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December ski conditions at Panorama

Middlesbrough...
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December ski conditions at Panorama

Hi,

I am coming to Panorama in mid December in hope of surfing some of the white stuff.

I am slightly worried about the snow record of the resort I have chosen. How bad is are conditions likely to be at that time of year?

I am hiring a car so should there be little snow I will at least have the flexibility of going to another resort. Can anyone recommend any close to Panorama that are likely to have better coverage at that time of year?

Cheers :)

Vancouver
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1. Re: December ski conditions at Panorama

Panorama is sometimes good and sometimes bad at this time of year. I have been when there are only a handful of runs open and I have been when there are many runs open. You could drive to Fernie, Sunshine or Kicking Horse from Panorama without too much trouble.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: December ski conditions at Panorama

I have never been to Panorama, so my comments are more general in nature.... It's not just Panorama - December conditions at *any* ski resort in Canada can be problematic sometimes. It all depends on Mother Nature's generosity (and, to a lesser extent, the resort's snow-making capabilities. However, when you are dealing with an entire mountain, rather than just a few runs, you have to depend more on Mother Nature). Some years there is ample snow at some resorts for skiing before December even starts, and some years, the snow comes later in the season.

December IS early in the ski season. The ski resort here in Jasper is fond of using the (euphemistic) term "good early ski season conditions" in their snow reports at that time of the year, not to be confused with "good ski conditions". "Early season conditions" usually means there are twigs and rocks sticking out of the snow; "good" early season conditions seems to mean some of the rocks and twigs are covered. ;-)

Are you bringing your own equipment, or renting? Here, many people keep an older pair of "rock skis" for when conditions are not great. If you are bringing your own, you might want to check on conditions before you come, and bring older equipment if conditions aren't so great. Or consider renting - then the maintenance & tuning is not your problem.

Vancouver
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3. Re: December ski conditions at Panorama

I agree with that post, rock skis are often the standard approach for early season skiing. Also at Silver Star in Vernon we did go skiing one year on November 11th and on others much closer to December. So it is difficult to predict.

Kimberley, Canada
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4. Re: December ski conditions at Panorama

Hey Vicki

Lake Louise - www.skilouise.com - usually hosts men and women's World Cup events the last week of November/first week of December. Your best bet for early conditions "within reason" - two hour drive - of Panorama. Not too much to do at Lake Louise, other than ski; most people stay at Banff and drive 45 minutes to Louise. Banff offers "tons" of things to do = some say "tourist trap" - but outside of Whistler is likey the best "World Class" ski "ish" destination outside of Whistler. Mt. Hood Washington has 300 day/year glacier skiing; but unremarkable night life in comparison to the #1 Ski Destination in the World - Whistler Blackcomb. . .

Panorama will make enough snow for Christmas week opening for certain; as any ski resort in western Canada that has "Property Owners" that demand ski hill be opened for them to use their ski property investment over Christmas week. It's really a catch 22 as a lot of resorts open on very marginal conditions to appease the owners of real estate they/their development owners sold "on-hill" Real Estate to.

If you really want good "guaranteed" mid-December conditions look for glacier skiing' Whistler/Blackcomb or Mt.Hood Washington; but then again mother nature could dump tons of snow in early December. . . no guarantees in life!

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: December ski conditions at Panorama

I believe that El Nino - the south Pacific weather effect - is key. Not sure if we are in an El Nino effect or not (they are becoming much more frequent with Global Warming), but I THINK that the snow tends to come later in an El Nino year.

I know last winter even Whistler was struggling to open for about Dec 10th. Then, here on the coast anyway, we were hit with FIVE significant snow storms between Dec 19th and Jan 5th and, where I live anyway, we had 4 ft of snow on the ground and it lasted for six week, which is absolutely unheard of here!

On the coast anyway, mid-Dec. is pretty reliable, but it's a real crap shoot in early Dec.

Jasper, Canada
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6. Re: December ski conditions at Panorama

I don't think ski hills open for Christmas just to appease holiday property owners - the Christmas/New Year's period is one of the peak times of the winter for skiing and the ski resorts need to be open then for their own bottom line too. Their numbers during the holiday period break can make or break their season.

7. Re: December ski conditions at Panorama

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