2011-02-16 - The Story of Snow and a Season Extension
Image: Close to 200 centimetres fell on Mount Washington over the last few days, prompting the resort to extend its season into late April.
Photo Credit: Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Mount Washington is experiencing déjà vu. Thinking back to December almost seems like a dream. Four metres of snow in less than a week, close to ten metres of snow in a month. Powder days seemed more like a right than a privilege. La Nina was in fine form.
Was it real or wasn't it? Apart from the news reports, pictures and video evidence proving the reality of the snow events over a month ago, you would probably assume it didn't actually happen. Why? Because January happened.
“January was a no-show in the weather department,” states resort spokesperson Brent Curtain. “Everybody was waiting for another blast from La Nina but the weather patterns went on hold.”
January was calm and nondescript, especially following blustery and unbelievable December. It snowed a bit, it was warm and sometimes cold, there were inversions, there were clouds, there was fog, and there was sunshine. This cycle of weather blah lasted for the best part of five weeks.
Apart from some great mountain events and periodic sunshine, skiers and boarders were beginning to wonder...where did La Nina go? Was she asleep? Would she come back? Then, out of nowhere, came February 12.
The snow report read 28 centimetres of new snow in 24 hours. Most people in the lift line that morning were thanking patrol for under-reporting. Mid-mountain, the snow piled deep, up to 75 centimetres on some slopes. Then for five days straight it snowed like it was December. La Nina awoke from her January slumber and delivered close to two metres of snow by February 16th. Island riders were stoked.
With a mid-mountain base rapidly climbing past the 5 metre range, Mount Washington announced an extension to their winter season at the end of last week. Originally slated to stay open until April 10, the mountain will now open daily to April 10 and then reopen for extended long weekends from April 15-17 and again from April 22-25.
“The snow is piling up again, just like it did in December,” Curtain explains. “So we're happy to be able to extend the winter season just like we did last season.”
The 2009-10 season at Mount Washington was the second deepest on record and enabled the resort to extend operating hours and dates in April 2010. With a current snowbase that just passed the five metre mark, the resort expects to have more than enough snow to make April another memorable one for spring skiing.
“We are planning a full slate of events, promotions, and activities to keep people sliding on snow until the end of April,” states Director of Business Operations Don Sharpe.
With the long range forecasts calling for periodic snowfall and colder than normal temperatures, Mount Washington is primed and ready for an unbelievable second half of the season. Bring it on La Nina!
For more information on winter activities and to see the complete event schedule for Mount Washington, visit mountwashington.ca.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort has one of the world's deepest snowbases at over 500cms! The resort is located 30 minutes above The Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. WestJet, Central Mountain Air, Pacific Coastal Airlines, and Island Express service the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ). To find out about accommodation and package information, call Mount Washington Alpine Resort at 1-888-231-1499 toll free or locally at 250-338-1386. Surf to www.mountwashington.ca for additional information including our live snow cam.
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The Story of Snow and a Season Extension