Mount Washington opens Hawk Express chairlift and more terrain, but conditions still ‘variable’

CHEK

On a sunny Thursday morning, after an overnight snowfall, you could see the snowline halfway up the ski runs at Mount Washington, the dividing line between snow and rain or slush that fell overnight.

It’s been that kind of season so far, and snow crews are going full out to keep the conditions in pretty good shape.

“The levels are definitely variable depending on where you’re at on the mountain,” said Mount Washington spokesperson Kayla Stockton. “The freezing level has been interesting this season. It’s definitely keeping us on our toes but we have a lot of snow at higher elevations on the top of Eagle Chair.”

The top of the mountain received 16 cm of snow since Tuesday and the snow base, measured at 1,100 metres, is 40 cm.

The average base is 100 cm for this time of year.

However there was just enough new snow to allow the resort to open a third lift Thursday. The Hawk Express opened for the first time this season, giving skiers and boarders more terrain to enjoy.

“Yeah [the lack of snow] is definitely across B.C., and really nationally this year,” Stockton added. “Not what people would like to see but, it looks cold, it looks like there’s more snow on the way and we’re hoping for the best.”

There were few complaints from people on the runs Thursday.

“Pretty rideable, it’s awesome. There are a few rough spots but they’re easy to avoid,” said skier Jason Bender.

“Fair amount of snow compared to the last time we were up last weekend. And snowed a lot last night so it’s pretty sweet,” added skier Max Tyre.

“Can’t beat it man. It’s like God’s country,” said snowboarder James Swan. “You look at the landscape, you look at the mountains in the backdrop, and you have a nice beautiful drive up the mountain, it’s great.”

Snowmobilers are still waiting for enough snow.

A popular parking and launching spot near the top of Strathcona Parkway was deserted Thursday afternoon. Snow in the area is patchy at best.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort says snow conditions at the Nordic Centre are variable right now, but more trails for cross country skiers and snowshoers could open this weekend.

Twenty cm of new snow is forecast for the mountain late Friday and another 30 is possible Sunday night into Monday.

SEE ALSO: Mount Washington internet and cell service restored

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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