Southwest Alberta continues to dig out from a major snowstorm that occurred last weekend. Crowsnest Pass received upwards of 80 cm (36 inches) of snow between Saturday and Monday. Castle Mountain Ski Resort, west of Pincher Creek, received 112 cm (44 inches) of snow, and Waterton Park got a whopping 120 cm (47 inches). Highway 3 between Coleman and Sparwood, BC was closed for a couple of days, causing numerous motorists to become stranded. Most were able to find accommodation in the communities of the Pass. The highway reopened late Monday evening and by Tuesday afternoon everyone was on their way again. Some stores remained closed for a day or so, and students in the area enjoyed a couple of snow days at the beginning of the week. It was a good old-fashioned snowstorm, the likes of which we have not seen for a long, long time.
Even before the snowfall had subsided, the sound of snow throwers, skid-steers, and other snow removal equipment could be heard throughout the Crowsnest Valley. It seemed everyone was trying to keep up with the heavy accumulation of snow before it got out of hand. At times, the snow was falling at such a rate that by the time you cleared your driveway or sidewalk, you had to start over. I cleared mine three times in two days. It was easier to deal with 12 inches of snow at a time, instead of waiting until it was over and then clearing three feet all at once. The photo above was taken yesterday at our fly shop in Bellevue.
Last weekend’s snowfall will certainly bode well for the rivers and lakes in southwest Alberta this spring. The mountain snowpack has been below-average the past couple seasons, causing serious concerns about low water levels during the summer months. I doubt it will be a problem this year, though. With at least three months remaining in this winter’s snowfall season, we’re bound to get a few more dumps before it’s over. If you live in southern Alberta, don’t put your snow shovels away, just yet!