Eastern skiers desperately seeking snow make last-minute rush for Rockies

With virtually no snow at many resorts in Ontario and Quebec, tour companies are being deluged by eastern powderhounds desperately seeking last-minute accommodation at western ski hills for the holidays.

No snow out east has powderhounds booking last-minute vacations out west

Like many western Canadian ski hills, snow has been plentiful for Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, B.C., which already has close to 400 cm in snowfall. It's a sharp contrast to the lack of the white stuff at eastern resorts so far this year. (@KickingHorseMtn)

While Alberta and B.C. ski resorts are experiencing some of the best early-season conditions in decades, there's virtually no snow at many resorts in Ontario and Quebec — so tour companies are rushing to find last-minute accommodation over the holidays for their eastern clients.

"It's really, really bad. There's no snow, there's just nothing. We skied a little but it's spring skiing here," said Jennifer Brousseau, a ski travel agent with Sportvac Voyages based in Saint-Lambert, Quebec.

"A lot of mountains are not even open yet."

Brousseau has been scrambling to find last-minute accommodation for skiers and boarders from Quebec seeking powder over the Christmas holidays.

"People didn't expect that there was not going to be any snow so they are looking to go out west."

She says it's been a challenge to find anything for her clients in Banff, Lake Louise or Whistler over the holidays.

And that's not just because it's the high season.

Brousseau says more Americans are vacationing in Western Canada this winter, taking advantage of the strong U.S. dollar.

She's even been looking at ski hills that are a three to five-hour drive from the Calgary airport, such as Revelstoke, Kicking Horse and Fernie. 

"It's just that they're really small and don't have much accommodation, so they've been full for quite a while now."

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