By Greg Skinner

Somewhere a sacrifice had to have been made. In the closing days of the ski season at Panorama Mountain Resort, Ullr provided what was asked for, provided what was needed by the faithful to worship properly — fresh snow. 

The 2022/2023 snow year at Panorama ended on April 9 with a tich less than 30 centimetres of snow that fell during the last week of skiing and snowboarding at the resort.

For connoisseurs and the committed, it was a difficult year. With 241 centimetres total snowfall this season, Panorama tied the worst snowfall season during the last decade. This year’s meagre snows mirrored the 2014-2015 season, which also saw 241 centimetres total, according to, a website that collects snowfall data from ski resorts all over the world.

From the local perspective, the year ended not so different than it started; alpine ski racing on artificial snow on the front side, and “natty” party laps in the back bowl for free riders. A sprinkling of tourists are always in the way of it all.

Evan Pacey, Panorama’s snow reporter, wrote that one person managed to make 10 laps through Taynton Bowl in a single day, during closing weekend. 

Andrew Hill spent Monday April 3 searching for his last runs of the season and chose to stay lower on the frontside of the mountain to enjoy the day’s offing of fresh fallen inches laying atop well groomed runs, rather than wrestle bad snow in most of the double black diamonds around the mountain.

Hill, a snowboarder and valley resident, encountered churned gravel on the surface of the snow at some cat track intersections and along random patches of “brown” in high traffic areas on piste. Otherwise, he made a powder day of it by running top speed laps through “Bosnia,” which is officially known as Founder’s Ridge. 

The conditions were not great and not typical of late season skiing, even at Panorama, the least snowy of all the ski hills on the famed Powder Highway.

A founding member of the Panorama Bootpacker’s Association and a season pass holder with excellent knowledge of the mountain, Hill, like many other regulars and locals, spent most of his snowboard-days this season riding groomed runs rather than face the difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions off piste and in the back bowl. 

In a normal year, Hill would spend most every day snowboard lapping Taynton Bowl. 

“Well at least the fat biking was good,” Hill said of his snow year that also saw ridiculous avalanche conditions in the backcountry.

By Wednesday, two larger storm pulses dropped more snow and shifted the vibe at Panorama by turning Taynton into a playground for a few last hours before temperatures rose and destroyed the surface. 

With that last bit of natural snowfall and wind transported snow filling in certain zones, White Tail or Spector could be run wide-open top to bottom and the scram down Taynton Trail back to the lift line for the next lap was high tempo as well.  Even C Spine, normally over run by skiers, offered a good runs late into the ski day. Wednesday’s skiing saw powder shots resulting from summit laps into the early afternoon. 

Taynton was perhaps at its best Wednesday, no Monster Cat traffic and fumes and maybe a couple dozen skiers and snowboarders making the walk to the hunting grounds. 

Only a few snowfalls during this season rivalled the last week and those were in December and February, much of the base fell before the season started. 

The biggest single snowfall this season was six inches that fell overnight during a six-day storm that dropped 19 -inches total, said Panorama spokesperson Clarissa Amaro.

The 2014-2015 took 62 days of snowfall to reach 241 centimetres. This year it took 63 snowdays to hit that same  mark. Back in 2014 a visitor from Saskatoon wrote on TripAdvisor about the snow conditions at Panorama that February said the snow would have better been described as “ice.” Long know as “Ice-O-Rama” to locals, Panorama’s focus and investment in snowmaking mixed with quality grooming has paid off. Longtime skiers and holidaymakers were often vocal this year, saying  the skill of snow management between storms made difference.  

“I’m proud of the efforts of our team and the tireless work they have done to deliver an exceptional mountain experience. Panorama’s strong snowmaking product, our fleet of modern snowcats and our investment in efficient, state of the art technology and summer and winter grooming, made an impact this season from early November ski race training to April spring skiing,” said Steve Paccagnan, President & CEO – Panorama Mountain Resort.