if it’s light and fluffy snow.
“You just have to wait and see,” he said. “We’d like nothing more than to get part of the mountain open for the weekend. It’s the worst kind of waiting. Everybody wants to get the mountain open.”
If it were to open this weekend, it would be Bogus’ earliest opening in 45 years. The last three opening dates were: Dec. 8, 2013; Dec. 21, 2012; and Jan. 19, 2011.
Brundage reported it will open as soon as it has enough snow to properly pack and groom the slopes.
"A lot depends on the water content of the snow, but generally, we need to see at least 18” in the base area," spokeswoman April Whitney said.
Snow depths are starting to pile up in the mountains and some of those brave, early-season snowmobilers may already be out there, but don't expect any trail grooming or services at parking areas.
Here's some snow depths from the National Resources Conservation Service's Snotel sites. These are total depth currently on the ground, not just from recent storms:
• Soldier Mountain north of Fairfield, 4 inches, elevation 5,740.
• Galena Summit between Ketchum and Stanley, 15 inches, elevation 7,470.
• Trinity Mountains west of Featherville, 19 inches, elevation 7,770.
• Deadwood Reservoir, 9 inches, elevation 5,380.
• Secesh Summit north of McCall, 4 inches, elevation 6,520.
• Mores Creek summit between Idaho City and Lowman, 16 inches, elevation 6,100.
To see snow depths from the NCRS website, go here.