For even the tiny little resorts here, I'm discovering that a little knowlege of how the slopes are oriented and what that means for conditions is good to have.
2weeks ago, the front side of Highlands was really slow from sun melting. It hadn't changed over to corn or slush. It was just warming fresh that turned to velcro. Really sucked! At the same time, even tho temps were above freezing. The north (...back side) did not get the sun. The snow back there was amazing! Still hardpack fresh and fast! Stayed that way for the whole week.
Needless to say, I planned my days to start and finish back there. The flip side is if things have been warm all over during the day but cold at night? The backside will start very hard and icy, so I won't even bother to check it till mid day.
On the BIG mountain resorts? There are just sooo many variables and changing conditions due to micro climates. Windward, leeward, north facing, south, bowls, ridges, angle to sun, trees, you name it. I imagine you really have to know the place pretty intimately to make best use of the information and how it affects those varying condtions. (...short of just lucking into them that is.)
Oh and neni,... I'm with you! I love to be out n riding when the slope empties at lunch and dinner!
. (...can't stand crowded bars and resturants anyway!)