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.


If you're headed to the mountains Friday, you might find some winter-like temperatures. But don't expect that to last — conditions look warm for skiers over the weekend.

Throughout the week, many hills have seen some decent top-ups of snow, with everywhere from Nakiska getting 23 cm to Kicking Horse seeing 36.

Revelstoke saw 43 cm this week, and the most snowfall this week goes to Castle Mountain with 54 cm. Nice to see a bit of a top up with some cooler temperatures this week.

Sunshine and Lake Louise saw a pretty big snowfall spread this week with 37 cm at Sunshine and 15 cm at the Lake.

Sue Shih says they've both been skiing nicely this week.

"The backside's skiing really well," says Shih of Lake Louise.

Warm weather on its way

Expect warm weather across the board — positive temperatures everywhere. Banff is likely to see highs of 10 C on Saturday and Sunday, while Lake Louise is expecting highs around 3 to 5 C.

Provided the skies stay clear and you've waxed your skis lately, you could find some slushy spring skiing conditions.

But there are wet flurries or even rain forecast at a number of B.C. resorts, and Sunday looks like it could be the wet one at the likes of Revelstoke, Panorama, Kimberley and Fernie.

If you have the option of choosing one day over the other, Saturday is looking like the better day at those hills.

The cooler temperatures and bit of fresh snow this week out in Kananaskis have given the groomers out there a leg up heading into the weekend, although bare spots continue to grow in the north end of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park on some trails.

Bacon Beiner

Crews say they'll get out into the north end tonight and Saturday to get those trails in fighting shape for the weekend.

"This cold weather is certainly making me feel better," says Bob Truman.

"I've skied the last two days at Lake Louise in absolutely fabulous conditions. The snow is cold, you can use wax, you've got good grip, you've got nice glide."

If you're looking for a quirky, delicious way to round out your cross-country season, Kicking Horse is launching a brand new event this weekend — the Bacon Beiner.

Racers have two, four or six hours to complete as many laps as possible on a loop at the resort's Dawn Mountain cross-country trails. But for each lap to count, athletes will have to consume a pre-determined amount of bacon, or bacon substitute. 

Backcountry dangers persist

It's been another deadly week in the backcountry with three more snowmobiler deaths in B.C.

This warming trend into the weekend isn't going to help with stability. Kananaskis public safety reports that large cornices that load up over the season because of wind are now breaking down and collapsing.

They can weigh as much as a bus and have released some large avalanches this week in Kananaskis.

In B.C., Avalanche Canada's Ilya Storm has his concerns too.

"Our concern is solar radiation," he says. "South-facing slopes have a complex snowpack...it's unpredictable, and the way to manage that is a lot of avoidance."

"The thing to remember is that warmth and heat is not the snowpack's friend."

There have been 13 avalanche deaths this winter in western Canada, all but one of those were sledders. As always, whether you're on skis or a snowmobile, make sure to check-out the avalanche bulletins at avalanche.ca.


With files from the CBC's Paul Karchut and the Calgary Eyeopener