Spring snow boosts Alberta ski resorts
March set a new snowfall record at Lake Louise, will remain open until May
This spring's heavy snowfall was a boon for Alberta's ski hills, with several planning to stay open into May.
The Lake Louise Ski Resort reported 204.8 centimetres of snow in March — a 10-year record — and skiers and snowboarders are celebrating.
"This has been by far the best in my 15-year experience. It's been wonderful,” said skier Janis Butler.
After a colder, quieter December and January on the slopes, a busy spring season is welcome, said Dan Markham, spokesman for Lake Louise Ski Resort.
"Mother Nature is a great marketer for us, and when she's on our side, it's fabulous."
Daniel Scott, a professor of tourism and climate change at the University of Waterloo, said it's not something ski hills can count on. Average winter temperatures have increased every decade in most ski regions since the 1970s, he said.
"It's a gift they've been given this year and there's nothing to say we couldn't have another one next year. Just the longer term trends — and we have seen warmer on average winters and that's what we'd expect to play out over the next two decades or three decades."
Most Alberta resorts are looking at extending their ski seasons, hoping to cash in on this year's long winter.
Lake Louise will stay open an extra week this spring, with the season ending on May 11. Sunshine Village is ending the ski season on May 19. Nakiska's last weekend ski is set to wrap on May 4.