Hills are alive with happy skiers after record snow dump

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is basking in an early-season bliss in the wake of record snowfalls.

Strathcona Parkway

is clear and there’s even more parking available at resort

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is basking in an early-season bliss in the wake of record snowfalls.

Over the past two weeks, the mountain received close to four metres of new snow, an unprecedented amount in such a short period of time. At its peak, the snow fell at a rate of 1.5 metres in 12 hours, literally burying the village and resort.

The snowfall has drawn an unprecedented amount of coast-to-coast media attention.

“The conditions are the best they’ve ever been at this time of year,” said resort spokesperson Brent Curtain, noting the clear and cold weather has been ideal for skiers and boarders.

While parts of the mountain were closed on the weekend, crews worked overtime to dig out the lifts and the ski lodge. By Monday, the base had exceeded five metres, which is the deepest mid-mountain snowbase in the world and which surpasses what the mountain sometimes receives in an entire season.

As of Wednesday, Curtain said the mountain has been “100 per cent operational.”

Early in the week, not all skiers and boarders were able to strap on the boots due to a lack of parking spaces.

While Mount Washington’s chairlifts are designed for a capacity of 12,200 skiers and boarders per hour, the parking lots were full by 11 a.m. Monday. On Tuesday, it only took until 9 a.m.

“We’ve never hit capacity on our lifts, thankfully,” Curtain said, noting a busy day is 7,000 skiers. Nearly 6,000 skiers hit the slopes Monday.

“We’ve never seen it like this,” he added. “Hopefully, the spillover business is bringing some great economic boost to the Comox Valley. I imagine the ski shops and the hotels are seeing phenomenal numbers right now.”

“It’s been great,” said Cam McDonald, a part-owner at Ski Tak Hut in Courtenay. “I would say right since the start of the mountain opening, with all the snowfall, has generated a lot of interest. Everybody’s excited.”

McDonald said rentals and sales have both been strong. Fat skis, which provide exceptional flotation in powdery conditions, have been especially popular.

“One thing about getting snow this time of year, it guarantees a good season right until the end,” McDonald said. “Of course, January and February we’re always good for some more snowfalls. Lots of powder to come.”

By Wednesday, the parking issue at Mount Washington had been resolved. In fact, workers created nearly 200 extra spots by pushing snow over ditches and trucking some of it away.

The Strathcona Parkway from the Inland Island Highway to the top of the mountain is clear; however, snow tires are recommended and chains should be carried as a backup.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

Poverty is a sad reality for some people in the Comox Valley. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Project takes a hard look at poverty in the Comox Valley

Objective is to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25 per cent over four years

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox approves 2021 tax rates

Homeowners can expect a 4.95 per cent in their residential tax rates this year

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Most Read