Every winter in Palatine, when the snow falls, the township plows clear the top deck of the Metra parking structure downtown. The snow is pushed off the edge all in one spot next to our office. This creates a giant pile of snow that lasts well into spring, if not the summer. It starts looking a little dirty but lasts and lasts and lasts long after you’d think it wouldn’t.

We’re all used to leaving the office on a 75° April day, wearing short sleeves and glancing at the pile of snow. And the best part is that another snowstorm is always possible, so it might still grow!

It’s very interesting to watch and talk about, so why not bet on it? That’s what we’ve been doing at Pepper Group for years. We call it the S-No Pile Challenge. Whoever guesses the day the snow pile will be completely gone without even a speck of ice—without going over—wins a nice prize (and, more importantly, bragging rights). Of course, tampering with the pile in any way is strictly prohibited.

Although that pile is not a new phenomenon (in fact, this year, with a warmer winter and less snow, the pile wasn't quite as big as it sometimes has been), it’s never been more famous.

Recently, our little pile of snow (or rather, an enormous pile of snow) has been featured in the news, on TV and even has its own Facebook page!

Last year, the official S-No Pile date was May 11. This year it was April 29. What will be next year’s date? Check back in 2025 to see!