Snow levels on pace for record year

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A skier plows through thigh-deep powder on Marmot at Whitefish Mountain Resort in this file photo (Matt Baldwin / Daily Inter Lake)

It’s been all good news for skiers at Whitefish Mountain Resort, which is reporting more than 20 feet of snow this season and still counting.

The season’s snowfall total of 245 inches so far is the highest total to date in the last decade.

The mountain as of Tuesday had a settled base of 125 inches at the summit, and this season’s snowfall is already ahead of accumulated snowfall this time last year, a season that ended up with 407 inches.

More than three feet of snow has dumped on the resort in the last week, and January saw 91 inches alone, above the 10-year average of 66 inches.

WMR spokesperson Riley Polumbus said all that snow appears to be bringing in more skiers too.

“We’ve been tracking pretty well so far this year. Certainly it’s translating well to reservations, we’re looking good for upcoming weeks. February is usually a good time for us,” she said.

She added that the resort is ahead of last year’s total skier visits to date and closing in on the 200,000 mark.

“We’re ahead of last year, and last year was a good year,” Polumbus said. “We’re ahead by 6 percent so far at this point through Saturday.”

Last season saw a new record for total visits with more than 346,000 skiers and a record for passholder visits at 157,000.

On Feb. 2, the mountain had the most 24-hour snowfall in North America, according to the resort.

Dan Graves, CEO of the resort, said more snow appears to be on the way.

“We are pleased to hear, although not surprised, that the groundhog is calling for more winter. We’ve had excellent snow conditions so far this season and the human forecasters are also calling for more snow this weekend and into the spring,” Graves said in a prepared release. “Between our ideal location in the Northern Rockies and our highly-acclaimed grooming crew, our local passholders and out-of-town guests are very happy.”

Polumbus said while it’s fun to cheer for the record-snowfall, it’s more fun to get out in it.

“I think it’s just exciting,” she said. “It’s always fun to be able to look at these numbers, but it’s even more fun to get out there and ski and enjoy it. People are pretty happy, spirits are high. I think we’ll see people from out of town coming in because there are regions that aren’t getting snow like this.”

Another snow storm is expected to pass through the region this week.

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