Remember the snow conditions in February five years ago? Thankfully, no quadrennial winter sporting event is being held in Vancouver this month as the current snow conditions on the North Shore Mountains are significantly worse than what was experienced during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Cypress Mountain, the largest of the local ski hills, announced today that its ski operations for both the downhill and nordic cross-country areas are now temporarily closed due to continued forecasts of uncooperative weather. Rather than deep snow cover, skiers and snowboarded are seeing large puddles and mountainside streaks of brown.
“This winter has been a challenge so far and we have done everything we could to provide the best on-mountain operation possible since we first opened almost three months ago on November 15th,” reads a statement on Cypress Mountain’s Facebook page.
Over the last seven days, the mountain only received three centimetres of new snow and warm temperatures have prevented Cypress officials from using the extensive snowmaking system.
Cypress Mountain is still hoping for a good finish to the season like what was experienced in 2010 after the February Olympics, when record snowfall fell in March and April – including an enormous 55 centimetre accumulation on April 10.
Similar snowless conditions are also being experienced at neighbouring Grouse and Seymour Mountains. Grouse Mountain postponed its annual 24 Hours of Winter festival, usually held during the Family Day weekend, and the Snowshoe Grind Challenge to March, pending future weather conditions. As of 3:30 p.m. today, just one chair lift and ski run was open on Grouse Moutanin.
Just before the weekend, Grouse published an open letter to Mother Nature on their Facebook as a plea for more snow. Here is an excerpt of the letter:
We’re just reaching out to see what’s going on because…well, you haven’t exactly lived up to the standards we have become used to so far. By this point in the season, we’re usually dreaming of our next bluebird day instead of anxiously crossing our fingers waiting for the snow to arrive in abundance.
So please, Mother Nature, let’s work together. Collaboration is all the rage. We’re happy to do a snow dance, meditate, do a little self-reflection. Whatever you need us to do. Just give us back our winter. We know our passholders – and our staff – would certainly appreciate it.
Further east, Mount Seymour also declared on Tuesday that it is on standby mode due to a lack of snow.
Conditions fair significantly better at Whistler Blackcomb, but above seasonal temperatures have also thinned out the snow pack considerably, causing some areas to pool with water.
A puddle of water at the base of Blackcomb Mountain’s Glacier Express, which is located within the upper elevations:
Feature Image: @mikeyjz via Instagram