I’ve heard that Alberta is a hot bed of climate change deniers but to be honest I don’t know many people that would argue the point anymore.  My brother in law was very smug a few years back when the average global temperature declined for the first time in several years.  But then it went back to setting annual records.  We don’t argue about it anymore.  But it’s the freakiness of the weather that people can’t deny.  My sister moved to Boston a little over a year ago and after receiving 7ft of snow in the last 3 weeks she’s saying things like, “I don’t remember winter ever being this bad in Ottawa”.  On the east coast of Canada they’ve suffered massive snowfall, then rain, then 80km/hr winds, and then temperatures approaching -30C.  Toronto apparently was pushing -40C on the weekend- with wind chill?  Meanwhile in Calgary we’ve had the mildest January/February that I can remember and I’ve been here over 20 years.  Last Friday I was sitting outside in my T-shirt and the sun was hot on my face.  But we did have some sub -20C temperatures in January but those were relieved on short notice with false springs.  This is nuts!Screenshot 2015-02-17 19.57.40

On Thursday last week, I wrote in the Cdn Rockies Outlook that there would be a beautiful spring skiing for the family day weekend.  I wasn’t quite right – although I heard there was sweet spring conditions at Louise on Friday.  Sunshine actually had winter powder conditions on Saturday – I encourage you to catch up on the Ryder report to see what you missed.  But west of Banff park the resorts were punished with torrential rain on Friday.  A group from work had their Cat skiing cancelled in Revelstoke this weekend because it rained all night on Friday and didn’t stop until 5am.  As they drove through Golden Friday night it was pouring there as well.  A few of the would be cat skiers stopped in to ski Kicking Horse but it was heavily rain affected (and I’m trying to phrase it nicely).

Now here are a few shots from Kicking Horse early last week:

Screenshot 2015-02-12 19.26.10Going from amazing powder to pouring rain must be a real punch it the gut for the resort operators who are already struggling with a tough season.Screenshot 2015-02-12 19.25.10That’s insane powder!  But don’t expect great conditions like that until it snows again.Screenshot 2015-02-12 19.24.46Seriously deep powder that is all gone now.  But have hope!  It can go the other way just as quickly.  Two weeks ago Kicking Horse wasn’t looking that great.

I think this is the perfect segue for the Ryder Report’s, “Ski Tips #7”.  Despite the woe’s many resorts have been having during what is normally powder season, Sunshine has been enjoying winter as usual.  It’s very typical for rain to spoil the fun at more southerly resorts like Castle, Fernie, and Whitefish.  Calgary is also known for having warm Chinook weather several times each winter and this year it seems like there have been more warm days than cold in Jan/Feb.  I don’t have the data to back up my assertion but I believe western Canada must be setting records for warm average temperatures.  But Sunshine has been dodging the bullet and Mr. Ryder has a theory to explain why.

I leave you with very depressing news from Castle Mountain’s snow report today:

Screenshot 2015-02-17 20.00.48

 

 

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