Conditions and terrain vary over the average 4 month winter season.
Our winter season runs from mid-December to early April, and the conditions can vary greatly during that time. The type of skiing you do may help you decide the period to chose. Here is generally what to expect:
December, January, early February – Lots of powder, amazing glades, steeper terrain
Snow has been falling since October, and while crowds pack ski resorts our terrain sits quietly in its blanket of deep light snow. “Cold smoke” is a good way to describe the conditions because temperatures tend to be colder (a daily average of -9°C), and because the snow is so light it leaves effervescent wisps in your trails. It also tends to snow a lot at this time of year, with a monthly average of 262 cm and 273 cm for both December (22 of 31 days) and January (21 of 31 days). That is in addition to the 392 cm combined average snowfall for September, October and November. Winter may have just begun at your local resort, but we are in the middle of it, right from the holiday season, at Great Canadian Heli-Skiing. Many guests come at this time of year because they like skiing gladed trees, and there are higher odds of tree skiing due to the high number of snowy days we have.
Mid February to early March – Mixture of alpine bowls, glades and powder
This is our most popular time to come heli-skiing and it often gets booked out. The average temperatures in February (-7.2°C) are slightly warmer than the early season, but remain cool enough to preserve high quality dry snow. The quantity of snow during the month of February is also still high hitting on average over 200 cm for the month, and although it still snows a lot (18 out of 28 days) there are more sunny days during this month creating more opportunities to ski up high in the alpine bowls and glaciers. In summary, this period provides a bit of everything, from peak to valley bottom, and is consistently pleases fans of tree skiing and glacier skiing alike.
Mid March and April – Alpine bowls, sunshine and occasional dumps of snow
If you don’t want to see a tree on your run and don’t want to feel temperatures drop below -10°C, this is the season for you. April averages highs are still below freezing, but we have only seen an average of 1.3 days below -10°C in the past 30 years. The average temperature for March stays cold enough to keep great quality snow (-4.7°C), and it still snows a lot with an average of 175.5 cm In fact, there can be big snowfalls still at this time of year, with our largest recorded snowfall in 24 hours in April is 48 cm). Snowfalls tend to be intense, but move through quicker than the systems that lock in during December. With more sunny days and a snow base of almost 300 cm at the end of April, the Glaciers and Alpine Bowls are in perfect condition for long glorious days.
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK AVERAGES
*Data used from our neighboring Glacier National Park collected and average since 1971. See Source. Rogers Pass and Mt Fidelity in Glacier National Park is the 3rd snowiest and 1st snowiest place in Canada averaging 933 cm and 1471 cm respectively.