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Warmer skiing conditions in Okanagan forecast for Family Day

Skiing conditions at Big White on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Periods of snow are forecast for Family Day on Monday, along with temperatures at least 10 degrees warmer than they’ve been for the past 10 days. Big White Ski Resort

Just in time for this Family Day long weekend: Warmer skiing conditions.

Weather throughout B.C.’s Southern Interior is expected to be a mixed bag on Monday, Feb. 15.

Periods of snow are in the forecast, along with temperatures at least 10 degrees warmer than they’ve been for the past 10 days.

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From Salmon Arm through to Penticton, Monday’s high is forecast at -5 C. At Big White, the resort is forecasting a high of -12, along with winds of 25 to 30 kilometres per hour.

On Saturday, the resort was reporting a temperature of -18 at the village, and -25 at the summit.

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At SilverStar Mountain Resort, it was -12, with Monday’s forecast calling for a high of -9, along with 2-4 cm of snow.

At Apex Mountain Resort, it was -10, with Monday’s forecast calling for a 70 per cent chance of light snow and a high of -10.

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B.C officials launch ‘Ski Well, Be Well’ campaign to prevent transmission at hills

Big White senior vice-president Michael J. Ballingall said Saturday’s crowd was the lowest Saturday it’s been this year, adding the low numbers were temperature related.

“Certainly the skiing, the conditions, the base and all that stuff is good,” said Ballingball. “But we were quite alarmed at the lack of people today.

“There will be a pent-up demand on Monday as soon as the temperature rises; it’ll be a mad rush to the hill.”

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Click to play video: 'Big White Losses'
Big White Losses

Interestingly, Ballingall noted that Big White sees a significant turnover every weekend between 10:30 a.m., and 1 p.m., with early birds leaving the hill after getting in a few runs.

“It’s substantial and consistent,” he said. “The early skiers get here (when the chairlifts open), and they get eight to 10 runs in and you’re gone.

Ballingall said that crowd isn’t hanging around for lunch, stating “they’re getting their skiing in, then going home.”

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Durham Region ski hills prepare to reopen Tuesday

If people do decide to visit their local ski hills, Ballingall is urging them to ski inbounds, as the changing weather cycles have created avalanche risks.

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“Stay inbounds,” Ballingall said. “The avalanche conditions outside the controlled recreational boundary, with the winds and the difference in temperatures, the avalanche conditions are extreme.

“We just want to warn people to stay inbounds.”

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