WHISTLER, B.C. -- Cascade snow packs that stretch several feet deep are the norm in the winter. But have you ever really had a chance to really grasp how much snow you might be hiking or skiing on?
Head up to the Whistler-Blackcomb resort in British Columbia, and you can get a great sense of perspective.
Each spring, the resort clears the access road to the Peak Chair, cutting a ground-level path through the "mountains" of snow that fell over the winter. Time it just right (like May/early June) and you'll be treated to walking along the snow walls that can stretch several feet tall on either side.
Photos posted Thursday show a truck in the snow wall for reference - I'd estimate that's a wall of snow about 13-15 feet high.
But Marc Riddell with Whistler-Blackcomb says some spots along the trail can have snow walls that reach 40 feet high!
You'll need to ride a gondola to get to the trail's base, then it's about a 2.5 mile hike along the snow walls to the top of Peak Chair, one-way, according to Megan Wilson with Whistler.com. She warns that the Peak Chair does not begin operations until late June and by then, the snow has typically melted away. So if there for the snow wall hike, you'll need to factor in hiking back down the trail as well.
Riddell says Whistler averages about 38 feet of snow per year and this year came in around 40 feet. The snow walls melt pretty quickly as we get through June and the weather warms so it's a rather short window of opportunity to see these amazing displays of nature!