Is snow just snow? The inside scoop on B.C.’s snow lingo
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You never forget your best-ever ski day. For me, it was on a frigid cold January day, in Fernie, B.C.
A multi-day ski trip had come to a close, having provided some great times with an average daily dose of 10 cm of fresh snow. On our last night, the snow really arrived – light and fluffy as the temperature continued to drop. While work obligations were beckoning us back to the city, the mountain had other plans for us. With the highway suddenly closed in both directions, we had no choice but to float through the 70 cm of powder that had fallen over the course of 48 hours. I giggled like I was a kid again, and my friends and I have never forgotten that day.
The Inuit have more than 50 words for “snow,” and for some, it seems the same rings true when it comes to snow lingo in B.C.’s best-known mountain towns like Fernie Alpine Resort and Whistler Blackcomb. There are flurries, snow showers, snow storms, heavy snow, light snow, sleet, squalls, blizzards, hoarfrost, blowing snow, drifting snow, old snow, new snow. Is snow just snow? Heavens no!
What do you need to know about snow, and can you really predict when to take the perfect ski holiday?
So, what’s in store for this season? If we had a magic snow globe, we’d all be rich and skiing every day. One mountain local says it best: “You get what you get, don’t get upset.” And in B.C., skiers are more often delighted than disappointed, thanks to understanding the snow and knowing how it tends to fall.
And let’s face it: an average day on the mountain is often still better than a great day at work.