Real Ski Report: Where the best skiing is this Family Day weekend
There's lots of crusty snow this week, but Castle, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Sunshine are good choices
Each week, CBC Calgary's Paul Karchut speaks with dozens of dedicated skiers and boarders across eastern B.C. and southern Alberta to get the real scoop on conditions at resorts, on cross-country trails and in the backcountry.
Alberta's Family Day long weekend was introduced in the 1990s, and since then it has become one of the busiest weekends of the year at ski resorts.
This week's warming trend brought inversions to the mountains.
That made the snow at some hills a little crusty, but there's still excellent skiing out there if you know where to look.
Warmer temperatures could bring wet flurries to many resorts this weekend so check the conditions at your hill of choice before you set out.
- Revelstoke: Paul's scouts say Revelstoke has crusty snow right to the summit. The trick will be finding the shady spots where the snow wasn't affected by the week's warming trend .
- Panorama: Our reporters say there's great skiing on the upper slopes.
- Castle Mountain: The upper slopes are in fine shape.
- Sunshine Village: Sue Shih reports that Sunshine's had 8 cm fresh snow on top of groomed runs, with some crunchy snow up at the higher elevation moguls.
- Kicking Horse: Ski scout Brad Lorriman said "We actually dodged a bullet big time out here, freezing level was going to be up to 3000, so we were really worried about that…but it only got up to point four [Celsius] at the peak, so that kept all the north facing stuff stayed really dry and soft...the south facing stuff got pretty solar-affected, [but] if we get that new snow on Friday, it could be a really good weekend here."
Cross-country skiing: options are limited
Kananaskis groomers have been on standby for much of this week because it's been warm or even rainy there, even in the south end of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, where the cross-country action is icy and not very good.
West Bragg Creek, except for a couple of short kilometres of skate skiing trails, is a no-go zone.
Bob Truman (aka Skier Bob) says Lake Louise will be fantastic this weekend, with freshly groomed, cold snow.
Truman says Mount Shark is also recently groomed and should be in nice shape, but the road to that trailhead has lots of potholes.
Some full path avalanches have been spotted in the national parks this week — they are wet, loose, and large, which means there are deep with buried weaknesses in the snow pack.
Make sure you check Avalanche Canada before you hit the slopes.
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With files from CBC's Paul Karchut