Valley snow is skiing heaven

Heavy snowfall this week has made for treacherous conditions in the South Okanagan, but the same can't be said at the ski hills in the region.

General managers at Apex Mountain and Mount Baldy ski resorts both said Dec. 26 to 31 is typically the busiest stretch all season on their hills, and the excess snow has made conditions ideal.

Apex GM James Shalman said 40 centimetres of snow fell in the past five days at the hill near Penticton.

"I was actually just out skiing for a couple runs just now to see how things are out here. And it's just amazing. Powder blowing up into your waist every turn, it's absolutely gorgeous," Shalman said on Friday afternoon.

"Another 15 to 20 cm is in the forecast for us over the next day, so it looks like it's just going to keep on getting better.

Shalman said the mountain's base is up to 125 cm. 

"Sometimes when you have 125 cm it skis like 50, this is 125 cm that's skiing like 300, because the base is so solid down low."

At Baldy, 13 cm fell on Wednesday and Thursday according to GM Andy Foster, giving the ski hill a base of 102 cm as of Friday morning.

"A lot of the other resorts got hit hard, it's just the way the weather patterns were. But we're getting hit hard right now which is perfect... We're looking good."

This week's deluge of snow didn't hit Baldy at the rate that it did in other parts of the Okanagan, which Foster said can be typical.

"We tend to get slightly different systems where we are right down at the border here. The systems that really benefit us are often ones that come in from the south."

Elsewhere in the Okanagan, Big White in Kelowna and Silver Star in Vernon have both seen heavy snow of late.

Snowfall is expected to continue at both Apex and Baldy into Saturday afternoon.

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