Take the ’23-’24 Winter Snowpack Prediction Challenge!

Can you accurately predict the amount of snow that we will have in the Dillon Ranger District this year? How about the snow water equivalent? Send FDRD your prediction–closest guess wins a prize! Details below.

What are we guessing?

Snow that has fallen on the ground and does not melt for months due to below-freezing temperatures is called snowpack. Snowpack can consist of multiple layers of snow, each one from a different snowfall, that become compacted under the weight of the subsequent layers that lie on top. Snow water equivalent (SWE) determines the amount of water available in the snow. Throughout winter, different storms bring different types of snow, so snow depth does not translate directly to the amount of water held in snow. Because of this variability, SWE helps to understand how much water the snow contains and what it means for the future of our watershed.

Contest Directions

We want to know your prediction for how much snow you think there will be in our local mountains during winter 2023-24! Whoever makes the most accurate prediction wins!

  1. Use the NWCC SNOTEL MAP to zoom in on the remote snowpack monitoring station closest to your house, favorite ski resort, or favorite trailhead in the Dillon Ranger District.
  2. Take a look at the current snowpack depth and snow water equivalent at the SNOTEL site nearest you (Click on your site > Data Reports). Also, study historical trends (this is really important for informing your prediction) and consider any forecasts made for this year by snow and climate scientists! Historical trends can be created in the “Create/Modify Report” tab after clicking on a data report.
  3. Enter your predictions for max snowpack depth and SWE by clicking the button below. Only one submission per person, please. Predictions are due by February 2nd, 2024.
  4. Stay tuned for the announcements of winners in spring 2024!

Check Out How You Stack Up to the Competition

Extra “Snowledge”

Ten years of snow depth (snowpack) and SWE at the Summit Ranch SNOTEL station. Click the graph for the web version adding today’s data!

Last year’s snowpack and SWE trends at the Copper Mountain SNOTEL station. Click the graph to take you to the web version.


How does SNOTEL data get collected?


FDRD is a proud partner of Winter Wildlands Alliance. WWA is the national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered snowsports experience on public lands. Through this organization, FDRD hosts their annual Backcountry Film Festival and is a registered SnowSchool education provider. Thanks, WWA, for these resources!