A meager year for snowfall may be wrapping up a lackluster year at some ski resorts in North America. But not at the ski resorts in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Record-breaking snow fell this week at Alberta’s Sunshine Village and heaped up powder at Lake Louise.
Sunshine Village broke open the record book this week with its biggest snowstorm in 40 years. Whipping winds ushered in the storm last Friday with 22 centimeters (9 inches) of overnight snow greeting skiers and snowboarders on Saturday morning to the tune of exploding avalanche bombs.
The snow pelted down for the next several days, inundating the slopes. By Tuesday morning, the storm amassed 123 centimeters (4 feet) of snow in five days — not only breaking the storm total record for the resort, but taking a stab at the total March snowfall record from last year. Last spring, Sunshine accumulated 208 centimeters (6.1 feet) of snow for a new March record. This current storm puts the resort well on the way to smashing that record, too.
Snow fell for several days at Lake Louise, making conditions tough for snow safety crews to keep up with. Photo by Chris Moseley.
Just north of Sunshine Village in Banff National Park, Lake Louise benefited from the storm, too. Howling winds delivered 91 centimeters (3 feet) of snow into the back bowls — enough to send avalanche control crews scrambling day after day to open terrain.
“We keep trying to come up for air here in Lake Louise, but it just keeps snowing,” ski patroller Chris Moseley reported on Monday in his Lake Louise Lowdown blog.
By Tuesday afternoon, blue skies broke up the clouds at Sunshine and Lake Louise, leaving skiers and snowboarders with plenty of fresh deep lines. Snow safety crews will be working to open the terrain closed due to avalanche danger as soon as possible.
The storm broke on Tuesday, yielding a prime day of bluebird skies and powder at Lake Louise. Photo by Chris Moseley.
Both Sunshine Village and Lake Louise are just starting their spring ski seasons with well over two months left to go. This year, Sunshine Village plans to stay open until May 21, and Lake Louise operates for skiing and snowboarding until May 6
Lodging packages and tri-area lift tickets that include Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay are available through Ski Big 3. Find more information here.