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While British Columbia, and resorts in the Okanagan in particular, always receive plentiful snow each winter, the 2019/20 season was spectacular. The early period of the season from opening day to mid-December was normal. By the 16th December regular snow falls provided Big White Ski Resort with an accumulation of 165cm and an alpine base of 109cm.

By the 14th January 2020 that result had ballooned to 459cm accumulation and the alpine base was 262cm. Well ahead of averages for that period. It did not slow down. By 31st January the accumulation was 561cm and the alpine base was 291cm.

December and January combined, delivered very happy visitors 464cm accumulation. That’s about 60% more than the long-term 38 year average for these two months combined at Big White.

The first 15 days of February delivered 111cm more accumulation, well ahead of the long-term full month average for February of 100cm. By the 15th February the accumulation total was 672cm and the alpine base breached 300cm.  

Unfortunately due to the BC Health Department COVID-19 order to close on March 16, 2020, recording of snowfall ceased, with an alpine base on closing day, of 302 cm. The snow kept on falling right though March and April, and it was looking like a record breaking season. Records indicate the total snowfall for the recorded season period reached a massive 6.12 metres (20 feet).

We’ll be back in 2020-21 hoping for similar conditions. Let it snow!

The highest recorded accumulations since records were collated in 1981-82 are:

Year Snow Accumulation
1998-99 962 cm
2015-16 946 cm
2012-13 889 cm
1996-97 887 cm
2001-02 871 cm
2017-18* 859 cm

*The resort saw snow on 96 days out of the 136 days of the season. The biggest one-day snowfall was 38 cm (15 inches).

Such results however are not surprising considering the historical snowfall consistency the mountain is renowned for.

The snowfall and snow base records from the last 38 seasons illustrate why the mountain is called Big White and reinforces why this ski resort, near Kelowna, BC, Canada, has earned such an enviable reputation for reliable champagne powder snow, every season.

While the result for this last season has been outstanding, records over the last 5 years, last 10 years and right across the last 30+ years demonstrate Big White turns on great snowfall with a high degree of certainty year in year out. Few other snow resorts enjoy such a high level of snow reliability.

Big White Ski Resort is always a reliable snow bet for international skiers, especially those that have to plan well ahead to secure air travel.

Coupled with the very attractive Canadian Dollar exchange rate; genuine ski-in, ski-out accommodation in the heart of the village; Stonebridge Lodge and Stonegate Resort are the perfect vacation lodgings, when booking your ski holiday.

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I’ve heard the snow at Big White in the British Columbia interior is really quite different to other resorts in Canada, and around the world. Is that so?

The Okanagan Valley has a unique microclimate because of the extensive lakes and geography in the region. Big White Ski Resort is blessed with huge annual snowfalls; on average around 7.5 metres (24 feet) of dry natural ‘champagne powder’. It is so dry you can hardly pack a snowball, and it is not uncommon for flakes to be the size of a small piece of tissue paper.

Being dry and cold they don’t melt quickly when they fall on your jacket. The comfortable daytime temperatures average -3 C (27 F), and this is cold enough to keep the snow light and fluffy, yet perfect for skiing, riding the chairs, cross country skiing and other winter activities.

Snow records for the resort confirm the reliability and consistency Big White is renowned for.

If the snow is so special at Big White, what does this mean for my skiing?
The light and dry snow is a delight to ski on. It has a low moisture content and this makes skiing so easy. There are no icy sheets nor gluggy wet snow days. Being able to ski in such ideal conditions will assist your confidence and you will be surprised how this improves your ability all round.

This video featuring ex Olympian Richie Biggins includes his insights to the quality and consistency of the snow that makes Big White famous.