Ski report: Banff hills wanting, Fernie flaunting snow

Each week, Paul Karchut speaks with dozens of dedicated skiers and boarders across eastern B.C. and southern Alberta to get the real scoop on conditions at resorts, on cross country trails and in the backcountry.

Ski resorts are about to face their busiest time of year. Fortunately for skiers, at most hills, the snow arrived way ahead of schedule.

Real Ski Report interactive ski conditions map.

The Calgary Eyeopener's Paul Karchut says it’s been a pretty dry 10 days at the resorts in the Banff area.

Coverage is good, so you can pretty much ski anything on those hills right now, but it's getting pretty packed down and icy in places.

Skier Jasper Johnson has been checking out the Bow Valley area this week.

“We really, really need a refresher, it’s icy in spots. There are a few more rocks and twigs sticking out these days. But that being said, it’s really, really hard to be picky when they're still a month ahead of what they usually are,” says Johnson.

It looks like it's going to be pretty cold around Banff through the weekend and into Christmas Eve with a chance of snow, says Karchut.

Fernie Alpine Resort, Castle Mountain and Kimberley Alpine Resort, to a lesser extent, have seen huge improvements this week.

Ryland Nelson filed a slopeside report from Fernie yesterday.

“The words yesterday that were being thrown around were 'helly belly' — you got to wear your bib pants because the snow's up to your belly button,” says Nelson.

“It’s full midwinter top to bottom.”

Castle Mountain has also improved big time. The south chutes opened Tuesday and just keep getting filled back in by that famous Castle wind and fresh snow fall. The nice thing about Fernie, Kimberley and Castle is it's expected to be a bit warmer there this weekend, which is great for families.

Lake Louise

Last 7 days: 13 cm

Snow pack: 105 cm

Sunshine Village

Last 7 days: 27 cm

Snow pack: 122 cm


Last 7 days: 6 cm

Snow pack: 50 cm


Last 7 days: 117 cm

Snow pack: 223 cm

Castle Mountain

Last 7 days: 41 cm

Snow pack: 135 cm


Last 7 days: 48 cm

Snow pack: 125 cm


Last 7 days: 65 cm

Snow pack: 175 cm

Kicking Horse

Last 7 days: 23 cm

Snow pack: 121 cm

Have something to add to our ski report? Comment below, email or tweet @CBCOutside.

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