WATCH: For the first time in more than 20 years, Mount Washington Alpine Resort is shut down because it has too much snow. The resort shut down primarily for safety reasons as everyone on the mountain tried to dig out. Nearly 80 centimetres fell on the mountain between Saturday afternoon and this morning. Kendall Hanson reports.
Those on Mount Washington woke up to a winter wonderland on Sunday but it meant some serious digging for those wanting to leave. With close to a metre of snow in 24 hours, cars looks like mounds of snow.
Meagan Barker was among those facing the challenge of digging out when just walking is a challenge.
“So I’m about five feet tall, five foot five,” said Barker with snow up to her waist as she walks.
Mount Washington is used to getting a lot of snow but not like this. On Saturday afternoon, it started snowing heavily. By the time it let up on Sunday morning there were 78 centimetres. And that was on top of what fell earlier Saturday morning.
“It’s quite something to say we have too much snow but we do. We have too much snow,” said Peter Gibson, general manager of Mount Washington.
The resort says the mountain has closed just several times in its history because of too much snow. The last time was in 1996.
“But this shows it can come back again and this time it came back with a vengeance,” said Gibson.
Last night, 200 to 300 people got stranded on the hill. A group from Gabriola Island was stuck in their truck for nearly 8 hours, only having travelled a kilometre-and-a-half before returning up the mountain and staying in the lodge.
“We were just stuck getting down [in] one way traffic,” said Leo Reeves. “People trying to come up the mountain people going down…it was hectic, real hectic.”
“Last night we did a sweep at about one o’clock to make sure everybody was in a building somewhere,” said Gibson. “We had people staying in our Alpine Lodge, in the Raven Lodge and that included staff as well.”
The resort says they were also surprised by how much snow they got in such a short time. Crews are working on making the hill ready for Monday morning. No doubt those who experienced this epic snowfall will be talking about it for years.