John's Report - January 11, 2007
PROOF POSITIVE - Fernie has the Best Snow in the World
With frigid temperatures predicted until Saturday, the preference was to stay in and read about skiing. I�ve suggested, and heard others say, the BC Rockies may have the best skiing in the world. On Thursday night, using the website www.skicentral.com/snowdepth.html, about 460 ski areas worldwide were arranged by snow depth. Fernie is in the top twenty, but for the reasons set out below, we and a few dear neighbours, are actually in the top five (the ranking of the five can be debated over beer).
Number one was Mt. Baker, WA; a rain-soaked volcano just south of Vancouver�s Lower Mainland. Speaking of which, who guessed that Grouse Mtn on Vancouver�s North Shore is #2? In fact, most of the top 20 are on the soggy coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest (yes, even you - Whistler/Blackcomb).
In the Rockies, where we actually ski on powder and not cement, of the top 20, the only places of any significance are: #14 Schweitzer Mt. in N. Idaho; #15 Whitewater, near Nelson, BC & #19 Fernie. To round off the list: #21 Lake Louise, AB; #24 Castle Mt., AB; #26 Kicking Horse near Golden, BC; #35 Big White, BC & #37 Sunshine, AB.
In contrast, the first big US name is Squaw Valley, CA at #30, followed by our neighbours in Whitefish, Mt. at #45; and then Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and all with a base much less than ours.
Best in the world, that�s what I say. Anyone wishing to argue the point has to buy the beer.