Your on-the-ground updates about the major snow events of the 2021-22 Aspen Snowmass ski season
There are many snow forecasting and reporting websites, including our favorites: AspenWeather.net and Open Snow. But as Aspen locals with a prime, downtown location, we love to share our on-the-ground intel about the big weather events of the winter. Follow along as we document powder days during the 2021-22 ski season!
Long-Range Snow Forecast for the 2021-22 Ski Season
Our friends at AspenWeather.net (a subscription-based forecast for the Aspen Snowmass ski areas) are predicting average to above average snowfall for Aspen Snowmass this winter. Forecasting models agree that there will be a La Nina pattern.
"Six of our 10 snowiest winters of all time have been La Nina's," wrote Meteorologist Corey Gates. "But the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), an eastward-moving atmospheric disturbance, will have the final say on how this winter will turn out. If the MJO stays in the cold phases, then it will be a very good winter. If we stay in the warm phases, then dry spells will happen."
Forecasters at Open Snow echo the prediction of a La Nina winter as well as average precipitation this winter. They cite the NOAA three-month precipitation outlook (pictured at left) but remind skiers that three-to-six-month forecasts have little value. Your best bet is to book a ski vacation to give yourself the opportunity to score a powder day!
SNOW DAY IN APRIL | April 11 - 13, 2022
Winter isn't over yet! In the early hours of April 11, a wind-driven storm moved into the Aspen area and closed schools for the day. The snow kept falling through the morning of April 12, and the two Aspen Snowmass ski areas that remain open -- Aspen Mountain & Snowmass -- reaped big rewards: 16 - 22 inches of powder.
Skiers and snowboarders rejoiced in the mid-winter conditions with scarcely anyone on the mountains. The sun even came out for a few hours, making this April powder day truly magical.
Photos: Aspen Snowmass, Tyler Wilkinson Ray
MARCH MADNESS CONTINUES WITH 2 FEET OF SNOW | March 10 - 18, 2022
The hits keep coming in March with back-to-back storms that have layered powder days over the last week.
The first wave resulted in 10 - 16 inches of new snow across the four ski areas, and this week started with an 8-inch Monday morning powder day. Thursday and Friday, another storm blessed us with 9 inches of soft snow.
We are enjoying all this snow through the evening, as sunset skiing continues this week!
Photo: Aspen Snowmass, Jeremy Swanson
MARCH STARTS WITH A FOOT OF FRESH | March 4 - 7, 2022
A wet storm rolled into Aspen on Friday, March 4 and the snow totals piled up overnight. Saturday, skiers and riders enjoyed a nice refresh with a couple inches on the runs. Saturday night, the heavy stuff started to come down, and Sunday was a legitimate powder day. Snow fell on and off throughout the day/night, and Monday was yet another soft morning across all four mountains.
In total, Aspen Highlands was the big winner with 17 inches in 72 hours. Aspen Mountain had a respectable 10-inch total over the weekend, and conditions were soft and playful!
THREE DAYS OF POWDER PERFECTION | Feb. 22 - 24, 2022
What a week! Frias Properties Owner Chuck Frias, who has lived in Aspen for 48 years, warned staff that there's always a big storm around Feb. 21, and he was right.
On Monday night, the snow started to fall, and by Thursday morning, the four Aspen Snowmass ski areas were reporting 3-day totals of 20 - 32 inches. Temperatures dropped to single digits on Thursday morning, draining the moisture from the new snow and making it top-quality blower pow.
Photos 1 & 2 show mid-storm conditions on Feb. 23, courtesy of Aspen Snowmass. Photos 3 & 4 show Feb. 24 with clearing skies and perfect powder.
WINTER RETURNS WITH 8 - 11 INCHES OF SNOW | Feb. 16 - 17, 2022
January was relatively dry with only a few small storms, but cold temps kept our snowpack above average. When February arrived, we started to crave powder days, and Ullr finally delivered with a blustery storm that arrived on the afternoon of Feb. 16. We woke up to 8 inches of new snow on Aspen Mountain and 11 inches on Snowmass. Next week's forecast is calling for up to a foot of new snow!
HOLIDAY STORM IS BIGGEST IN 43 YEARS | Dec. 24, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022
Snow started falling on Dec. 24 and didn't stop until the storm had dumped multiple feet across the four Aspen Snowmass mountains. This system made December 2021 Aspen's second snowiest on record and topped all other storm totals for the past 43 years! The final totals were: Buttermilk: 47 inches; Aspen Mountain: 59 inches; Snowmass: 66 inches; Aspen Highlands: 83 inches.
Our ski areas are nearly 100% open and the snowpack is more than 150% of average for this time of the year. Another snowy pattern is forecast for January, and we are relishing in the perfect skiing conditions.
Photos: Jordan Curet and Aspen Snowmass, @photograferg
16" OF SNOW WITH MORE ON THE WAY | Dec. 10, 2021
The snow dances worked! Thursday night's storm delivered deep snow totals to the Aspen Snowmass mountains with between 14 and 16 inches falling on all ski areas. Snow showers continued throughout the day on Friday with 2 to 6 inches forecast. There's another big system coming Wednesday, Dec. 15. All our holiday visitors should expect plenty of terrain openings!
Photos by Jordan Curet, taken on Dec. 10, 2021
A FOOT OF NEW SNOW BEFORE OPENING DAY | Nov. 24, 2021
On Saturday night, a strong storm cell passed through Aspen Snowmass and dropped 5 - 7 inches on our ski areas. And on Tuesday night through Wednesday morning, another storm settled in and delivered an addition 5 - 7 inches.
Opening day is Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 25), and Aspen Mountain and Snowmass will welcome skiers and riders with 57 acres of combined open terrain. Enjoy runs on the top half of Aspen Mountain and in the Elk Camp Meadows area at Snowmass.
The forecast is dry through the weekend, but a much snowier weather pattern is predicted during the first week of December.
Photos: Aspen Snowmass and Jordan Curet
5 - 8 INCHES ACROSS ASPEN SNOWMASS SKI AREAS | Nov. 2, 2021
This week, a high-moisture storm has been lingering in the Aspen area. On Tuesday afternoon, temperatures dropped and butterfly-sized snowflakes caused quick accummulation. Snow stakes recorded 5 inches on Aspen Mountain and 6 inches at Aspen Highlands, but official SNOTEL sites recorded up to 8 inches on our ski areas. With high moisture content, this new snow lays a great base for the upcoming ski season.
Photo: Aspen Snowmass, Jeremy Swanson
ASPEN'S FIRST WINTER STORM OF THE SEASON | Oct. 25 - 27, 2021
While it wasn't the "bomb cyclone" that California ski resorts saw last weekend, our first winter storm descended upon Aspen on Tuesday and dropped a few inches of new snow on the Aspen Snowmass ski areas. We awoke on Wednesday morning to wintry scenes and temperatures in the 20s. More cold, stormy weather is forecast for the coming week! We love these small, consistent storms during the early season that build a great base for ski season.
Photos: Aspen Snowmass, Jeremy Swanson