British Columbia

Ski season off to a slow start in B.C.'s southern Interior

It's been a slow, snow-free start to the season for ski hills in B.C.'s southern interior, with record-breaking temperatures of up to 15 C.

A lack of snow in B.C.'s southern interior means a slow start to the ski season

The webcam at Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson shows current conditions. With a 109 cm base, snow is half a metre below average for this time of year. (Whitewater Ski Resort)

It's been a slow, snow-free start to the season for ski hills in B.C.'s southern interior, with record-breaking temperatures of up to 15 C.

Now, temperatures are hovering around zero, which means icy conditions.

Snowboarder Alec Campbell went to Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna earlier this week, and said conditions are dangerous.

The mountain has an alpine base of 99 centimetres, with a 49 centimetre base in the village.

"Dangerous as in it's difficult to link toe turns and heel turns together. It's easy to catch an edge. If you fall, it's not so forgiving. It's pretty icy," he told Daybreak South.

Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna is open, but with a base of less than a metre and icy conditions. (Tom Boord/Facebook)

The low base means many area ski hills have yet to open for the season.

In years previous we've had days where we've opened in November and had lots of good days and a bigger base. It's definitely been one of the slower starts to the season," said James Hutchinson, the manager of the One Boardshop in Kelowna.

"We're lucky enough that our hill is open."

In Nelson, the Whitewater Ski Resort only has one lift open, and only on weekends. 

On mobile? Click here to see Whitewater Ski Resort's photo on Instagram.

The lack of snow is having an impact on local businesses.

"It's starting to pick up with Christmas traffic, but in terms of ski sales and people getting their stoke on for Whitewater, it's definitely going down," said Tiffany Teefy, the manager of Rivers, Oceans and Mountains, a store that sells skis and snowboards in Nelson.

Daybreak South called Big White, Silver Star, Sun Peaks and Whitewater Ski Resort.

Most hills are trying to put a positive spin on the weather story.

Whitewater Resort is even promising fresh snow this weekend, which will be brought to the hill in dump trucks.

To hear more about the icy conditions in B.C.'s souther interior, click the audio labelled: Snow slow to start.


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