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The student news site of Smoky Hill High School

Smoky Now

The student news site of Smoky Hill High School

Smoky Now

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Bad conditions across North America this ski season

Icy slopes and temperatures impact frequent skiers and snowboarders
Sam Kristjanson
This photo was taken at Breckenridge ski resort

This recent ski season in the US has had a historically bad season with warmer temperatures and a slow start to the season overall. The strange temperature changes have caused snow to be icier than normal.

According to Ultimate Ski, “Icy snow is caused by changes in temperature, specifically warm temperatures, snow will begin to melt during the day and quickly freeze once the temperatures drop.

If a ski resort goes a long time without fresh snowfall and has high temperatures during the day, the snow on the surface layer becomes more icy which is what is happening to many resorts across North America.

Nate Smolinski is a sophomore at Smoky Hill and a frequent snowboarder.

“The conditions are very icy especially toward the end of the day, in the morning it was already icy and was only getting worse,” Smolinski said.

Colorado’s Summit County has had a significant lack of snow compared to other years.

According to On the Snow, “The ski season for most resorts in the summit country is from early November to late April or early May. Breckenridge specifically has had 119 inches of snow this year so far, in the 2022-2023 season Breckenridge got 287 inches of snow, and the year before that they got 265  inches with an average of 286 inches of snow over the last 11 years. While the ski season is only around halfway done the snowfall is significantly lacking for this time of year.

In British Columbia, Canada, Whistler Blackcomb Resort has had significantly less snowfall than in past years. Whistler has had 122 inches of snow this ski season while in past years the average snowfall was 318 inches of snow.

Sam Weintraub is a founder and writer of Peak Rankings and a ski journalist. Weintraub covers topics mostly on Canadian and Colorado ski resorts.

“High temperatures and lack of snow are reasons for the bad ski conditions this year. Ski resorts in Colorado, Utah and British Columbia have been especially affected by these weather conditions, ” Weintraub said. 

Max is a freshman student and has been skiing for several years. 

“Some parts of Winter Park had exposed rocks on family ski runs and steeper runs had exposed rock everywhere,” Max Goodrich (9) said.

The mix of high temperatures and lack of snow have been big setbacks for ski resorts and skiers. This ski season could be showing what’s in the future for skiing.

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