It was a busy day on Jan. 13 at Mount Washington Alpine Resort as snow conditions were some of the best in Canada. Screenshot photo

It was a busy day on Jan. 13 at Mount Washington Alpine Resort as snow conditions were some of the best in Canada. Screenshot photo

‘Epic’ snow conditions piling up at Mount Washington

Vancouver Island ski hill has more snow than all but four Canadian resorts

With the fifth deepest base of ski hills across Canada, conditions at Mount Washington Alpine resort can be summed up in one word: epic.

“Conditions are epic out there today after a fresh 20cm last night,” said Kayla Stockton, marketing manager at the resort on Wednesday (Jan. 13). “We saw a great snowfall consistently throughout the holidays and it certainly has been busy, although not any busier than the mountain has been in the past.”

While the base at the top of the Hawk chairlift is 190cm, the snow base at the top of Whisky Jack is 340 cm. According to Onthesnow.ca, a website dedicated to Canadian ski and snow reports, only Sunshine Village, Kicking Horse, Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour have bigger snowpacks across the country.

Lisa Erven, a meteorologist for Environment Canada told The Record the Comox Valley has received nearly 80 per cent of its precipitation total in the first 11 days of 2021 compared to January last year.

With a huge snowpack and pandemic travel limitations, Stockton explained more the resort has seen more pass holders visiting this season, however, the resort has balanced the increase by limiting day tickets which do tend to sell out quickly on weekends and nice weather days.

“Loading chairlifts by household group has also increased time in lift lines, often load a six-pack chair like Hawk with only one or two guests at a time.”

Parking lots have also often reached capacity limits – something the resort has not seen previously as guests are choosing to carpool less than they would in typical years to remain in their respective bubbles.

Regular shuttle services are also not in operation, added Stockton, which would generally take a lot of cars off the roads.

“Resort parking infrastructure can only accommodate so much. For those first time visitors, planning ahead by getting familiar with information on our website and knowing what to expect before arrival goes a long way, including preparing vehicles for winter road travel.”

For more information on current conditions and COVID-19 protocols, visit mountwashington.ca.

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