Real Ski Report: Castle Mountain, Fernie and Panorama have best snow coverage

Paul Karchut's Real Ski Report tells us where to find the best downhill and cross-country conditions in Alberta and B.C.

Paul Karchut's snow compass is pointing southwest this weekend

Panorama already has a 95 cm snow base at the summit. This time last season, the hill only had 68 cm on the ground. (Panorama Mountain Resort)

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 looking for the most fresh snow this week, you'll have to venture outside of the Bow Valley.

  • Revelstoke: 24 cm of snow in the last week and a 160 cm base. 
  • Panorama: Forecast is calling for more snow and there's already a 95 cm base at the summit. This time last season, the hill only had 68 cm on the ground.
  • Kimberley: 22 cm of fresh snow in the last seven days and a 93 cm snowpack. The resort only had a 47 cm base at the same time last year.
  • Castle Mountain: Nearly 60 cm of the white stuff has fallen in the last week with a healthy 155 cm base at the summit.
All chair lifts will be open this weeked at Kimberley, inclduing Tamarack Chair and Owl T-Bar. (Kimberley Alpine Resort/Facebook)

"We've had two storms giving us over 80 cm of fresh snow and things are looking like winter… We've got all the major runs and zones open," said ski reporter Ross Jansen, who has been shredding it at Fernie

  • Lake Louise: A few more runs opened this week on the back-side and the resort got 8 cm of fresh snow this week.
  • Sunshine Village: "It's getting a little bit icy because the temperature just dropped," said Sue Shih of the 7 cm of new snow in the last week.
  • NakiskaA dusting of snow this week amounting to 6 cm. Similar story for Norquay , which received 2 cm.
  • Kicking Horse: Only 1 cm of snow in the last three days and 14 cm this week.

Cross-country skiing

The cold weather this week has really set things up nicely for the cross-country crowd. The trails in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park are looking good, but the coverage is even better near Calgary.

"West Bragg Creek is going to be the place to go this weekend," said Bob Truman, the man behind

"They got the snow and they've been grooming and track-setting and it should be in the best condition it's been for years."

Even further afield, we've been getting great reports from the Dawn Mountain cross country network in Golden, B.C. and the Allison Chinook trail system on the way out to Castle Mountain.

Backcountry skiing

Backcountry skiers have been reporting some really excellent ski conditions around B.C. and Alberta this week. But with those high winds, it will be a good time to keep an eye out for wind slabs and wind loaded pockets forming in the alpine.

According to the forecasting team at Avalanche Canada, below the tree line in open areas there's a buried layer of surface hoar that's been seeing some sliding results too.

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With files from CBC's Paul Karchut