February 20, 2018
Set between snow-sprinkled mountains and sparkling ocean, Vancouver’s location makes it easy to leave city life behind and immerse yourself in nature. Step out of…
By Leah Adams-Chute October 13, 2017 #php comments_number('0 Comment', '1 Comment', '% Comments'); ?> #php echo wpb_get_post_views(get_the_ID()); ?>
Last year was one for the books—a record-breaking ski season. Now, it’s almost that time of year again as BC’s ski resorts get ready to open in the coming weeks.
The pow days started in early November and they didn’t stop until April. Legs were burning and smiles were aplenty. The hoots and hollers from resort chairlifts were constant and the après sessions were long enough to celebrate—but short enough to pack it in early and wake up to another blissful ski day. Here is a look back at the snowfall accumulated at BC’s resorts and some of the deepest days of last season.
Last season at Whistler Blackcomb was the snowiest since the famous 2010-2011 storm year. A total snowfall of 1,309 cm (515 in) fell from November through April, and skiers rejoiced in a year of non-stop powder skiing. The biggest snowfall was just 24 hours after opening day—on November 24, 2016—when 70 cm (28 in) of powder fell overnight. It was a winter wonderland that day. One that will be remembered for quite some time.
Almost half of the operational days at Whitewater Ski Resort last season had 10 cm (or more) of snow falling on the mountain each morning. One of the biggest days was February 6, 2017 when 34 cm (13.4 in) fell overnight. That was on top of another 20 cm (7.8 in) the night before. The entire town of Nelson shut down, and the whole community went for a Monday ski. Local skier Dale Crushway recalls the season well. “There were no days off. If you took a day off, you’d miss another stellar pow day. Champagne powder. Blow up in your face with the slightest turn powder. Every moment you were in the white room.”
BC’s newest ski resort is known for its consistent dumps of light, dry powder and the 2016/17 season was no exception. It turned out to be the second snowiest year on record since the first gondola starting spinning in 2007. December was a whole month of powder skiing with snowfall accumulation day after day. The biggest 48 hour snowfall happened December 17th and 18th, when over 52 cm (20.5 in) fell on the resort.
There is something called the “Fernie Factor” at this resort in southeastern British Columbia. “It’s when the flakes are huge and fill the sky, and the whole place turns into a snow-globe of joy!” says Dylan Siggers, Fernie-based filmmaker and skier, who can recall many days like this last ski season. The resort experienced 39 days of 10 cm (or more) mornings. One of those days was on February 26, 2017 when 35 cm (13.8 in) covered the resort and everyone was out skiing their favourite “Fernie Factor” lines.
The term “March Madness” was used to excess last ski season at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. During the week of March 9, 2017 the resort received more than 67 cm (26.4 in) of dry, light powder over seven days. If you were lucky enough to be visiting that week, the snow gods were good to you. March 20th was the biggest day of the year when 46 cm (18 in) floated down from the sky overnight. “March Madness” indeed.
Annie, pictured here, was supposed to be working on March 1, 2017. That was until the biggest snow day of the year rolled in and dumped 24 cm (10.5 in) of snow in 24 hours on SilverStar Mountain Resort. Instead, Annie took the morning off. As it happens at many resorts across BC, when it’s a powder day, everyone goes skiing.
This resort in BC’s interior was blessed with a truly memorable snow year. The largest snowfall in a 12 hour period was on February 26, 2017 with 19 cm (7.5 in) of light, dry Okanagan powder. March 25, 2017 was another big day with 25 cm (9.8 in) falling in 24 hours. Opening day for the 2017/18 season is set for November 23 and fingers are crossed it will be another memorable year.
When there is a huge snowfall in Rossland, home of RED Mountain Resort, nobody goes anywhere—except skiing. The streets of Rossland are often lined with snowbanks taller than your head and cars are buried in snow. It’s always the perfect excuse to head to the mountain for a powder day, and there are no shortage of them at RED Mountain Resort. The week of January 19, 2017 the mountain received 27 cm (10.6 in) of snow on top of 15 cm (6 in) the day before, and another 8 cm (3.1 in) the day after. The cars stayed put that week.
They were skiing powder right until the very end at Sun Peaks Resort in BC’s Interior. The snow came consistently all year—with daily 5 to 15 cm (2 to 6 in) snowfalls—leading to steady accumulation over the whole season. March was particularly snowy, with 208 cm (82 in) falling over the month and it was just two days before closing operations for the season when a massive storm rolled through. This unusually snowy April brought 24 cm (9.5 in) of snow on April 15th, followed by another 52 cm (20 in) over the next three days. Three cheers for April.
Last season saw 537 cm (211 in) fall at Panorama Mountain Resort with a record snowfall at the beginning of February—more than 84 cm (33 in) fell in 72 hours. Local skier Laura Matthew remembers it well. “Skiing Taynton Bowl on a powder day is always a treat, but when this massive storm passed through last February it was truly the best ski day of my life. Chest-deep turns in champagne powder and fresh lines all day long.”
What will this ski season bring? Snow has already started to fall across BC’s ski resorts and everyone is hoping for another La Niña winter—one just like last year will do just fine.
Opening image: Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Photo: Ian Houghton
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