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Historical snow depth records Canada?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I am a new member from Australia and am looking to exploit your local knowledge. I know its a way off, but I am planning a trip to Canada next year (2006) and need to organise frequent flyer flights a year in advance. This is why I am looking for advice (or historical snow reports) about ski conditions in mid march. I havent decided on a definite destination yet, but am leaning toward Silverstar and Big white. Both these resorts are owned by the same family that used to own my home resort of Mt Hotham in Australia. Any help will be greatly appreciated as I want to make the most of my first ski holiday beyond Australia and New Zealand.
post #2 of 14
Mid march should be absolutely primo in that part of Canada. As you may know, this year has been extremely subpar for snow in far western Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the US. However, think those two resorts towards interior BC are weathering things a little better. Admire your ski area management loyalty, but as far as you're traveling and if you had the extra time, I'd suggest checking out the scenic glories of skiing at Lake Louise for a day or two.
post #3 of 14
I'd have to say that for mid-March, Banff should be a part of your plans. Generally the snowiest month for the area and your chances of skiing winter powder are pretty good at Lake Louise & Sunshine.
I'd suggest booking your flight to either Vancouver or Calgary and following the snow. You'd only be looking at 3-4 hours travel max between areas: Calgary to Banff is a little over an hour, Banff (LL & SSV) to Golden(KHMR) about the same, Golden to Invermere(Panorama) also 1-1.5 hours, Invermere to Fernie or Nelson is around 3 hours, Nelson to Kamloops would be around 3 hours, Kamloops to Van about the same.
Distances might not be dead on, but you've got a ton of choices within easy travelling distance of one another. This, of course, relies on you not travelling with a wife and kids. If it's a family trip and you need to be based somewhere, the interior resorts or Banff area would both likely treat you right.
post #4 of 14
Go to http://members.aol.com/crockeraf/, the definitive historical snow records website. Click on the sections relating to the various parts of the Canadian Rockies, and get detailed historic snowfall information on those areas. Sorry I don't know how to link, as ISATI.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Jamesj, JeffW and DOC. Your replies certainly make me feel much more confident about the snow conditions in mid March. And although I didnt mention it Jeff, I do have a wife and a 15 and 11 year old in tow, so your advice is well received. Does anyone know when school holidays are in Canada, and does it make much difference to resort crowds?
post #6 of 14
i'll chip in with the alberta government precipitation outlooks, though they're not really snowfall-oriented:

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks f2f, and others, your helpful responses make me feel very welcome as a newbie in your community. If you want to know anything about Australia.........
post #8 of 14
you'll be in for a surprise when you find out that more than half of the western canadian resort's employees are australian (well, commonwealth).

post #9 of 14
Big White would be a great choice for your family. They have reliable snow, interesting terrain and, at least in my opinion, the best slope-side lodging options in the region. All of the lodging in Big White is ski-in/ski-out with hot tubs, etc. We stayed there for a week last year and had a blast. Banff is great, but the only ski-in/ski-out accomodations is at Sunshine. I don't mind driving to the slopes if its just me or a trip with the guys, but with my family, where we stay is always a big factor.

Good suggestion about trying out some of the other resorts in the region if you're coming all the way from Australia. There is certainly a lot of excellent terrain in the region.
post #10 of 14

School Holidays (The Alberta Version)

School Holidays in Alberta will be either the last week in March or around the Easter Holiday in Mid-April so you should be safe. I suspect BC will probably be on a similar time-table.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Tbay. I am certainly used to ski-in/ski-out. All of the resorts here are excellent in that respect, and there is nothing quite like a relax in a hot tub after a hard days skiing. As we plan to be in the area for about three weeks, BW/SS sounds like a good starting point, and I must say I've always thought the Lake Louise and Banff area looks spectacular. I just cant wait to get on some long runs, as that is one thing that we are lacking in Oz. Panorama doesnt look bad either, any reviews?
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks gnjantzie, I am sure I am just like everyone else. I love no queues and uncrowded slopes!
post #13 of 14


Panorama is an Intrawest development. Slope side lodging, hot tub complex, nightclub, bar, condos and timeshares. I would like to ski it when they have really good snow, but both weekends I've gone out the conditions have been pretty icy on the runs that were open. They often have specials on accommodations and lift tickets (their current one is teens ski free if two adults purchase an accommodation and lift ticket package) so you might want to look at that as an option when you get closer to the trip date (March may be getting a little on in the season for that hill). In the Banff area, Lake Louise and Sunshine should be in great shape in mid-March (they're not too bad even in the horrendous year we're currently having). Depending on the skill levels of your family, you may also want to look at Kicking Horse (if you want a long run, they have one green that goes 10 km, but most of the terrain is more on the advanced than intermediate side). You'll be able to plan better on the actual hills as you get closer to the trip and we see just what the snow is like. I've already scratched a couple of hills I wanted to ski this year from my list, and I may head back to hills I hadn't expected to, simply because of the snow patterns.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
You are right about waiting till its a bit closer to the actual date of arrival, but as I am about to book flights, I cant help with getting a bit carried away with it all! The good thing is we have another season in OZ before I head North! Even my ski loving children tell me I am obsessed (or is that posessed!) The family skiing ability is varied, I have been skiing for about 20 years and like it like my coffee (black, that is) my 15 y.o. son is black and blue, not from falls, but he is catching up, and my 11 y.o. daughter and wife like it green and blue. I used to run an action photo business in Mt Hotham, but I missed a few years skiing when the kids were young and have been making up for it ever since. Cant wait, and I'll be watching the posts for at least the next year!
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