Star addresses concerns over lack of snow

Silver Star Mountain Resort is trying to push back an avalanche of concern about snow

Silver Star Mountain Resort is trying to push back an avalanche of concern about snow.

The resort has been hearing from some people who are speculating that there may be a lack of the white stuff this coming season.

“The media is going on about Godzilla, that El Nino is coming,” said Brad Baker, operations director.

El Nino is a layer of warm Pacific Ocean water that influences climate across the continent.

“El Nino impacts coastal mountains more than Interior mountains,” said Baker, adding that in 1991/92, El Nino led to warm weather in early March.

“There was extra maintenance of snow but it didn’t cripple things.”

If anything, Baker says El Nino can increase the amount of moisture in the atmosphere and that can lead to snowfall.

Last season was considered an average year for snow, with about 200 centimetres falling..

“Silver Star had the best conditions in the province,” said Baker.

In preparation of an anticipated Nov. 26 alpine opening, the resort crews were busy over the summer clearing out debris and ensuring runs will capture as much snow as possible.

“If we get 40 centimetres, we’re up and running. We then maintain the top 10 centimetres which really matters,” said Baker.

While he follows the weather forecast, Baker also relies on various other factors for determining possible snowfall.

“I have been here 25 years and you talk to the people who came before me and you look for signals,” he said.

“The fireweed went to seed early and the seed flew early. The bears have also been aggressive with looking for food so they are preparing to get in (to their dens) early. A long, dry summer seems to be followed by lots of precipitation in the fall and winter.”

 

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