Remember when Utah ski areas boasted the highest snow totals in North America? It’s happening again.
Alta Ski Area, which in 2022-23 set the state’s all-time and national season standard with 903 total inches, again can claim the greatest bounty of snowfall of any ski resort in the country. By midday Friday it could gloat over its 69-inch base. That’s more than 20 inches deeper than neighboring Snowbird, which is reporting the second-highest mid-mountain base in North America, according to OntheSnow.com, at 45 inches.
Brighton, Snowbasin and Solitude are also in the mix among the nation’s snowiest resorts with reports of 43-, 41- and 40-inch bases, respectively.
Several out-of-state resorts reported top-of-mountain base depths in the high 40s. Jay Peak in Vermont, Mount Rose in California and Tyrol Basin in Wisconsin all posted maximum depths of 48 inches. However, those resorts also posted minimum base depths of between 24-30 inches.
Most Utah resorts were ahead of the national curve even before flakes started falling Friday. In fact, Alta sent a Tweet out Thursday boasting about being at the head of the class.
“Stop us if you’ve heard this before,” it read, “but it’s been a wild start to the season and we currently have the most snowfall in North America ... again.”
Alta and the other Wasatch Front resorts are expected to receive up to a foot more snow before the storm moves on Saturday afternoon, according to OpenSnow.com. Resorts on the Wasatch Back and near Logan are forecast to receive closer to 8-10 inches. Powder Mountain got between 3-8 inches for its opener Friday and neighboring Nordic Valley should have about 4 inches of new snow when it opens Saturday.
Chris Tomer, a meteorologist for OntheSnow.com, said with 136 inches on the season, Alta actually has as much snow now as it did at this time last year.
Tomer said he doesn’t expect snowfall records to fall again in 2023-24. Still, these early totals are a harbinger of good things to come for Utah skiers. In fact, he’s expecting “above-average snow totals” for the season.
“The best snow kicks in after the new year,” he said. “I think those are going to be three good months for Utah.”