See the viral images of the B.C. ski lift encased in ice

See the viral images of the B.C. ski lift encased in ice
See the viral images of the B.C. ski lift encased in ice

A series of storms over the Christmas season left a ski lift at B.C.'s famed Big White Ski Resort encased in ice.

Photos posted to social media feature the Okanagan-based lift hidden beneath thick layers of ice and snow.

In a December 28 Facebook post the resort says temperatures went from around -30°C to 3°C "in a matter of 48 hours." That, combined with wetter than usual snowfall, rime ice, and the lift sitting idle during the storm are what contributed to the unusual melt.

FACEBOOK - Big White ski resort - icy slopes
FACEBOOK - Big White ski resort - icy slopes

One of the images posted to the Big White Ski resort Facebook page.

"The first sunny days that we had over the Christmas holidays we went up there to have a look and I put the pictures on social media," resort vice president Michael J. Ballingall tells The Weather Network.

"People ... just didn't realize that happens."

Usually, a storm will coat the lift in a few centimetres of snow, he says, but it took crews about two days to clear the ice from the recent event. In some places, the coating was 30 cm thick.

Big White ski resort - iced in lift
Big White ski resort - iced in lift

In some places, the ice coating was 30 cm thick. (Big White Ski Resort)

WATCH: What is rime ice?

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Rime ice - a phenomenon that occurs when supercooled water droplets freeze on a surface - aren't uncommon on Big White hills. Ballingall told us the trees on the mountain peaks are normally covered in it.

"It happens all the time," Ballingall says of the rime ice, "it just doesn't happen to that magnitude."