Time was when a lot of local focus this time of year was on when the snowpack at Mt. Bachelor would reach 100 inches. 100 inches was the magic number. I can only guess that back then a100-inch cover meant all the rocks, downed trees and stumps were totally covered.
How important was the 100-inch total? Apparently very important as at least one local radio station (there were few back then) held a contest to guess the day when the magic mark would be achieved. The winner would get dinner for two at a local restaurant and bragging rights for a year.
But as Bend grew, 100 inches didn't seem to mean much anymore. I know, I tried to revive the contest in the pages of the Source to little avail. I got maybe ten entries the first year I ran the contest. A year later, ten became six and then one a year later it was down to one contestant and I stopped flogging the contest idea.
Now it seems any amount of snow at the mountain over 12 inches is considered more than enough. More than enough to elicit e-mails from people declaring "awesome powder conditions" when I know there's nothing but a foot of boilerplate.
A more recently a spate of e-mailed pictures show thin backcountry cover with the comment that conditions were, "excellent." Wow, you could have fooled me.
But then I know it's old-fashioned to want a lot of snow cover down before trusting my skis and body to the groomers and the backcountry. Good skis cost money and ripped out edges and gouged bases are not what I'm after. As to my body, it's been banged up enough already.
So, I propose, just for the fun of it, to declare the 100-inch contest re-opened. Log on with the day you think the Mt.Bachelor's reported snowpack will hit 100 inches and win a six pack of your favorite local brew (must be 21 or older to qualify).
Winning beverage in hand, you can kick back knowing that you are weather and snow forecaster supreme.
My guess is that the mountain won't get 100 inches until February 4.