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Question for the Canadians

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I’m in the process of arranging my next lot of bi-annual leave and wonder when how early in the season I can expect to have reasonably reliable snow in the Alberta area. I would normally go to Europe but flights can be quite full around this time of the year so Canada is a good alternative. It’s a long way to go to look at a pile of bare earth though, and mountains tend to exaggerate their own seasons.
post #2 of 6
G'day, eh?

My very favourite time to ski is early season. Most years there is decent snow cover by a couple weeks before Xmas. The key phrase there is MOST YEARS. If I was coming all the way from Oz, I'd want to be pretty sure. It's a long way to come to get rained on. I would either come in Jan/Feb or book at the last minute if you hear conditions are right. Sorry if that's not much help, but it's the straight goods.
post #3 of 6
Pete, JR's advice is as close as it gets to being right. If you do plan on hitting the slopes here keep it in mind that one part of the country usually has better snow than another and can most times be driven to in a good days drive. Best early snow is most often in the Kootenays or Banff area, BC's interior can be great to but tends to stay warmer longer. The coastal area,well lets just say it could rain or it could dump 3 ft in 6 hrs.
post #4 of 6
Pete,
If you're going to the Alberta/Banff area, there definitely will be some decent snow cover by late December. The amount of snow will vary from year to year. Most of the resorts are open by the end of November. The best snowcover is usually later in the season from Jan onward. Last year in the Pacific Northwest by early Dec the snow pack was unbelievable. I put in some of my best days in Dec last year
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Okay, that's a great help, thanks. So from what you suggest I could basically expect to have "skiable" conditions from mid-December.

I guess the only other question is when to AVOID due crowds. I spent one Christmas up at Mt Washington and don't recall the crowds being a big issue, but maybe I was just lucky.

When asking for my holiday leave I have to rank my preferences in order, so I'm clearly going to put a busy time, or time of unpredictable snow conditions, lower down my list of preferences.

Cheers,

Pete
post #6 of 6
The couple weeks before Xmas is not so crowded. Many people think the last week or two of November is pretty good, BUT... this is the US Thanksgiving weekend, and Americans like to stretch it out to a week. Snow starved Canucks every year figure they'll get some good turns in uncrowded conditions, but forget about our Southern neighbour's holiday. The result is anything but uncrowded!
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