WINTER WONDERLAND Mount Washington Alpine Resort looks as pretty as a postcard this week.

ONLINE FIRST World-best snowpack has Mount Washington slopes bustling

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is basking in an early-season bliss in the wake of record snowfalls.
If only it could accommodate every one of its visitors.

  • Dec. 28, 2010 7:00 a.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

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

If only it could accommodate every one of its visitors.

By Monday, the base had exceeded a depth of five metres, which is the deepest mid-mountain snowbase in the world and which already surpasses what the mountain sometimes receives in an entire season. However, not all skiers and boarders have been able to strap on the boots, simply due to a lack of parking spaces.

“I’ve never seen that (reach capacity) in resort history, now we just did it two days in a row,” resort spokesperson Brent Curtain said Tuesday. “Everybody wants to see the record snowfall. The conditions are the best they’ve ever been at this time of year.”

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.

While parts of the mountain were closed on the weekend, crews worked overtime to dig out the lifts and the ski lodge.

Curtain expected the entire mountain, including the Outback and Boomerang runs, to be “100 per cent operational” by Tuesday afternoon.

“We’ve never seen it like this,” he said. “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.”

The road leading to Mount Washington is clear but drivers are advised to equip vehicles with winter tires or chains before heading up the hill.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Haida Manga artist to speak at North Island College

Award-winning visual artist and author Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas will speak at North… Continue reading

UPDATE: Courtenay home a ‘write-off’ after Sunday afternoon fire

Two occupants of the home and one of a neighbouring house were treated for minor smoke inhalation

L’Arche Comox Valley looking for volunteers to document seniors’ life stories

The Sharing Side by Side program is starting back up in April

MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard welcomes new playground for Airport Elementary School in Comox

Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says students at Airport Elementary School are getting… Continue reading

Island AeroBarrier donates building sealing services to Habitat for Humanity

The new Courtenay-based business sealed two units at the Lake Trail Road build

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients could drop by 31%: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

Man enters unlocked B.C. home with knife, sexually assaults 22-year-old

Investigation ongoing after woman sexually assaulted in Greater Victoria early Sunday morning

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Gunman kills 3 on Dutch tram; mayor says terror likely

Utrecht police release photo of 37-year-old man born in Turkey who is ‘associated with the incident’

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

Travel expected to be slowed by fallout from fire at Toronto’s Pearson airport

All U.S.-bound flights from Terminal 1 were cancelled Sunday night after the fire broke out near a security checkpoint

Leivo nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Stars 3-2

Schaller scores first 2 goals of season for Vancouver

Most Read