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Ski-Town Rundown: A long-overdue winter reprise

'Just reading the words “snowfall warning” is a welcome, emotional balm in the rainy winter of 2023-24'
A massive snow dump of more than 50 centimetres brought the pow-starved crowds to Whistler Blackcomb en masse on Feb. 28.

No one will argue it has been a dismal ski season, so far. But some late February snow storms appear set to offer some relief.

Whistler woke up to more than 30 centimetres of fresh snow on Wednesday, Feb. 28, while some estimates predicted up to 80 cm (!) this week—whether or not that comes to fruition, just reading the words “snowfall warning” is a welcome, emotional balm in the rainy winter of 2023-24.

So here’s one more for good measure. Tuck it in your back pocket and pull it out the next time you’re feeling down: “snowfall warning.”

As of Feb. 29, Whistler Blackcomb had a base depth of up to 154 centimetres—up from the 143 cm measured at the beginning of the month, but still well off track what would be considered normal.

The latest Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin for the province won’t be posted until March 8, but as of early February, the provincial snowpack was at about 61 per cent of normal (compared to about 79 per cent the year prior).

In the Lower Fraser Basin, which includes Whistler, the snow basin index was just 47 per cent of normal, compared to 71 per cent at the same time last year.

Here’s a look at conditions in ski-resorts near and far as February comes to a close.


According to, just three B.C. ski areas were reportedly 100-per-cent open as of Feb. 27: Big White, Powder King and Whitewater Ski Resort.

As for who’s hoarding all the snow, a handful of B.C. resorts were reporting base depths of more than 175 cm as of Feb. 27: Fernie Alpine (up to 203 cm); Big White (193 cm); Revelstoke (193cm); SilverStar (178 cm); and Powder King (up to 175 cm).

Not to be outdone, visitors to Kicking Horse’s website on Feb. 26 were greeted with an unmissable banner ad touting some recent “monster” snowfall: 30 cm in the last 24 hours.

Kicking Horse had a base depth of about 160 cm on Feb. 27, with 102 of 129 trails open and four out of five lifts operating.

While some ski areas are closed or not opening at all this year—like Mount Timothy Recreational Resort in Lac La Hache, north of Kamloops—a smaller operation near Terrace is hoping to offer a lift to dejected B.C. skiers.

Shames Mountain Ski Area is reportedly giving a free lift ticket to skiers with passes to shuttered hills.

“There’s been a number of ski hills, some in the north here, that have been shut down. Some only got to operate a handful of days ... so those pass holders paid to ski and can’t ski,” Christian Theberge, general manager at Shames Mountain, told CBC News.

“Lending a hand to our neighbours is a really good gesture. The industry on the whole needs a bit of a boost.”


South of the border, officials at several Colorado resorts were warning of a massive, impending snow dump this week, with up to a foot of fresh powder expected in some areas.

According to the Vail Daily, a winter storm warning was expected to deliver up to 50 cm in the central Colorado mountains, where Vail and Beaver Creek ski areas lie.

Beaver Creek had a base depth of about 150 cm as of Feb. 26, while Vail had a base of about 157 cm. Both resorts are reportedly 100-per-cent open.

It’s not all water and worry, as some resorts are still posting new snowfall records.

On Feb. 23, Park City Mountain announced February 2024 was the snowiest February on record for the resort, with 259 cm of snow falling in the month.

A winter storm warning in effect for that area early this week predicted an additional 50 cm.


Looking internationally, North America was finally starting to find its snowfall groove in late February, with its resorts dominating the charts for expected worldwide snowfall for the three days beginning Feb. 27.

According to, Sasquatch Mountain Resort was No. 1 on Feb. 27, with 109 cm expected, followed by Hurricane Ridge (109 cm), Mount Baker (101 cm), Whistler Blackcomb (75 cm), and Crystal Mountain (73 cm).