Got a few extra days and want to head to a ski resort that is wallowing in snow? Alaska, northern British Columbia, and northern Alberta have seen the benefits in a La Nina year.
Early season snowfalls have brought some resorts to peak levels even while others, located in southern parts of the provinces, moan the fact that La Nina hasn’t really shown her brazen face yet.
Pacific storms pushed north this year with Alaska becoming one of the first recipients of the bounty. Alyeska Resort is quickly pushing toward the 300-inch snowfall mark since Oct. 1. The summit of Chair Six already has a base topping 100 inches. The tram and all the lifts are operating, pending daily safety conditions. The last storm cycle earlier this week walloped the resort with 40 inches of snow — enough to bust open most of the mountain, including Christmas Chute on the North Face.
Holiday night skiing starts up this Saturday. A full slate of holiday activities on snow include visits from Santa, Christmas and New Year’s camps for young skiers and snowboarders, Christmas Day buffet, and the annual New Year’s torchlight parade and fireworks show. Find more holiday events here.
Heavy snowfall early this week at Alyeska sent the resort heading toward 300 inches this season. Photo courtesy of Alyeska Resort.
In British Columbia, many resorts opened early for the season due to such abundant December snowfall. At Hudson Bay Mountain, Rayz Terrain Park opened last weekend, and the snowfall allowed the ski trail to town to open, too. Skiers and riders can already make the last run of the day extend to 3,775 feet of vertical by starting at the top of South Face Chair and skiing down the Town Trail to Zobnick Road.
The resort is open daily through Jan. 2. In January and February, it will operate Wednesdays through Sundays. In March, it goes again to daily operations. Find more information here.
At Marmot Basin, powder days have been aplenty so far. Photo by Freddy/Marmot Basin.
In Alberta, Marmot Basin has already received half of its average annual snowfall. So much snow fell in early December that the groomers struggled with packing the cat track through the upper alpine bowl to the top of the highest chair at the resort — the Knob Chair — in order to get the lift running for the season. In time for the holidays, all the lifts, including Marmot’s two new chairs, are running for the season, and the Rogers Terrain Park is expected to open this weekend.
Marmot operates daily until early May. The Jasper in January Festival, scheduled Jan.15- 30, features discounts on adult lift tickets and accommodation deals. Find more details here.