40cm of snow fell in Fernie over a two-day period towards the end of the 2020-2021-winter season. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

40cm of snow fell in Fernie over a two-day period towards the end of the 2020-2021-winter season. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Skiers to cruise to end of season at FAR thanks to end of season top-up

Only 716cm of snow has fallen at FAR in 2020-2021, but it was more than enough to see out the season

The snow fall might have been below average, but the 2020-2021 season was pretty good according to Fernie Alpine Resort’s local weather expert.

Fernie Ski Patroller Robin Siggers (the expert), said that FAR and Fernie had seen relatively consistent temperatures with not many rain events mid-winter.

“We got snow early which is always important for us, so we were able to open and have good conditions throughout the mountain by Christmas, which is always our goal to have good coverage and have the mountain fully open.

“Then we had consistent snowfall through to January. It tapered off, but we got a couple of big dumps,” he said.

The forecasted snowy winter that was reported in Fall 2020 didn’t quite materialize, but that was pretty typical, said Siggers.

“Weather forecasters only like to talk about what the forecast – not what actually happens,” he joked, but added that the predicted la nina weather patterns had come.

“Pretty sure we did have a la nina winter. It didn’t translate into a lot of heavy snow for us, but we did end up with relatively few warms events and rain events. Winter overall, the second half at least – was kind of dry. Drier than we might have expected. Might have expected a few more of those cold snow storms over winter but it never really materialized.”

As of April 1, the snowfall through the season at FAR had added up to 716cm – which Siggers said was “on the low side of average”, with a seasonal snowfall around 900cm usually what was expected.

The last-minute top-up on Monday was welcome – and normal.

“Those kind of Spring storms are quite normal for Fernie. Winter weather here … .we can have cold and snowstorms right through April, even into early May, so that’s not entirely unexpected or unusual.”

While the resort was only a few days from closing for the season, skiers and snowboarders had plenty of snow to enjoy right up to the the last day.

“Up top we’ve got close to three metres of snow – there’s no shortage of snow on the mountain, its just sometimes the base area gets a little thin at this time of year. That little top-up means we’ll be able to cruise right to the end of the season with good egresses from all the upper mountain and good conditions on the lower slopes as well.”

There’s only a little over a week remaining of the 2020-2021 ski season, with Fernie Alpine Resort set to call it quits on winter on April 11.

READ MORE: Fernie Alpine Resort committed to staying open though to end of season: RCR



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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