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  • Current Snow Conditions in Western Canada

    December 20, 2023 4 min read

    Ethan skiing at Lake Louise on December 7th, 2023

    WESTERN CANADA SNOW CONDITIONS DECEMBER 2023

    Written by Ethan Shaheen

    As many of you know, it's been a very so-so start to the season here in Canada. Some resorts have had a few big pow days, giving us a solid base, while others have record-low snowfall. It seems for the 2023/24 season, snow conditions will be more important than ever when deciding where you should be going.

    Here is a breakdown of every major AB and BC resort in alphabetical order as of December 20th, 2023:

    Alberta Ski Resort Current Conditions 

    Banff Sunshine Village Conditions 

    Settled Base: 76cm 
    Total Snowfall: 202cm 
    Lift/Run Status: 12/12 lifts, 90/120 runs 

    After a very rough start, Sunshine is doing well with multiple powder days in early/mid-December! With Goats Eye Mountain now open, Sunshine is ready to rock and roll. 

    Castle Mountain Resort Conditions 

    Settled Base: 40cm
    Total Snowfall: 165cm 
    Lift/Run Status: 5/6 lifts, 35/95 runs 

    According to today's weather report, Castle is struggling with warm weather (2°C today) and light rain. Fingers crossed that Castle gets some of that nice fluffy snow that it's so well known for, especially before our January 6th demo day.

    Lake Louise Ski Resort Conditions 

    Upper Mountain: 95cm base, 232cm total snowfall 
    Mid Mountain: 72cm base, 194cm total 
    Lift/Run Status: 11/11 lifts, 111/164 runs 

    Louise is off to a good start - and can list itself as one of the best resorts in Canada for snow conditions. Speaking from personal experience, I had a fantastic powder day on December 7th, including some waist-deep turns in the trees under Ptarmigan. I've been rocking the VICE 97s and 105s at Louise as of late. 

    Marmot Basin Conditions 

    Settled Base: 39cm 
    Total Snowfall: 98cm 
    Lift/Run Status: 5/7 lifts, 38/91 runs 

    Marmot has been hit with some unfortunately warm weather lately (1°C degree today at the mid-mountain). With the new Knob Chair ready to run, we're keeping our fingers crossed that Marmot gets dumped on and has some cold weather soon. 

    Mt. Norquay Ski Resort Conditions 

    Settled Base (mountain top): 72cm 
    Total Snowfall: 145cm 
    Lift/Run Status: 6/6 lifts, 46/60 runs 

    Only having skied one day at Norquay this season back when only two lifts were open in early December, it's improved a lot over the last couple of weeks. As a primarily groomer-focused resort, Norquay is a great option if you're looking to shred some groomers or hit the park. 

    Nakiska Ski Area Conditions 

    Settled Base: 44cm
    Total Snowfall: 98cm 
    Lift/Run Status: 4/6 lifts, 39/79 runs 

    With no first-hand experience skiing Nakiska this season, I think it's going okay for groomed runs. 

     

    British Colombia Ski Resort Current Conditions 

    Big White Ski Resort Conditions 

    Alpine Base: 88cm 
    Total Snowfall: 138cm 
    Lifts/Runs Status: 10/15 lifts, 53/118 runs 

    With a delayed start to the season, the snowfall has been rough for Big White. However, they've gotten 20cm in the last week and are forecasted to get 7cm this Friday.

    Fernie Alpine Resort Conditions 

    Settled Base: 113cm
    Total Snowfall: 253cm 
    Lift/Run Status: 83/142 runs, 8/10 lifts

    Fernie is in! 7cm in the last 24 hours only adds to the solid base that they've built. Skiing there on December 9th, I was treated to a beautiful 40cm pow day - rocking the VICE 113s - it was fantastic. 

    Kicking Horse Mountain Resort Conditions 

    Base: 88cm 
    Total Snowfall: 215cm 
    Lift/Bowl Status: 4/5 lifts, 2/5 bowls open 

    Kicking Horse is getting decent snow, we're hoping that they can get a couple more dumps and have all bowls open in the upcoming month. 

    Kimberley Alpine Resort Conditions 

    Base: 52cm
    Total Snowfall: 97cm
    Lift/Run Status: 3/5 lifts, 42/80 runs 

    A low base - let's hope that Kimberley can get some dumps here soon! It's warm today but it is supposed to get colder soon. 

    RED Mountain Resort Conditions 

    Base: 58cm 
    Total Snowfall: 114cm 
    Lift/Run Status: Currently closed 

    RED has had a tough go with a delayed start due to low snow. They're projecting an opening day of December 22 - keep up to date with their opening date here. 

    Revelstoke Mountain Resort Conditions 

    Settled Base: 112cm 
    Total Snowfall: 306cm 
    Lift/Run Status: 32/75 runs, 4/5 lifts

    I'm biased, Revy is my favourite mountain and I can't wait to get out there. It looked like Revy was off to a really rough start to the season, having delayed opening day. But now, it looks like it's going great! Friends who have skied there got multiple pow days in the last couple of weeks. 

    SilverStar Mountain Resort Conditions 

    Base: 81cm
    Total Snowfall: 129cm 
    Lift/Run Status: 7/10 lifts, 50/132 runs 

    A solid base - SilverStar is forecasting some snow before this weekend. 

    Sun Peaks Resort Conditions 

    Alpine Base: 61cm 
    Mid-Mountain Base: 66c 
    Lift/Run Status: 10/13 lifts, 44/137 runs 

    Hit with a bout of warm weather, a weakening weather system has stalled across southern BC - they've been hit with 5cm of snow overnight, but there isn't much more forecasted for the immediate future. 

    Whistler Blackcomb Conditions 

    Base: 75cm 
    Total Snowfall: 191cm 
    Lift/Run Status: 19/27 lifts, 106/276 runs 

    As I'm sure many people have seen on social media, the largest resort in Canada is dying for snow. Good news though, by Monday, December 25th Whistler is forecasted to receive over 90cm of the goods! 

     

    Alberta and British Colombia Ski Resort Current Conditions Summary 

    It's not a great start overall for Canadian ski resorts. If you're skiing in Alberta, Lake Louise or Banff Sunshine Village would be my recommendations. If you're in BC, Revelstoke and Fernie seem to be the play! 

     

    Canadian Winter Expectations

    With the El Niño weather pattern coming across Canada this winter, we can expect below-average temperatures and snowfall in AB & BC this season. When is more snow coming? BC is forecasted to receive heavy snowfall from January to March or April. In Alberta, it's looking like we'll have a typical dry January with big dumps coming in February. 


    Where are you planning on going this season? I hope this helps if you're looking for a ski resort over the Christmas break! 

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