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Friday February 24, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

California is enjoying its best winter for more than 22 years. In some places snow is over 15m deep. We have compiled some of the best photos of places with the best snow depths.

2017 will be a year to remember as snowfalls in the state's Sierra Nevada have been breaking records.

It's hard to get your head around the amount of snow that has fallen in recent weeks.

In many cases it's been over 12.7 metres (500 inches).

This follows years of drought and some disastrous recent ski seasons.

See the stark contrast in the image below between 2016 and 2017 so far.

It appears that most of California is now out of drought (LA Times).

California 2016 v 2017 precipitationCalifornia 2016 v 2017 (Source US Drought Monitor)
Source: U.S. Drought Monitor












We have been sent some breathtaking images of deep, deep snow which we feature below.

Some ski areas have so much snow that they have announced they intend to extend their season.

Vail Resorts has said, "This is the biggest snowpack the state of California has seen in 22 years".

Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood, all part of Vail Resorts, will be extending their closing dates by at least a week.

Heavenly and Northstar will remain open to April 23rd and then open for the weekend of 28th-30th April, and Kirkwood is open until April 16th.

Squaw Valley and Mammoth intend to remain open right through to 4th July, and Mammoth says skiing on 4th July - Independence Day - will be free.

We have put together a photo-montage of some of the best photographs of the ski areas in California with the deepest snow levels.


Mt Rose, NV: 16.15m (636 inches)

Sugal Bowl Mountain, CA:15.74m (620 inches)

Boreal Mountain, CA: 14.84m (584 inches)

Alpine Meadows, CA: 14.35m (565 inches)

Squaw Valley, CA: 14.25m (561 inches)

Kirkwood Mountain, CA: 14.12m (556 inches)

Mammoth Mountain, CA:  12.9m (510 inches)

Heavenly, CA:  13.81m (544 inches)

Northstar, CA:  13.56m (534 inches)

Mt Baker, WA: 13.00m (512 inches)


Mt Rose, NV: 16.15m - Now closing 7th May

"Our season total is now 636” (16.15m) and counting, smashing our past record of 600”(15.25m)  in the 1994/95 season."

"Digging out the Flying Jenny below after this last storm.

"Just a bit of snow out there right now."

Mt Rose - season total 16.15mMt Rose, NV -  23 February (Instagram)















Mt Rose, NV - 22 February (@TomKierein Twitter)Mt Rose, NV - 22 February (@TomKierein Twitter)













Sugal Bowl Mountain, CA: 15.74m -  Now closing 23rd April

Sugar Bowl Mountain, CASugar Bowl Mountain, CA - 23 February





















Sugar Bowl, CA - 26th FebruarySugar Bowl, CA - 26th February





















Squaw Valley, CA: 14.25m - Open to 4th July

Siberia Express Squaw Alpine (Twitter)Siberia Express Squaw Alpine (Twitter)
















Bailey's Beach Squaw Alpine (Twitter)Bailey's Beach Squaw Alpine (Twitter)
















Kirkwood Mountain, CA: 14.12m - Closes 16th April 2017.

Kirkwood Mountain  (Pic: Local Freshies Twitter)Kirkwood Mountain (Pic: Local Freshies Twitter)
















Kirkwood Mountain (Pic: Facbook)Kirkwood Mountain (Pic: Facbook)















Mammoth Mountain, CA:  12.9m - Free Skiing on 4th July 

Here's a close up of a very buried chair at Mammoth Mountain.

Mammoth Mountain, CA - 24 FebruaryMammoth Mountain, CA - 24 February




















Mammoth Mountain (photo: Kevin Westenbarger)Mammoth Mountain (photo: Kevin Westenbarger)














Mammoth Mountain (photo: Kevin Westenbarger)Mammoth Mountain (photo: Kevin Westenbarger)
















Heavenly, CA:  13.81m - closing 23rd April (open weekend of 28th-30th April)

"Heavenly is extending the season through April 30th! We will be open daily through April 23rd and then on the weekend of April 28th - 30th."


















Heavenly skiingHeavenly skiing




















Northstar, CA: 13.56m - Now Closing 23rd April

Northstar (pic: samcrisco Instagram)Northstar (pic: samcrisco Instagram)




















Northstar, CANorthstar, CA















We will be updating the snow levels as winter continues.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news


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