Ski resorts from California to British Columbia experienced their first notable snowfalls of the year over the past few days, stoking excitement among skiers and snowboarders who hope that this year’s “Godzilla” El Niño could finally buck a trend of disappointing winters on North America’s West Coast.
The season’s first big winter storm hit California from Mammoth Mountain up to the Lake Tahoe area, bringing with it something that has become an increasingly rare sight in California: large quantities of snow.
Forecasts predicted California mountains to see a foot or more of snow from Monday through Wednesday, and while reports are still rolling in, the ski gods seemed to have delivered.
Squaw Valley reported 8 inches of fresh powder while Mammoth Mountain reported 11 inches of the white stuff:
— MammothMountain (@MammothMountain) November 3, 2015
North of the border, resorts in British Columbia were relieved after an unseasonably warm winter last year to see fresh snow coming down over the weekend.
World-famous Whistler Blackcomb reported a total of roughly 14 inches of new snow on their slopes after the weekend.
All of this is made more significant by just how remarkably bad last year’s ski season was for essentially all of North America’s West Coast.
California, still crippled by the biggest drought in state history, saw essentially no snowfall, with Northstar in Tahoe reporting a total yearly summit snowfall of 133 inches — almost three times lower than its traditional reported average of 350 inches.
And British Columbia didn’t fare much better: While Whistler Blackcomb is traditionally considered one of the top mountains in all of North America, with a reported average of 458 inches of snow each year, the mountain saw a paltry 265 inches last year.
With El Niño being a potential game changer, skiers and snowboarders took to Twitter to express their excitement over the heavy amounts of early snow:
— Amber Mann (@RealtorWhistler) November 3, 2015
35cm of fresh up @WhistlerBlckcmb yesterday!!! It's coming people, who's excited? ☁️❄️🏂🎿⛄️
— Spencer O'Brien (@spencerobrien) November 2, 2015
— The Chronicle (@sfchronicle) November 3, 2015
— Gary Lezak (@glezak) November 3, 2015
IT'S SNOWING IN TAHOE RN ⛄️💯😍😭
— SnowGlobe Festival (@itsSnowGlobe) November 2, 2015
— Michael Cudlitz (@Cudlitz) November 2, 2015
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