Don’t let the snow on the mountains fool you – it’s not quite time to drag your snowboard out of storage.
An early season snowstorm dusted the North Shore mountains with up to 33 cm of snow this weekend, forcing Metro Vancouver to shut the Grouse Grind for safety reasons Monday.
The snow hit Grouse Mountain four days earlier than last year, spokeswoman Sarah Lusk said.
While the grind isn’t permanently closed for the season – Metro will reassess trail conditions next week – winter sports could start early if “mother nature behaves.”
“It looks like more snow Friday night and maybe tonight,” Lusk said. “Here’s hoping.”
While Environment Canada predicts some flurries in the mountains and rain in Vancouver throughout the week, meteorologist David Jones said the weather is expected to warm up over the weekend.
“Whatever’s out there is going to melt over the weekend,” he said. Ski lovers will “be feeling a little disappointed this weekend.”
At Mt. Seymour, powder-lovers were so excited about the snow they hiked up with their snowboards for a few runs down the mountain, spokeswoman Anna Rowinska said. (The provincial park still has open hiking trails.)
“We don’t encourage it, as there’s not a lot of terrain covered,” she said, noting rocks and branches are protruding on the trails. For safety reasons, she recommends waiting a few weeks until ski season, which typically starts in mid-November.
Whistler Blackcomb got the least snow over the weekend with an estimated 10-15 cm on the ground, said spokeswoman Laura Gallant. Depending on snowfall, the mountain could open sooner than the planned Nov. 22 start date.
But those anxious to hit the slopes might not have to wait as long at Cypress Mountain.
“We turned on our snow guns this morning,” spokesman Joffrey Koeman said, adding the seven machines couldn’t make snow until Nov. 1 last year due to higher temperatures. Last year’s Nov. 8 opening was the earliest in the hill’s history.
Snow: 20 cm
Open date: As soon as possible
Need at least 30 cm to open, if snow quality is good
Snow: 25 cm
Open: Nov. 23 or sooner
Need 100 cm to open
Snow: 33 cm
Open: Nov. 18 or sooner
Need 60 cm to open
Snow: estimated 10-15 cm
Open: Nov. 22 or sooner
Don’t need a specific amount to open – have 220 snow machines