The Art of Slope-Side Conversation (Big White Weather Part 1)

There are 2 very important things about meteorology I thought I learned throughout my travels:

1)    Canadians love to talk about the weather much more than everyone else (in Singapore, the only way a weather-themed conversation that can ever happen is: “its raining, lah.” “same-same as every day” “…yeah…”)

2)    Dressing for the weather is incredibly important

In Big White, I found out that both of these “facts” were complete and utter lies. As first off, Canadians may love to talk about the weather, but this follows a pretty routine cycle:

1)    Winter: “Wow! It’s really cold, look at that snow and how you can see my breath!”

2)    Spring: “Wow! It’s really wet, look at those flowers and the endless amount of slush everywhere!”

3)    Summer: “Wow! It’s really hot, look at how yellow the grass is and how much I’m sweating!”

4)    Autumn: “Wow! It’s really…mild… look at how the leaves were green and on the trees, but now are yellow and on the ground!”

"The leaves were one colour, now they are another colour! Let me discuss this at length because I'm Canadian!"

“The leaves were one colour, now they are another colour! Let me discuss this at length because I’m Canadian!”

Despite the predictability of these conversations, you’re not allowed to live in Canada unless you engage at least 12 people in these each season. Now, this might look like I’m proving my initial point I said I had disproven, but despite the importance of these seasonal conversations, they have nothing on how vital the weather is to anyone (if Australians) on ski hills!

As soon as you receive a season ski pass, you’re brain automatically gets programmed to wake you up shouting: “WHAT’S TODAY’S SNOW REPORT!?” At which time, you’re forced to jump to the nearest computer or data-enabled phone to examine the following in full detail:

1)    Current and expected daily temperature

2)    Cloud cover and visibility

3)    Wind speed and direction

4)    Snow fall in the past 12 and 24 hours

5)    Numbers 1 – 4 with surrounding mountains you don’t have passes to so

  1. You can laugh at them for having worse conditions that you
  2. You can tell everyone how much you hate them for having better conditions than you
Canadian: "Mighty chilly, eh!? Look at that snow!" Big Whitian: "3cm of fresh pow, perfect viz and no wind

Canadian: “Mighty chilly, eh!? Look at that snow!”
Big Whitian: “3cm of fresh pow, perfect viz and no wind, gotta get to the hill ASAP!”

Now, regardless of what you’ve found out, it’s time to hit to the hill!

If for some ungodly reason (like having to work, or having broke every bone in your body), you cannot hit the hill, you must then spend the entire day discussing the conditions either as:

1)    “The visibility is crap today, wouldn’t want to be on the hill anyways”

  1. AKA: denial

2)    “The one day we get perfect conditions, and I’m stuck at work, it’s torture!”

Because I am a weather-scientist and this makes me a hero!

Because I am a weather-scientist and this makes me a hero!

For me as someone who works at night (where condition 2 never happens – muwahaha) and is awake before everyone else, I told the sacred task of updating these sites and weather reports. This basically means I’m a meteorologist, which is pretty awesome on days when it snows because anyone who’s the first to let everyone know they’re in store for the best pow day of their life basically gets a parade in their honour for bringing so much joy to everyone’s life

In Summary: The 3 most important things about the weather are:

1)    If you are / want to be Canadian, look at the sky and tell everyone you know what your see on a semi-regular basis

2)    If you own a season ski pass, check your mountain snow report on a religious basis and give everyone you know you’re full analysis on the conditions

3)    Talking about the weather give me an un-ignorable urge to write lots of numbered lists

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5 thoughts on “The Art of Slope-Side Conversation (Big White Weather Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Translating Meteorology into Slope Selection (Big White Weather Part 2) | Twice as much in half the space

  2. You’re my vote for weather caster anyway, if I’m ever up there, that is. We talk about the weather in New England a lot, too. “Are you sick of winter, too?” / “Yes, waiting for spring.”

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