Ski, snowboard, or just love snow? FreshyMap will rock your world.

The "United States of Freshies" as seen on midday Feb. 4. (FreshyMap.com)

The “United States of Freshies” as seen midday Feb. 4. (FreshyMap.com)

What interactive wind maps are to weather weenies, FreshyMap is to pow aficionados. At least that was my first impression after stumbling upon the site. To top it off, it’s got an embedded wind map too!

In reality, FreshyMap is much more than a fun map tool. If you’re looking for the untouched — AKA “freshy” — conditions, or just deep snow in general, there are no better places to turn to get such a quick and concise rundown.

FreshyMap works great as an embed as you’ll see below, but it should also be enjoyed in its full-screen glory.

Where to go at a glance

Still in Beta, FreshyMap’s mountain count is up to almost 200 as of early February, and those numbers grow by day.

Co-founded by Colorado residents Brendan Heberton and Chris Helm, the focus was initially on the Rocky Mountains, but the site has expanded to become the leading interactive snow report map for the United States (or, as they call it, the United States of Freshies). Looking at their map, they may have also annexed parts of Canada!


Current conditions. Numbers indicate new snow in the last day. (embed on your site)

If you’re hungry for the best mid-Atlantic or northeast skiing, FreshyMap has quite the growing selection. Here’s a quick glance at conditions locally, following the latest in a series of northeast U.S. winter storms in recent weeks:

Mid-Atlantic ski and snowboard areas with conditions as of midday Feb 4.

Mid-Atlantic ski areas with conditions as of midday Feb 4. Note: The forecast snowfall is based off a model algorithm and is considerably off for Wednesday in these graphics, something I discussed with a site founder and was told that will continue to be fine tuned. See also, trouble with automated snowfall forecasts.

Making informed decisions to hit the best snow a region has to offer can now be done smarter and faster.

When in doubt, FreshyFactor scores — based off an algorithm factoring several key winter-revelry ingredients — might help you choose  which snowy spot to visit.

Planning a lengthier trip?

Despite the barrage of wintry conditions across the eastern two thirds of the United States, the snow situation isn’t fantastic everywhere this winter.

Just look at the state of affairs in California. Hard-hit by record drought in 2013, despite recent snowfall most resorts in the state are showing snow numbers they’d usually see in the first month of the season.

California freshies are hurting, to the unhappiness of everyone following the situation.

California freshies are hurting, to the unhappiness of everyone following the situation.

Instead of snow measurements entering the double digits in feet as typical in mid-winter, Kirkwood Resort is just one example of the misery being faced up and down the West Coast.  Painful for fans of Sierra cement, and increasingly scary for the future of California’s water supply.

On the whole, winter resorts doing the best compared to normal across the country might be those located just to our north here in the D.C. area.

But venerable mountains, such as those in Colorado, are having a solid year. In fact, much of the Rockies are running near or above normal season-to-date (PDF). As spring vacations approach, no doubt many will be headed in that direction.

And if you really want to dig in before booking those tickets, you can get up close and personal with your mountain of choice by zooming way in. (In the case highlighted below, Vail Mountain in Colorado):

Topographic map of Vail in Colorado. A freshy factor of 82% and a foot of snow predicted in the near future means good snow conditions!

Topographic map of Vail in Colorado. A FreshyFactor of 82% and a foot of snow possible over the period means good snow!

Besides the sweet map interface any ski or snowboard enthusiast is sure to find useful, FreshyMap has a witty blog covering topics ranging from how drone-mounted cameras are revolutionizing photography of the sport, to what Colorado ski areas are doing about the legality of marijuana and its potential usage on their grounds.

Check it out! Just don’t blame me if you get lost in a blizzard of virtual freshies.

p.s., In a background discussion with one of the co-founders, specific interest in feedback was noted. There’s a button at the top right of the main site. Sending a request can also help you get your favorite mountain on the map!

Also on Capital Weather Gang

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