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Heavy snowfall snarls traffic on highway to Whistler

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A sudden blast of wintry weather caused such havoc on the roads around Whistler on Wednesday that GPS devices suggested that it would be faster for drivers to take a seven-hour detour past Abbotsford and Lillooet to reach the ski resort.

By mid-afternoon, some 50 centimeters had fallen – much of it in a very short amount of time.

"Big impact on the highway," said Const. Antoine Graevling of Sea to Sky RCMP.

"We've seen cars that come to a standstill, partial closures of the highway, and temporary closures on Highway 99," he told CTV News.

Two BC Transit buses, as well as a school bus were also sent off the road.

"BC Transit will continue to closely monitor conditions and proceed accordingly," read a company statement, informing would-be travellers that travel along some routes had been suspended. 

The lure of fresh snow drew thousands of skiers to the mountain, but many of them didn't have good winter tires.

All along the Sea to Sky highway, cars were spotted in ditches, but Mounties say thankfully nobody was injured.

"Definitely when you see that amount of snow that falls over a short period of time, it can be quite dramatic," said Alyssa Charbonneaum, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

"I think that for those who don't have to travel the route today, it's probably a good idea to postpone," she advised.

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