my Mountain News

Santa Claus Snowstorm Dumps Over Thirty Centimetres on Silver Star

Tue, 28/12/2004 - 12:00 am

Vernon, B.C. – After sending Santa Claus off into a cloudless winter night with a fabulous fireworks display on Christmas Eve, the man in the bright red suit returned the favour. Skiers and snowboarders at Big White and Silver Star couldn’t believe their good fortune when the biggest storm of the season moved in mere hours later. Around 5:00 a.m. on Christmas Day, a frontal system that had been predicted to hit the BC Interior made its way into the Okanagan. Over the next twenty four hours another 28 centimetres would fall, making for the very best Christmas present any skier or snowboarder could ask for – fresh, untracked champagne powder.

Boxing Day (December 26) started with even more morning flurries, giving way to brilliant sunshine in the mid afternoon and comfortable December temperatures of around - 2º Celsius, or 28º F. Powder hounds were howling all over the hundred-plus groomed and ungroomed runs, and snowboarders and New School skiers were treated to sweet, cushy landings inside the TELUS Park terrain park. Mother Nature was ably assisted by Santa’s elves in the Big White and Silver Star grooming department, who worked both day and night to sculpt and buff the fresh snow on many of the runs so that skiers and riders had a perfect white carpet for carving turns. Big White just announced that the brand-new Cliff chairlift will open on Tuesday December 28, providing access to a black and double-black diamond playground of champagne powder snow. (See photo below, taken on December 27 at 10:00 a.m.!)

The storm blessed many other resort in British Columbia, all the way from Whistler on the Coast to Fernie, near the Alberta border. In an interesting twist, this frontal disturbance was accurately predicted two days beforehand by James "Dr. Weather" Roemer, a Vermont-based American meteorologist who specializes in tracking weather patterns with an eye to predicting major mountain dumps on his www.bestskiweather.com website.

Big White continues to be the snowfall king for destination resorts in western North America. One long-time local skier commented "there’s more snow right now than we normally see at the end of January." The current base of 172 centimetres tops that of any full-service mountain resort in not just BC, Alberta, or Washington state, but Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado as well. Silver Star Mountain Resort has had the very best Nordic conditions in North America since the first week in November!

"It's extremely gratifying when a guest indicates that their family is having the best Christmas of their lives," commented Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice-President for Marketing for Big White and Silver Star. "The smiles on the little kids faces and the Dads with powder beards make it all worthwhile. Our team has done an exceptional job ensuring we live up to our world class status."

While both resorts are bustling with activity during the very busy holiday season, there are still attractively-priced lift/hotel packages for two and three-night stays between now and New Year’s Day.

For more information, please contact Michael Ballingall, Senior Vice President, Schumann Resorts Ltd. (Big White Ski Resort Ltd. and Silver Star Ski Resort Ltd) by phone at (250) 765-3101 or via e-mail at: mballingall@bigwhite.com.