Wyoming's Winter Choices Bring It Home On The Range, In The Mountains

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Wyoming is among the largest, least populated and geographically diverse states in the Union, meaning if you don't mind putting on some miles, you will find just about any kind of skiing and snowboarding you want.

Most skiers and riders know that the mighty Grand Tetons host major skiing and snowboarding slopes. Jackson Hole has long been a bucket-list destination, albeit an expensive one. Its 2,500 acres and 4,139 feet of vertical is home to renowned steeps, like Corbet's Couloir. A tramway delivers to the summit where an array of bowls, chutes and famed Hogback ridges that corn up in the spring.

Weather can get severe, with north-trending storms latching onto the Tetons and high winds funneled by the Snake River valley. Regulars say that snow can go from powder to slush and back in a matter of hours.

For those looking for a bit less glitz, just up the road sits Grand Targhee near the Wyoming-Utah border. It's big -- 2,220 vertical on 2,700 skiable acres -- and sprawls beneath two 9,800-foot peaks. Powderhounds head to the short, steep chutes on the upper mountain, but it's the cruisers who get most of the hill (70% blue) to carve. Plus, location draws an average of 500 inches a year.

Lesser known in the northern Wyoming Rockies are Sleeping Giant just east of Yellowstone National Park in true cowboy town Cody, and White Pine and Pine Creek tucked away on the southern arms of the Tetons. The latter two fall into the mid-sized, local/family category; White Pine was once known as White Pine Family Ski Area, and Pine Creek is only open Friday-Sunday.

If a "locals' hill" appeals, trundle over the Snow King for the most extravagant townie bump in the West. It's got 1,500 of vertical on just 500 acres, and the only gondola on a town hill in the West. Plus, the city has turned the base area into a full-on recreation area.

A number of isolated mountain ranges dot the eastern High Plains of the state. These are remnants of ancestral Rockies that have eroded more slowly than the surrounding landscapes. However, they are high enough to get consistent snowfall for skiing and riding -- all with a homey feel, lots of night skiing, municipal and non-profit ownership, and few crowds.

Antelope Butte and Meadowlark Ski Lodge in the Bighorns (a rare same-day pairing in this part of the state), Laramie's home hill Snowy Range in the Medicine Bow range, and Hogadon on the northern tip of the Laramie Mountains outside Casper. The latter has experienced a renaissance as the city has committed public funding like Jackson has for Snow King.

As a sidelight, Beartooth Basin is one of two places in the U.S. with lift-served summer skiing.

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SnoCast: Ski Season Going Strong with More Snow Ahead

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What a ski season it has been! With recent big improvements across the Northeast and a winter to remember out West, we'll glide through late January with new snow in the forecast and plenty of good options to hit the slopes. 

In this week's SnoCast, It's all about a trough digging in across the U.S. which will bring both new snow and a surge of biting cold air by next week for many. Make sure you have the layers ready to roll out.  Here's the breakdown for January 26 through February 1, 2023.

East

We've made incredible improvements across the Northeast this week as a series of three storms added much needed snow to the trails. Natural snow cover across the Northeast has grown from just 48% to nearly 100% coverage since January 1.

In the forecast, lingering scattered snow showers (lake effect and upslope) remain across the Northeast and Great Lakes Thursday as the most recent storm departs. An additional dusting-3" can be expected through Thursday at peaks from Wisconsin to Maine, and down the spine of the Appalachians to West Virginia.

A much weaker, quick moving clipper system scoots across the Great Lakes Friday, delivering another a 1-3" from Minnesota to Wisconsin. This system skims by New York and Vermont peaks Friday night-Saturday with a light coating possible. 

The next system takes shape over the weekend, spreading a thin swath of snow from the lower Great Lakes region to New England. Expect another 2-6" of snow to fall by Monday from southern Michigan to New York's Adirondacks and northern New England. Areas farther south will likely see rain.

This system opens the freezer door for the Midwest especially, with biting cold winter air settling in next week.

Yet another system takes shape around Wednesday next week. Keep an eye on the forecast for this one, since it's still pretty far out in time. 

West

As of Thursday, scattered snow showers continue to pepper the Rockies northward to the Western Canadian slopes. A trough will dig in over the next several days, reinforcing snow (for some, a lot of it!) and also causing cold air to dive southward through the weekend.

Friday, the heaviest snow will focus across the Pacific Northwest Cascades, and the far northern Rockies from Alberta to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado with a widespread 6-12" for most bases and mid-mountains. Snow persists Saturday for the northern Rockies which allows a total of 1-3 feet to pile up at the higher peaks through the weekend. Watch around Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, Big Sky, and Bridger Bowl and others nearby for big totals.

Here are the National Weather Service snow forecast maps state by state for the northern Rockies.

By Sunday and Monday, the snow slips southward, delivering freshies to the southwest and southern Rockies. In California, enough cold air likely lets snow slip all the way to the far southern peaks, including Big Bear and Snow Valley.  While totals may adjust with time, it looks as though a general 4-8" can be expected. But, if enough moisture can hang on, there is potential for 10" or more for some of the peaks from California to Utah and Colorado.  

Looking Ahead

Much of the country will be colder than average through early February, with temps as much as 20-30 below average for the coldest core over the Midwest and northern Rockies. Get the layers ready for next week! Here's the temperature and precipitation outlook for Jan. 31-Feb. 4.

 

 

We'll see ya next Thursday with another SnoCast! -Meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin

 

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SnoCast: Stormy Pattern Continues Out West

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A busy weather week continues nation-wide with a fast storm pattern. We'll see multiple waves of snow out West, and changeable conditions in the East heading into the first weekend of December. Let's dig into this week's SnoCast.

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Two-Day Mountain Collective Pass Returns With Western Flavor

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With prices for 2022-23 comparable to recent seasons, the two-days-each Mountain Collective ski and snowboard pass returns with a shuffled resort lineup that includes two big mountains in the West coming back to the fold.

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America’s Chairlift Savant Finishes 22-Year Quest To Ride Every Lift In The U.S.

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Peter Landsman fell in love with chairlifts when he first started skiing as a toddler in Washington. 

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SnoCast: Will March Come in Like a Lion or Lamb?

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This first weekend of March features a more "lion-like" and snowy setup across the West, while the East sees lamb-like signs of spring time weather. Let's dig into the forecast in this week's SnoCast.

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5 Ski Resorts That Has Something for Everyone – Even Non-Skiers

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There’s something to be said about the magical feeling you get when you look outside and everything is coated in fluffy white snow. To the people who live in ski resort towns, it’s just another wintery day, but to those who come from warmer climates, it’s a winter wonderland! 

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SnoCast: Forecast Features Snow Heading into Thanksgiving Week

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We’re approaching a huge week for ski country—Thanksgiving is upon us, often marking opening days from coast to coast. This week’s SnoCast has a delicious menu of powder, sun, and chill leading up to the big holiday week. Let's dig in!

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It’s Summer in the Ski Towns, 2.0

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Last year, mountain resorts were overrun by travelers in search of space and fresh air. The visitors are expected back, but now the towns have expanded activities and plans in place to deal with the crowds.

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SnoCast: New Snow for the Turn Into Spring

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Can you believe it? The final days of winter have come. As spring officially arrives Saturday, we’ll enjoy mild turns in the East, while winter refuses to let go in the West. Forecast details in this week’s SnoCast.

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SnoCast: Cold, Snow Ahead for the Slopes

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A large pool of bitter cold air seeps into the US from Canada this week, affecting the weather from coast to coast. Here’s what to expect on the slopes.

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SnoCast: All Eyes on a Weekend Nor'easter

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While the northeast watches the forecast closely for a weekend nor'easter, the West soaks in the sunshine and bluebird days. Watch and read this week's SnoCast as we highlight where to find the best conditions. 

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SnoCast: Who Gets Tricks, and Who Gets Snowy Treats?

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Halloween weekend and first days of November will feature forecast tricks and treats. With a leftover hurricane delivering snow to New England and ski areas opening in the west, this time of year is always a treat to build ski season excitement.

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SnoCast: Early Season Snow Enters the Western Forecast

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We’re digging into the forecast for mid-October, and there is some snow in sight! A colder, wetter turn for the west brings another early season sighting of snow to many mountains.

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Via Ferratas Cable Up At Cliff-y Western Resorts

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Many have stared amazed as rock climbers wind their way up seemingly vertical cliffs in the Western mountains, but few take the plunge. But now, the advent of via ferratas -- "iron roads" -- has brought the holds, cracks, caribeeners and safety of rock climbing to a wider audience.

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Mountain Collective Remains Option In Multi-Resort Pass Arena

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Amidst the hoopla of Epic and Ikon pass marketing battles, the Mountain Collective -- the original multi-resort pass -- is still alive and thriving for skiers and snowboarders who can be on the move.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Final Days Of Winter? Not Done Yet!

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In these final days of winter (Spring Equinox is March 19) we wish you the luck of the Irish to receive the new snowfall coming.

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Why Multi-Passes - And the Crowds They Bring - Are Great for Skiing

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I don’t usually get confused in public restrooms, but there I was in the men’s room at the Mangy Moose: totally stumped. It was December, Jackson Hole was beginning to see the storms of this winter’s historic snowfall, and the skiing was superb. Town morale should have been peaking. There in the urinal, however, was a bumper sticker to the contrary that read IKONnot Ski. I was immediately bummed. The attitude it reflects is pervasive: that multi-passes, specifically Ikon and Epic, are bad for skiing and bad for ski towns.

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The 11 Best Ski Town Burgers You’ll Ever Eat

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After a hard-fought day schussing the slopes, nothing replenishes the fuel tank like a good ol’ burger, with just the right blend of protein, carbs, and yes, grease. We combed America’s ski towns and adjacent mountain resorts for the tastiest—and weirdest—beef between two buns, bringing you our unequivocal list of where to hang your helmet for the best hamburgers worth your fully salivated après-ski time and attention.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Rockies, Northeast Targeted for New Snow

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February can bring some healthy storms around North America, and this week proves that. The Rocky Mountains and Northeast have storms ahead that will keep you itching to hit the slopes. Here’s where to expect the best conditions.

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