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Here’s What One Tahoe Resort’s Huge Snowfall Would Look Like in San Francisco

Written by Maryann Jones ThompsonPublished Apr. 19, 2023 • 11:49am
What's higher, this season's snowfall at Palisades or the monument in Union Square? | Courtesy Blake Kessler Media for Palisades and Getty Images

A small storm system that moved through the Sierra Nevadas early Tuesday morning pushed one Tahoe ski resort to a big milestone.

Palisades is officially now in its snowiest season recorded this century. With 10 new inches of snow, the mountain's summit has received a total of 710 inches during the 2023-24 season, nudging it past the previous record of 707 inches in 2016-17.

Palisades 2022-23 snowfall reached 710 inches on April 17, setting a 25-year record. | Courtesy Palisades

Palisades’ record compares with last year’s snowfall of 350 inches during the same period and an average of 400 inches per season over the last 25 years. 

Record snowfall will allow Palisades to stay open for 2023 spring skiing until July 4. | Courtesy Blake Kessler Media for Palisades

Despite all the headlines about this winter’s record snow, it can be tough to visualize how much has hit the ground sitting at sea level in San Francisco. Here’s how Palisades’ 710-inch season would stack up against the city’s monuments of considerable stature.

Turns out, Palisades' dump tops the top of the Old Mint and reaches higher than two Fort Points or McCovey Walls at Oracle Park.

But 710 inches—or 59 feet—doesn't quite reach the top of the Castro Pride Flag Pole, the Dutch Windmill or the Goddess of Victory's trident on the Dewey Monument in Union Square, let alone come near the height of the Palace of Fine Arts or Coit Tower.

The Pride Flag flies over Castro Street Fair attendees. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Mammoth Mountain in the Eastern Sierra has also reached record-breaking levels of snow, with 705 inches this season at the Main Lodge and 885 inches at its summit. 

The spring dump is great news for skiers who are enjoying one of the longest California ski seasons in years. Several Tahoe resorts are still open for spring skiing, and Palisades will have weekend runs open until July.

A crew digs through heavy snowfall at Palisades in March 2023. | Courtesy Blake Kessler Media for Palisades

The XL ski season also makes the Ikon season pass one of the best deals in years. The 2023-24 season passes are on sale now and are valid for spring skiing at Palisades and Mammoth. The last day to purchase an Ikon pass is Friday.

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