When will skiing begin?

Not soon enough in my opinion. Anyone else getting the itch? Today I will be digging out my ski clothes and wax bench.

If the past is a good indicator, it looks like we’ll have skiable snow somewhere between Oct 31 and Nov 18. I have reasonably good records going back to 1999 which show the date when I started skiing each year. The most common location to have early skiable snow is Moraine Lake Road(MLR) in Lake Louise. I’m talking about natural snow, not the man-made variety such as Frozen Thunder.

On the occasional instance when snow on MLR is late, we’ll likely have snow elsewhere,  usually from an upslope storm that brings snow to Ribbon Creek, West Bragg Creek, and Canmore.

This table shows the date of first skiable snow. Click on it for a larger image.

The past two years we’ve had our first taste of skiing by mid-October on man-made snow at the Canmore Nordic Centre’s amazing Frozen Thunder. This year it is slated to open on Sat Oct 13.

One of my favourite trails, Goat Creek, is notoriously late getting snow, however, two years ago we were skiing on good tracksetting by Nov 28. In 2009, we had good tracks on Elk Pass by Nov 12.

Frozen Thunder at Canmore Nordic Centre in 2011

If you’re planning on checking it out, make sure you click on the link and read the details. For example, new this year, access to Frozen Thunder is limited to National and Provincial level athletes on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. You can ski anytime on weekends, however.

Abundant snow is one of the blessings we can be thankful for in this great land.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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