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Canadian Rockies - Best Mid/Late December Conditions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Where would I find best mid to late December conditions within 200 miles of Calgary?
post #2 of 4

A few possibilities

These are the three most likely possibilities:

1. Sunshine--probably your best bet based on the last few years however there may be some other options. (prospective opening date November 10).

2. Lake Louise--has been sparse and icy the last couple of years, but lot's of potential if the snow gods smile. Also a resort with snow making capacity. (prospective opening date November 11)

3. Fernie--if they get a good early season dump. They also make snow on the lower mountain. (This is just on the edge of your two hundred mile radius. (prospective opening date December 10)

It is probably a little early for Kicking Horse (December 16), Panorama (no date listed) or Castle (no date listed), but there is always the possibility of a few early dumps. Unfortunately the long range forecasts I've seen have not looked particularly promising.

Note that weather systems that provide big dumps of snow for Lake Louise or Kicking Horse will also dump heavily on Sunshine. Castle and Fernie are far enough south that they can experience different weather systems and conditions. Marmot (December 4) in Jasper is far enough north that they also could have different conditions, but that is definitely out of the 200 mile radius, and is generally not known for early skiing.

There are tri-mountain passes that allow you to ski Sunshine, Louise, or the smaller Mt. Norquay (snowmaking and very good grooming on their intermediate runs, opening December 9), available from skibig3.com. That may be your best bet.

I expect the partisans for the other hills to begin to weigh in now.
post #3 of 4
nope, that about covers it unless you drive to edmonton for snow valley or rabbit
post #4 of 4
Long term snowfall data would say Fernie by a substantial margin. Castle and Sunshine would be next. In general Fernie is optimal early-to-mid-season. All the Banff areas are at their best late season (February-to-April).
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Canadian Rockies - Best Mid/Late December Conditions