Snow is On the Ground!

With all the snowmaking planets now aligned, Lake Louise has officially begun its gradual transformation from brown and green to white. Overnight temperatures that have dipped well below freezing (and have lasted into the following day) have allowed large snowmaking whales to appear almost overnight. That, along with the near-constant hum of the electric fan guns near the base area, leave little doubt that a new season is lurking just around the corner.

Electric fan gun coats the base area in snow.


Easy St. taking shape.


Tall tower guns on Wiwaxy (notice pine beetle-damaged trees in foreground)

Summer projects are wrapping up as well. The new hut at the top of Paradise chair has its windows in, and the replacement of the section of water pipeline on Juniper will be complete in a few days. As of yesterday, the Trail Crew finished the pounding into the ground of the thousands of t-steel that dot the mountain, and have now begun to attach the snow fence to these steel. Always first on the list of snow fence to be tied are those sections that permit travel around the upper mountain on skis. One of the most important sections is the one along and around the end of the Home Run cat track, leading down from the top of the Top of the World chair. The cat track crosses a steep bouldery slope, and it takes intensive snow farming to make this a skiable pass.

Getting snow to stay on the slope is one thing, and enabling it to survive the early season flood of skiers is a whole other ball game. Every time the Trail Crew passes through they’ll spend time packing the drifts that have formed, making the snow more dense and lowering the top level of the drift, allowing more snow to gather on top. And while many sections of fence are placed right on the run itself, there are a number that go uphill of the cat track. These shorter sections will form drifts that will act as stashes, so that crews can shovel the snow down onto the cat track where it is needed. In a perfect world, we try to capture every flake of snow that blows past the fences. In the end, like many places on the mountain, all the hard work in the world won’t create a run when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.


10 Comments on “Snow is On the Ground!”

  1. Débora says:

    Me and my family will be in Banff between 11 and 16 November and I wonder if, by their experience, if the ski season will already be open this season.
    I was also wondering how this time, it’s colder or warmer than in other years, if you think there will be plenty of snow this season.
    Never skied and I’m excited to go skiing at Lake Louise for the photos, I saw that is the most beautiful ski resort in the region.
    tank you

    • lakelouiselowdown says:

      Hi Debora,

      Lake Louise will be open starting November 5. We have already begun to make snow, and with two more weeks to go before we open, there should be some good skiing available for you. Usually this early in the season, we only open runs that have enough snow.

      While our summer was cooler than normal, this month has had many sunny and warm days. Things are cooling off, though, and predictions for this winter are for around average temperatures and snowfall for this region. It depends who you ask, though!

      Hope you enjoy your stay in Banff!


  2. Margaret says:

    I was planning on coming to LL on the 6th.. but I was wondering will there be enough snow for the top of the world run to be open??

    • lakelouiselowdown says:

      Hi Margaret,

      Thanks for your question. While we have been receiving snow on the upper mountain, there likely will not be enough to open the Top of the World chair lift or runs in that area this weekend (Nov 5,6,7). We expect to have Glacier lift open and Wiwaxy as the open run back down to the base area.

      Hope that helps!

      • Margaret says:

        It did help thanks alot! Do you think there will be enough snow for next week around November 11 for Top of the World to be open?

      • lakelouiselowdown says:

        It’s hard to say – we’ll need a combination of snowfall and colder temperatures in order to expand onto the upper mountain. As soon as we have indications of new lift or run openings, I’ll post about them here.

  3. Donald says:

    what is your prediction of how busy it will be tomorrow….. cause i plan to be there a few hours before you open so iam in line and not waiting hours just to get in

    • lakelouiselowdown says:

      We never know exactly how busy it’s going to be until the day actually comes, but I think it would be reasonable to expect similar crowds to opening days of previous years. People seem pretty excited to get on the skis for the first turns of the winter!!


      • Donald says:

        can you give a rough number of how many showed up in the last few years or no? if you guys collect those numbers for opening days

      • lakelouiselowdown says:

        I don’t have access to the actual numbers, but word around the campfire is that we might get around 800 for opening day, based on the past few years.

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