Get Yer Butt to Utah — 74" of Snow in 72 Hours
December Storms Bring Stellar Conditions to West Coast
Snowbird, UT
Wednesday, December 10, 1997

Now's the time to call in sick, take vacation early, whatever — just get to Utah. Currently, Sunny blue skies are shining on an epic dump: 74 inches of fluffy powder has fallen in the last 72 hours.

"It's seriously great. The champagne powder is so fluffy. I brushed off my car this morning and it just fell away, it's so light and dry," Kim Peterson, Director of Communications for Snowbird, said Wednesday.

Southern Rocky Mountain resorts are enjoying the fallout from storms that came through that portion of the West Coast last weekend, bringing bountiful snowfall to California, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. The stormy weather is currently passing over the Midwest.

"It's unbelievable, people are so excited. We opened 'KT-22' a half hour early because people were lined up by 7:30am," Liz Dugan, Group Sales and Marketing Manager at Lake Tahoe's Squaw Valley said. Squaw, in the Sierra Mountains, is 90 percent open. "We got two storms back-to-back, but it was just like one big storm with no blue sky in between," Dugan said.

Tahoe's Sugar Bowl, which got a foot-and-a-half Tuesday and Wednesday, has had its strongest opening in years. "As far as snow totals and energy go, everything is happening early and we've been really lucky — everyone is excited around here," Sugar Bowl's Carol White said.

Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, reaped 19 inches of new snow last weekend. "The runs that aren't open are due to avalanche management, not lack of snow," said Chris Stagg, Vice President of Marketing for Taos Ski Valley. "It's great snow and the whole mountain is open," he said. The southerly storm bypassed Northern Rocky Mountain resorts such as Jackson Hole, WY and Big Mountain, MT.

Let's hope El Niño means more of the same. Resorts in its path are gearing up for a smashing powder season that's already proving to be inspirational, as storm after storm continues to release white nectar into mountains — waiting to be had.— Michelle Quigley, Mountain Zone Staff

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