Just as we all thought spring was definitely coming, the Elk Valley was delivered a big dose of snow last week.
While some people might be calling it “The Fernie Factor” and thanking The Griz for shooting his cannon, the most scientific-minded people are thanking La Nina for bringing that promised moisture and cool temperatures.
Not only does snow mean lots of fun for those of us that relish the chance to carve it up, but it also means a big boost for business.
A number of local businesses have told me that their numbers are down and it has been a difficult winter financially for them. In a town where a large number of businesses rely on tourism, snow means money.
There were certainly a large number of visitors in town enjoying the extra day off for Family Day weekend, and while it does mean a longer wait at the supermarket and a longer line at the ski lift, it also means the businesses in town get the boost they need and will hopefully be around for many years to come.
Hopefully some of the visitors took the time to also see what else the community had going on this weekend. Spirit Fest was a great reminder of how the community came alive a year ago when the Olympic torchbearers passed through the valley.
It was also a real treat to watch the snowmobile drag racing event in lots of snow, after it had to be cancelled last year due to a lack of the white stuff.
The other towns in the valley also had a fun and snowy weekend. Wapiti ski hill in Elkford had free ski and snowboard lessons, courtesy of Nonstop Adventure, so there was no excuse for people not to get out and have a go at the sport.
There was also great entertainment on the rink, in figure skating with the Fernie skating club carnival, and in hockey as the Ghostriders won four games against Kimberley.
Let’s hope we get a few more weeks of winter before spring properly kicks in. Stay warm this week – temperatures are predicted to be cooler than expected for the time of year - and enjoy the last of La Nina’s winter offerings.
If you are going into the backcountry, stay safe. Check the avalanche bulletin and carry the right equipment.
Let’s hope for a beautiful warm spring to follow!

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