Thanks to Chris Larson and Chris Hansen, Teton skiers now have a new internet resource for checking out current mountain conditions. TetonSnowInfo.com is a conglomeration of most of the weather sites that valley skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers have come to find useful when deciding what to ski on any given day. Information on weather forecasts from the National Weather Service, Mountain Weather and Bridger Teton National Forest Avalanche Center, as well as snow reports from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee. I’ve already created a quick link on my browser for TetonSnowInfo.com and so should you. –Steve.
Jackson Hole, WY—Backcountry travelers in the Tetons region of Wyoming and Idaho now have access to a new Web site that combines much of the available snow, weather and avalanche information into one convenient location. TetonSnowInfo.com provides snow reports from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee Resort, the daily avalanche forecast from the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center, weather reports from the numerous National Weather Service (NWS) automated weather stations in the region, and snow and weather forecasts also provided by the NWS. Data is updated every 15 minutes and the site contains prominent links to all data sources.
“The genesis of TetonSnowInfo.com was a growing frustration with the number of Web sites that I would look at every morning to learn what happened in the last 24 hours and to understand what’s going to happen in the next couple of days,” stated site developer, Chris Larson of Victor, Idaho-based The Software Ranch LLC. “It’s something that many of us backcountry travelers go through every morning, whether we’re planning our ski day or just keeping tabs on conditions between outings.”
And being somewhat ‘under-employed’ at the moment,” added Larson, “I am motivated to work on the type of projects that both benefit me and my community while expanding and showcasing my software development skills. Perhaps it will even lead to a paying gig.”
While all of the information aggregated by TetonSnowInfo.com is available online, much of it — including historical and forecast information provided by the NWS — is presented in dense, tabular formats that can be hard to quickly decipher. For years Larson has considered how to present this information in a graphical format, and it is something he has accomplished with this site. The presentation of the data is still evolving and does not include the majority of the data available (e.g. snow intervals/totals), but is what Larson describes as “a good start.”
TetonSnowInfo.com has so far received very positive feedback from many in the local backcountry community, and while only now officially launched, the site has been receiving strong traffic since going live in mid February.
Phase two for TetonSnowInfo.com is the creation of a public snow and avalanche observation network, which is currently under development with the help of avalanche forecasters, guides and other snow science professionals active in the western U.S. The observation network builds on the extensive work that Larson did for the Canadian Avalanche Association while developing their private InfoEx online network over the past several years. The observation network is scheduled to launch by mid-March.
From a technology perspective, TetonSnowInfo.com was built utilizing the state-of-theart Windows .NET 3.5 framework, the new and very powerful ASP.NET chart control, Ajax for a more responsive and interactive user experience, and Linq for SQL to easily and robustly handle the database interaction. Larson explained, “It’s really amazing what a powerful development platform these tools provide and how quickly a complex product such as TetonSnowInfo.com can be developed.”
The Software Ranch, with many years of experience in a wide variety of fields including clinical medical, cable TV, and even ski area design, provides a broad range of software development services. They specialize in practical and easy-to-use software solutions for many types of problems, from data-driven Web sites to general simulation and modeling. You can reach The Software Ranch at the firstname.lastname@example.org or www.TheSoftwareRanch.com.
The Software Ranch LLC
Contact: Chris Larson
Awesome! Kudos to Chris Larson and Chris Hansen. Forget a quick link Teton Snow Info is my new home page.
Steve, thanks for the plug! For the record, TetonSnowInfo.com is entirely Larson’s doing—he’s the programming whiz. All I did was help craft and distribute the release. And, of course, provide moral support peppered with a little feedback.
Great to get word of an info-clearinghouse such as this and TetonAT proves its support for the WY/ID community by being first here. I hope the quality product (and web exposure from TAT) result in work for Chris. Still, I don’t think information is the crux for backcountry travelers, rather it’s decision-making and no deluge of info is going to help with someone deciding whether one particular slope is OK to ski on one particular day. Coming from Colorado, I see a lot of people around here pampered by instability that passes quickly or slides that are limited in size and consequence. Still, there have been 5 fatalities this year in WY and I wonder if more and easier access to snowpack info will result in fewer accidents/fatalities without stronger decision-making skills as AIARE is providing.
I really don’t think it has much to do with the decision-making skills or lack thereof. I think it is a self-discipline issue, and am not convinced that any avalanche course (much less an AIARE one- why do you think they are the standard?) can provide that. It is a personal and cultural issue.
I’m with Forrest! This is a beautiful piece of work. Now instead of pulling down eight separate tabs in the morning, the same sites are all-in-one. And the design is so aesthetic, it immediately upgrades my attitude for the day. Kudos, guys, very big contribution to the Web-world.
Yes, This is my new home page. Fewer clicks has my carpal tunnels thanking Larson for the new site!