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Question Banff Snow?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Mazzy89, Dec 8, 2018.

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  1. Mazzy89

    Mazzy89 Hard Yards

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    Hi guys!
    I’m visiting Canada for the first time. We arrive in Banff on the 30th Jan. So far there haven’t been any major storms come through and it seems everywhere else is starting to experience the white fluffy stuff. I know there is a weak EL Nino present.. but if someone can shed some light on my worries, that would be great!!!!
     
  2. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    My daughter is working at Sunshine and she says it has been a very slow start to the season but they are expecting good things next week. By end of January I reckon you won't have anything to worry about.
     
  3. Mazzy89

    Mazzy89 Hard Yards

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    Oh golly! I stupidly wrote 30th Jan but I meant 30th December! Hopefully she’s right and there will be something significant in the next few weeks!!
     
  4. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Both men's and women's WC speed events at LL ran on 100% man made snow and there was virtually zero natural snow during that fortnight (happy times for course crew!). Snowmaking on the lower part of the resort is well under way and new runs are opening daily.
     
  5. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    My daughter sent a photo of new snow overnight (17cm) and it's supposed to keep up for the rest of the week. Crisis over (hopefully).
     
    #5 Dumphfish, Dec 13, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  6. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    Latest update 75cm in 3 days and still going. Looking good over there now. Daughter says the avi bombs are going off everywhere, crazy loud.
     
  7. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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  8. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Does it get cold enough at Lake Louise to make snow?;)
     
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  9. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm hoping to ski Lake Louise one day....in April sometime, preferably late !
     
  10. Chowder11

    Chowder11 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Late Feb to early April is the best time of the year to ski the Eastern Rockies.
     
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  11. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    :D
     
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  12. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    I'm hoping to get there late March, sounds about right according to the wisdom of the Forum. My daughter is a lifty there now, they're getting temps of -26 with windchill but she reckons it's quite manageable. Worst is yet to come? I hear that Lake Louise is really c-c-cold.
     
  13. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    It can be. I have skied there in -27.
     
  14. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I got a cold week at LL two years ago when I was there for the NorAm DH (the week after the womens WC). That first chair ride up the mountain in the dark is the coldest. In the daytime it was sunny and windless and would warm up to -24 or so. But the job (running a speed trap) involves standing in one place for the two hours of the race. I donated both big toenails to sport that week.

     
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  15. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've read July to Sept is a great time to be in the area...low +20's...great golf courses :)
     
  16. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    It’s a relatively dry and cold place in winter.
     
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  17. Chowder11

    Chowder11 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    This, I did a season there a while back.
    Had a week of -40. No skiing allowed.
    It’s cold but manageable. But because it is so cold there is no moisture in the air meaning no snowfall, just no cloud blue sky days for weeks.
    But on the positive the snow stays super dry and amazing to ski
    -15 with a wind feels colder
     
  18. FourSquare04

    FourSquare04 A Local

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    If I were you I would go elsewhere. Why? Banff is notoriously dry and VERY cold during January. Once it gets below -15, it just does not snow, the air is too cold and too dry. I would advise to try the following other mountains if you want a better chance at good powder snow in BC:

    - Kicking Horse
    - Revelstoke
    - Fernie
    - Whitewater / Red Mtn
     
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  19. FourSquare04

    FourSquare04 A Local

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    Late March is a good time to go. Starts to warm up so it increases the chances of actually getting some decent snow. Either early season or late season is the best time in Banff (Nov-Dec & Mar-May)
     
  20. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Compared to the coastal region (Whistler, Baker, Washington) and the southern interior (BW, SS, SP, Revy, KH, etc), the Rockies proper experience colder, drier air and a thinner snowpack. Offsetting this, the Banff area gets a 6 month season - lifts running from mid-late November until May 24 long weekend is normal for LL and Sunshine. Yes, you can experience some shockingly cold weather in January, but it should also be noted that any snowfall is of outstanding quality and stays in that condition for many days due to the colder drier air and short daylight hours. And the epic scenery is there all year. Like many other things in life, it's a tradeoff.
     
  21. Chowder11

    Chowder11 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    This,
    To the OP.
    You just need to decide on the goals of your trip.
    If deep pow skiing are your go look elsewhere.
    But if you want amazing skiing on quality snow with clear blue sky days this area is probably your safest bet.
    Plus the scenery of the Banff area is as good as you will get anywhere in the world and the town of Banff itself is a great place with great restaurants bars and shopping.
     
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  22. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    In terms of kit what would you need to take in March? Shell and layers be ok or do I need to go full metal on the big storm puffa just in case?
     
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  23. FourSquare04

    FourSquare04 A Local

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    Depends when in March you go. You can get warm weather and you can also still get a few cold storms through March. I would pack for both conditions. Start of March can still be cold but it tends to warm up as you progress through the month....

    As an example, the coldest conditions when I did a season there way back in 2002/2003 was late Feb. After that it started to progressively warm up......
     
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  24. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Go light. You can always buy an extra outer or mid layer on site if you find the conditions are too cold.
     
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  25. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    Another question - my two ski quiver now is a 177cm Fischer ProMtn 86 and a 180cm Fischer Ranger 108. I was thinking of taking to Banff the ProMtn or maybe swapping the Ranger 108s for the new FR102s. What would be the better ski for most of the time in Banff in late March?
     
  26. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Take the wider ski. Variable conditions, natural cover over the manmade and less than perfect fresh ask for more width and a touch of early rise. Short turn radius will give more versatility, look for 16-18 m sidecut.
     
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  27. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    Daughter says dumping at Sunshine and Banff. Expecting 40cm. Recently she's been getting days of knee to thigh deep pow pretty regularly. Loving it.
     
  28. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    Apologies to the OP as I know I have subverted and diverted this thread for my own purposes but . . . looks like I can't get away now until towards the end of March. What's the view on the snow conditions, weather then in Banff? Still worth a shot, not too late in the season? Keen to visit my daughter at Sunshine and go skiing with her but if it is only ice and slush, which is typical late season in Aotearoa, not so sure for all the $s it would cost?
     
  29. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    N. Hem skiing not like antipodean version. Good snow through to season close. Which in the Rockies is mid to late May. March is usually the best conditions of the whole season: snowpack at or approaching max depth, warmer days, more daylight.
     
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  30. Chowder11

    Chowder11 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    And better chance of fresh snow with the warmer atmosphere
     
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  31. FourSquare04

    FourSquare04 A Local

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    Yeah saw the social media feeds lighting up. Looks like their typical early season snowfalls came later this year.

    This is definitely out of the ordinary for what would be a 'typical season' over there. Now watch it dry right up and it's quite common for there to be no snow at all for several weeks after this......just what happens in the Rockies. When they do get good / big seasons, they can get still get snow / storms right through January and February, but these big seasons are rare and you have to be lucky.
     
  32. Dumphfish

    Dumphfish Hard Yards

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    The base at Sunshine is only 5' ,160cm that's like what we have here in NZ. I expected that snow levels would be much higher. Think I might need to take the skinny skis.
     
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  33. FourSquare04

    FourSquare04 A Local

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    Yeah that's pretty normal, you'll find that the base doesn't get much over 2m even in big seasons as the snow is just so dry there it easily blows away if there are any winds and it compacts very easily.
     
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  34. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Base depth not as important as what the conditions are at the surface. If the surface is heavy and cut up, you'll want something wider. If it's dried out and hard because no new snow in a week plus, you'll want something narrower. Assuming the character of the new snow is the same in both cases, 20 cm on top of 150 cm base is gonna ski like 20 cm on top of 300 cm base.
     
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  35. FourSquare04

    FourSquare04 A Local

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    Looks like it's dried right up now after the last big dump

    Expect weeks of blue bird freezing cold days now, which is the norm for January
     
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