Castlegar Winter Snow: 2021 vs 2022

The snowfall this year in Castlegar has been a bit…much. I’ve given my lawn tractor’s snowblower a good workout.

But memory is a fickle thing: our brains edit and generate content to create a story. So I decided to post a few comparison photos of our new Kootenay winter life.

January 2021 vs January 2022

I made a mistake this year with the deck. Last year’s snow load never exceeded about a foot, so I decided to save time and not bother clearing it. This year, we had two feet in about seven days, and what you see above is after chipping away the top foot or so. The snow piled on the posts was nearly two feet high, and the solar lights came off when I removed the snow pack on top of them. If I’d been keeping it clear it wouldn’t be so bad.

Things I learned

First and foremost- having a reasonably powerful lawn tractor with a good snowblower is a big help. Last year I struggled to keep up with a walk-behind snowblower: with the amount of snow this year, it would have likely wiped me out.

Secondly, having appropriate waterproof and warm clothes. Snowblowers kick up a lot of powdery snow onto the operator. On a windy day it can be blinding. This means the operator is covered in white stuff pretty fast, and the next thing you know you are soaking wet and freezing cold. I ended up with snow overalls, an insulated trapper’s hat, snow goggles, and -50 winter boots. I already had waterproof winter gloves and a not-very water resistant puffer jacket. I have a better waterproof winter jacket on order.

Third and finally, keep up with the snowfall even if it means clearing more than once per day. As an example, letting several feet of snow accumulate on our east deck was not my plan- I just let it get ahead of me. I didn’t want to clear the deck- I thought it would be like last year, maybe a foot or so, but that was a mistaken assumption.

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