"Soooooo, this is pretty normal???" Brian asks me as he shovels out his walkway, while I snap photos of his basketball net, which happens to be filled with half a meter of snow. With another meter or so settled in the lawn, I could probably throw down a few mean LeBron James-style dunks, if not for the snowy rim protector.
Brian is an Irishman on a two-year work visa and tells me that he has seen more snow in the past week than the entirety of his life before moving to Revelstoke. And when I tell him that this is fairly normal, he just shakes his head, laughs and goes back to shoveling.
While I am being truthful in my assessment of the normality of living in a consistently snowy part of the world, the past few days were not exactly normal. It has felt like being inside a giant snow globe, only the person holding it has lost their Shake Weight and has decided that our town is an appropriate replacement for their 'As Seen on TV' workout program.
Over the past week, approximately 1.1 meters (43 inches) of snow has fallen at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, offering up more free refills than your local fast-food chain. And this isn't the first time it has happened this season. RMR is currently on a record-pace for its seasonal snowfall amount, with just over 8 meters of snow to date. And with more snow in the forecast all this week, this 10th anniversary season is shaping up to be one for the record books.
Yet the true magic of this particular storm has been the way the storm has transformed the town into a winter wonderland. Huge flakes falling slowly from the sky, illuminated by a warm streetlamp, have turned everyone into your kids, looking up the heavens and sticking out their tongues, trying to catch a few stray flakes. The trees in town are loaded almost to their threshold and metal rooftops shed their snow load, making it a realistic possibility of having an avalanche hazard rating for your house.
I would classify the hazard as High, with a significant probability of full burial of your walkway or entrance. Snow blowers that have been sitting in front of the local dealer since the fall suddenly disappear and the hardware store is most likely seeing sales of shovels skyrocket. Yet this is what brings people together in these winter towns.
Neighbours helping shovel out the walkway next door. Sneaking the local snow removal driver a sixer to keep the driveway cleared. Watching families clear out their parking spot after a day at the resort.
All of these moments are the thin threads that weave together to form the fabric of life in our little winter paradise. So, while skiing all of this magical snow is an integral part of my job, capturing the essence of our ski town is just as important to me, along with putting the local characters on display. Because you can't spell community without unity.