A Winter Sports Lovers Guide on How to Find the Best Snow

A Winter Sports Lovers Guide on How to Find the Best Snow

English: Whistler Mountain in British Columbia...

Whistler Mountain in British Columbia, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here in Colorado we have just experienced what is normally our “2nd snowiest month” with minimum snowfall and temperatures along the Front Range often 20 degrees above normal. While this Easter like weather has been nice for summer sports enthusiasts it has been a bit frustrating, to say the least, for those who enjoy winter sports experiences.  Given this apparent Global warming, what is a winter sports enthusiast to do? While it may appear that there are no real options, there is in fact a clear strategy to finding the best snow. Among some of the recommendations being made by climatologists and researchers: GO NORTH This may seem obvious, but the further North you go the better your chance to find colder weather, and better snow. For those of us in North America, Canada offers some great skiing options including such well known Western resorts as British Columbia’s  Whistler Blackcomb and Revelstoke.  A bit further east in the Canadian Rockies, Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park and Mt Norquay and  Lake Louise Ski Area in Banff National Park also await you. For those in the East, Quebec Canada offers some great slopes (with a uniquely European flavor) at such places as Mont Tremblant, Mont Blanc and Camp Fortune. Camp Fortune offers the unique advantage also of being just 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa, Ontario thus offering you the sights of Canada’s national Capital Region! Cross country skiers should take note also of the exceptional trails at the famous Fairmont Le Château Montebello Resort (the world’s largest “log cabin” style hotel)! AIM HIGH Again while this may seem obvious, the higher your elevation, the colder the temperatures will get and thus, once again, the better your chance for snow. Such places as the Alps, and many Colorado resorts here at home, are at an elevation that ensure they remain cold. Most Colorado ski resorts sit at a base elevation of at least 7,000 feet, with the majority at 8,000 to 10,000 feet. What this means for you is that even if there is little precipitation, the colder temperatures of these elevations allow the resorts to make more artificial snow and any snow there is is less likely to turn into slush. As a result you are likely to find more slopes open and with better snow conditions then what you may find at lower elevations. One word of caution however is that even with these colder temperatures, warmer winters and lighter snowfall may cause the season to end earlier. As such you may want to plan your winter sports vacation earlier in the season to assure yourself the best snow conditions. ENJOY THE POWDER As our temperatures continue to rise, inland resorts offering powder snow conditions might offer you better sports and ski conditions then those resorts closer to the coasts. While costal resorts such as those around Lake Tahoe do generally benefit from more precipitation (due to their closer proximity to the ocean) that precipitation may come in the form of more rainfall (vs. snow) as the temperatures rise. By the time the weather system reaches inland to such places as the Rockies, the colder elevations are likely to lead to better powder snow conditions. In closing, your best option with winter sports vacations (or any vacation really) is to travel as an adventurist and accept whatever Mother Nature may offer you. Even if the weather is completely opposite of what you may have been hoping for, there are always things to see and do at the various resorts which will allow you to have an enjoyable time regardless of the weather. In addition, most resorts also offer spas and health and wellness opportunities for you to enjoy, no matter what the outside weather conditions may be. Therefore, even if your first sports option may not be available, other health and wellness activities will often be available to you. If you travel with the right mindset, any travel experience can be seen as an adventure to embrace which will offer you an unforgettable vacation experience no matter the weather conditions!

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By Rob / Editor

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on Dec 07, 2012

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