Eagle River Watershed Council offering free Snotel snowshoe tour on Jan. 17 | VailDaily.com

Eagle River Watershed Council offering free Snotel snowshoe tour on Jan. 17

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Eagle River Watershed Council | Special to the Daily On Wednesday, Jan. 17, the Eagle River Watershed Council's Watershed Wednesday series travels to the McCoy Park Snotel Station.

BEAVER CREEK — The Eagle River Watershed Council invites the community to learn the ins and outs of snowpack science with a hands-on mini snow course at the McCoy Park Snotel Station.

The course will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17. The program is part of the Watershed Council's community education Watershed Wednesday series and will be led by Natural Resource Conservation Service snow surveyor and soil conservationist Derrick Wyle.

Natural Resource Conservation Service snow surveyors make monthly measurements of the snowpack using specialized sampling tubes on long-established snow courses. The organization also operates an extensive, automated system to collect snowpack and related climatic data in the Western United States called Snotel (sort for snowpack telemetry).

As a group, participants will travel a short distance by snowshoe to the active Snotel monitoring station and explore the two methods used to measure snowpack, how the station transmits the data back to the master station and what that data is used to predict. Participants will also get the chance to set up a mini snow course and learn how to manually measure snowpack by collecting a snow sample and using the sampling tubes.

Spots are limited and must be reserved. Those interested should contact the Watershed Council by phone at 970-827-5406 or by emailing schoder@erwc.org. A $10 suggested donation is encouraged. Participants are asked to bring snowshoes and dress warmly.