Snow piling up at record pace on mountain

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It’s all coming down to March as to whether this season is one for the record books for snow at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

The mountain had recorded a total snowfall amount of 346 inches and a settled base of 153 inches on the summit, as of Tuesday.

This season is already ahead of last year’s snowfall total as of March 1. This season 330 inches of snow had fallen on the slopes as of that date, while last year at the same time there was 307 inches.

“Last year at this time locals were saying that this is one of the best seasons they’ve ever had and this year we tracking significantly ahead of last year in both total snowfall and settled snow depth,” Dan Graves, CEO of Whitefish Mountain Resort, said. “Thanks to the consistent snowfall we have wonderful conditions that will put broad smiles on our guests and employees alike. The remainder of the season could be one of the best on record.”

The ultimate record for the end of season snowfall being chased is the 2007-08 season, which saw 426 inches total.

“That’s the most that I have records for,” WMR Spokesperson Riley Polumbus said. “Looking back at the year we did that, at this day in 2007-08 we had 365 inches. So we’re trailing that by a little bit.”

February saw a total of 121 inches on Big Mountain, which is far ahead of the 10-year average of 55 inches for the second month in the year. This February saw snow falling on 22 of the 28 days of the month.

The resort officially passed 300 inches of snowfall on Feb. 24, which is the second earliest date reaching the milestone in more than a decade.

The resort is also up 5 percent over last year in terms of total skier visits at this time, Polumbus said, especially coming off a packed weekend with fresh powder and bluebird skies.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever had a March Saturday in the 6,000-skiers category, but we had a total of 6,619 on Saturday, which is phenomenal. Just having 6,000 on a Saturday period is phenomenal, but that bluebird powder day definitely brings in extra folks.”

March will be the deciding factor in what could be a record season for powder. In the record 2007-08 year, the resort saw 69 inches fall in March. Last year 102 inches of snow dumped on the resort in March.

Polumbus said forecasts are looking good.

“The long-term forecast that comes out once a month from [the National Weather Service] was looking like above average precipitation, below average temperatures, which to me says more snow,” Polumbus said. “So yeah, I’ll think we’ll be doing well.”

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