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Real Ski Report for March 7/2013


While Calgary got slammed by a snowstorm last weekend, some ski hills were getting rained on. Paul Karchut tells us how things have changed on his Real Ski Report. As mentioned on the report, Paul's just back from a week in the Wyoming backcountry. Here's a photo he snapped of his skiing partner Alex MacKay.

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March has brought wintry weather and snow back to Calgary.

The snow came courtesy of a major storm that hit the west coast last week.

However, the warm air in the system meant that heavy, wet snow mixed with rain fell on the runs at many ski areas in Alberta and British Columbia, according the CBC's Paul Karchut.

Paul speaks with dozens of dedicated skiers and boarders across eastern B.C. and southern Alberta each week to get the scoop on conditions at resorts, cross-country trails and in the backcountry.

Ski resort conditions

Sunshine and Lake Louise both received about 70 centimeters of new snow in the past week. However, some skiers complained that the snow was wet and difficult to ski.

Alex Armstrong is not among them. She says the skiing at Lake Louise has been excellent, despite a bit of rain falling near the base. Armstrong says the coverage is fantastic.

Skier Ivo Vigoreux also reported lots of new snow at Sunshine on the weekend with good coverage on all runs.

Elsewhere, the rain fell more heavily at Kicking Horse resort in Golden, B.C as well as at Panorama and Fernie. Much of Fernie had to be shut down after the resort was soaked by rain last Saturday and the snowpack became waterlogged, causing inbounds avalanches.

Fernie skier Ryland Nelson says cooler temperatures have frozen the snowpack and the skiing is improving with more than 20 centimeters of new snow falling this week.

Cross-country conditions

Canmore got hit hard by snow last weekend - even while Banff was in the rain.
That has made for some of the best conditions Shawn Marshall has seen at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Marshall says the conditions are ideal and with any luck more snow will see skiers using the trails through Easter.

Elsewhere, Paul Karchut says Lake Louise crews have groomed every trail in the network and the recent snow has left the trails in great condition.

Backcountry conditions

The avalanche rating has been raised to Considerable in Kananaskis country because of the recent snowfall.

Burke Duncan of Kananaskis Public Safety says the recent heavy snowfall following a period of drought has created slabs about 50 centimeters down in the snowpack and these are at risk to cause slides.


A benefit for the Canadian Avalanche Foundation takes place on Thursday evening in Calgary at the CP Railway Pavilion on 9th Avenue. All proceeds from the event go to support the Avalanche Centre in Revelstoke and its avalanche bulletin service.

  • Do you have feedback on ski conditions? Leave it in the comments, email or tweet Paul @CBCOutside.

Paul Karchut's ski partner Alex McKay in the Wyoming backcountry. (Paul Karchut/CBC)

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