Record snowfall buries Mount Washington
- This story was originally published in December 2010
A huge dump of snow on Vancouver Island's Mount Washington has buried roads and forced some condo guests to shovel themselves out of their second-storey accommodations.
The Mount Washington Alpine Resort has been hit by record amounts of snow over the past five days, leaving the mountain with a snow pack of 520 centimetres at the base. Ski resort officials believe the snow pack is higher than any other resort in the world right now.
Resort guest Rob Frias and his friends were booked into a second-floor condo unit when the snowfall hit.
Frias said they found themselves stranded when the snow didn't let up — so they dug themselves out.
"Us gents … we were pretty bored so we started jumping out the window and realized that we were looking at about 15 feet of snow, so to pass the time we grabbed some hot chocolate and started tunneling."
Frias and his friends dug a tunnel right up to the second storey.
Meanwhile, some residents and visitors are unhappy with the state of the roads at the vacation destination.
Ron DeBoer, who has the contract to clear the roads, said he's been unfairly criticized.
"[You] can't clear the driveway when there's four or six vehicles buried in there and a lot of people seem to think that I'm going to get out my machine and hand-dig their cars out and it's not in the cards," he said.
DeBoer said crews are working as fast as possible, and it's been nothing but long days and aggravation since the snow hit.
"Everybody up here seems to think that they should come first and they don't understand we can only be in one parking lot at a time," he said.
"[With] vehicles stuck in the snow, you gotta wait for them to move, you gotta dig them out … abandoned vehicles are a real problem, [and] people just walking around in a daze won't get out of the way of the machine … I'm pushing a load of snow, it's like a transport truck going down the highway, and they'll just step out and walk in front. I don't understand the mentality."
There have been reports of cars buried under blankets of snow, and some visitors who were stuck at the ski site for as long as two days because of the volume of snow.