Some ski hills are approaching a record-breaking snowfall season and it’s luring skiers from all over the world.
Mirna Aalvarado is from Peru and came to Calgary to learn English. While here, she also took on a favourite Canadian pastime.
“I hear this is a special, special winter,” she said. “It’s not common to find this kind of snow this time. I guess I was lucky.”
While skiing at Nakiska, Paul Hausmanis joked that spring break is his kids’ favourite part of school and skiing is an added bonus this time of year.
“This isn’t April 2nd snow, we’re getting lucky making the best out of our family pass.
“We wouldn’t have been here last season.”
Ski hills are approaching a record snowfall season, which means Nakiska will be adding two extra weekends past its scheduled April 15 closing date.
Fernie will add an extra weekend as well.
Matt Mosteller with Resorts of the Canadian Rockies says the ski hills are approaching record snowfall levels.
“Kicking Horse had a record year of early snowfall, a near record snowfall at Fernie,” he explained. “Eleven-hundred centimetres of snow has fallen at Fernie.”
That’s impressive, according to Mosteller, who said breaking 1,000 centimetres is usually a good year.
Combine that with a low Canadian dollar and ski hills at Nakiska, Fernie and Kicking Horse are seeing a 50 per cent increase in visitors from the U.S. like Sandra Woolf from Michigan.
“Where I live, we haven’t had snow for a couple weeks already. It’s pretty much gone.”
The number of visitors from Europe is up by 20 per cent from last year.
Mosteller said 20 centimetres of fresh snowfall in one week has been unbelievable, but it’s too soon to say if this will be a record snowfall season.