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Snow in Banff and Jasper

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

Just wondering if there are any locals to Jasper/Lake Louise/Banff..... We are headed that way in a few weeks and I notice the snow isnt particularly good.... is Dec/Jan a time these areas tend to get much snow?

I was there last Jan as well and had a bit of a drought (well except for a dump on the day i left!), so Im hoping there will be a bit more soft stuff this year!


post #2 of 29
January at Jasper is usually a time for long spells of extremely cold, dry weather. If I still lived there, I wouldn't bother skiing this month, from what I've seen on Marmotmb's posts, unless they get another 3 feet. I moved away long ago in disgust after ruining too many skis on the rocks that are everywhere. It's been the worst year ever in most of B.C. so far... Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but better now than when you arrive from Ireland.:
post #3 of 29
No it's not a time of year that we normally get much snow, but I wouldn't say our conditions are bad either. In fact, for the time of year, I'd say they are pretty darn good. The backside of the Lake has more open than I've ever seen at this time of year and it's in good shape. I guess it depends on what you're looking for, but it's in much better shape than you had any reason to expect at Christmas time in the Rockies.
post #4 of 29
Sunshine is not bad either. We're fleeing there tomorrow after a particularly exhausting time at KH. It is still early season, but all it will take is a couple of big dumps to bring it up to speed. The back bowls at Louise are supposed to be quite good (haven't made it there yet). With four weeks until mid-January we could see quite a bit of snow.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Oh dear! Unfortunately you cant get over there from ireland without significant advanced planning, so there aint no getting out of it!

I leave 4 weeks tomorrow so I am hopeful gnjantzie is right, is it a reasonable enough hope that there might be a few dumps in that time?

post #6 of 29
Jasper has precipitation forecast for 8 out of the next 10 days (some rain in the valley, but Marmot is high enough it should all fall as snow there). Banff has the same forecast as does Golden (Kicking Horse), and Lake Louise. Fernie has snow or snow showers predicted for about a week, followed by rain (which should only affect the lower levels, if at all, since it will be quite close to freezing and should generate snow in the bowls). Try http://www.weather.com for 10 day forecasts in the ski towns.

Of course a lot of snow now will simply be a better base by the time you get out here. More important is how much falls the week before you arrive. The good news is that crowds are sparse in mid-January so if there is fresh stuff it should not be skied out too soon.
post #7 of 29
I just got home from Sunshine...

It was awful, to tell you the honest truth... The snow was VERY hard, and where it wasn't hard, it was ice. Even in the trees, and where there seemed to be soft stuff, it was pretty crusty and gross.

Also, we seem to be running brutal high pressure systems ATM.

We're not supposed to get anything at all before Friday, and even then, its supposed to be minimal. The weather is beautiful...I hate it.

Kicking Horse, on the other hand:

Slightly, more promising.... I'll be heading there on Wed/Thurs.


post #8 of 29
Perhaps this is the best way to show what Dec and Jan can hold. Watch close the begining is Opening day Nov 28, 2004. The next batch of fresh is December 11, 2004 (45 CM fresh) December 26, 2004 (30 cm fresh), the next is Jan 11th (25 cm fresh), Then nearing the end of Jan ending in late season March condition for the last few snips. This isn't actual snow fall dates just dates I got video.


I would say this is somewhat above average for the last 8 years but across many many years not alot less.

January can either be dryer and colder than a witches tit in a covent, or pretty decent but still usually cold.

Marmot has it's days of sweet super dry powder that is heaven.

In all honest they need about 40 - 50 cm to be real nice, and this will come. with that and regular little falls it will be another great Marmot year.
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the direction to weather.com..... the only thing is that they seem to forecast snow everyday whereas the hill websites often dorecast no snow whatsoever!

post #10 of 29
fortunately the weather site has proved correct. There have been some small snowfalls in the last couple of days. I am praying for more, I will be there on 1 Jan.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
And it looks like there is a wee bit more today too..... surely a bigger dump is overdue now!
post #12 of 29
Originally Posted by buns
And it looks like there is a wee bit more today too..... surely a bigger dump is overdue now!
You would think it has to snow eventually and I know they're getting it on Kokanee Glacier and I think whistler too. Hopefully it makes it to us.

I was at the Lake on Wed and it was nothing special. It's been warm and no snow and apparently busy given how conditions had changed from a week and some ago. I was going to stay over and ski the next day but didn't bother. I went to Nakiska instead.

If no snow comes Xmas week is going to beat hard on conditions and skis. Often get a batch of snow just before or just after the new year.
post #13 of 29
11cm at SSV and 4 at LL today
skied the lake all day and very nice shape, SSV for saterday early before the hords show
post #14 of 29
Woohoo powder day today @ SSV...

Really fun conditions. Wasn't super deep, but lotsa windloaded places were awesome. If you knew where to look, today wwas an especially good day.

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
OOH and a bit more! Keep it coming Canada!
post #16 of 29
looks like I'm getting the Xmas prezzy I was after....keep coming
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Me too..... the snow is good and all
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hey again guys....

Could any of you suggest who would be good to use for transfers to our hotels? We are not willing to drive! We want to use sundogtours but cant get in touch with them so any alternatives (looking scheduled transfers) would be appreciated!

post #19 of 29
I don't know any particular tranfer companies in Banff, Brewster bus lines is big in that area but....

It is safe to say you could pretty much show up and in less than an hour at the hotel desk have a hanfull of transportation choices or the hotel will have it's own shuttle to each of the hills each day.

Don't sweat too much if no one reports in with details, Banff is a ski town in the winter, getting to the hill will not be a problem.
post #20 of 29
If you're talking transfers between Banff and the hills just by the big3 passes and it's included otherwise it's pricey. In jasper I have no idea but I'm sure it's available.

Between Jasper and Banff I think Giddy Goat (or some such) does transfers. I think the hostel operates it so contact the international hostel in Banff and they should be able to fill you in.
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
We need transfers from calgary to jasper, then Jasper to Lake Louise, then LL to calgary....

Ive found my solution..... the telephone. Ive been working by email because international calls can drag on a bit (meaning money down the drain) but have found a way to make them inexpensively, so I shall just call about and find what i need.

The worry we do have is the icefields parkway..... weather forecast looks rather like there might be a bit of snow the next 10 days which might cause us trouble!
post #22 of 29
Go through www.mountainconnector.com and you'll get taken care of.
As for having trouble on the road ,that highway is maintained contantly and other than a major storm should be fine .
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
mountainconnector is linked to sundog who I was trying to contact..... seems they had server problems but we have it all sorted now thanks to a phone call!

I just saw a report elsewhere reporting Banff, LL and Jasper all to be looking rather bare..... how much short of a reasonable covering are they?

post #24 of 29
to my knowledge SSV had the best coverage of most places
LL is second

with Marmot sadly in last place.

Kicking horse is an option (http://www.kickinghorseresort.com/wi...ions/index.php) but last I heard their coverage on the bottom was terrible and pretty good up top. This was from opening day and may have improved since.

Panorama (1.5 hour from Banff) ( http://www.panoramaresort.com/mounta.../index.htm)had pretty decent coverage on the groomers over xmas and certainly would be worth a day ski or two. The off piste had pretty light coverage and the non main runs had their sections that were getting worn this but one could pick their way down.

Not sure how hard set your travel plans are but unless Marmot gets 30 - 60 cm I might skip there and stick to SSV, LL, Panorama. I am sure someone in banff does day trips to Panorama.

Jasper is supposed to get snow and freezing rain (should be snow at Marmot) late next week.


Best way to go is follow the snow.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 

We are not fixed until next saturday I believe (72 hour canellation policy of accommodation). We did consider Fernie already (and it looks to be getting good snow now) but the possibility for rain right to the top is a bit scary!

We already have 10 days in LL (inc sunshine and Norquay obviously) so dont really want to spend the rest of the time there as well....

The weathernetwork is def indicating precipitation through next week.... is this trustworthy? All the weather websites seem to say something different!!

post #26 of 29
the weather network is fairly accurate the other you may want to try is


I generally use the radar maps to help with forcasting the snow. generally they may say snow but use the radar map to confirm it.


My advice. Try to get to Panorama for at least a day and phone and get a two night package if your accomadations are not written in stone. two nights equals three days skiing. Short 1.5 hours (less from LL) and amazing scenery as you go across the pass.
post #27 of 29
The Banff areas have recieved some snow in the last 2 days , Fernie got dumped on and KH finally got some snow but still needs more . if your skiing the Banff resorts it should be ok.
If your interested I'll meet you for some turns .
post #28 of 29
Good to hear that some now has fallend in Banff. I'm arriving there tomorrow for 5 days.

Leeroy, I wanted to send you a PM, but your inbox was full.
post #29 of 29
Originally Posted by JamminSki
. I'm arriving there tomorrow for 5 days.
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