If basketball superstar Stephen Curry were to stand on LeBron James’ shoulders, the two NBA players still wouldn’t be as tall as Nova Scotia’s tallest snowbanks.

At the northernmost tip of Cape Breton, snowbanks have been measured at four metres high – so tall that they obscure trees and create a tunnel-like driving experience.

The towering walls of snow have drawn plenty of spectators to North Mountain, a remote stretch of land along the picturesque Cabot Trail. Many have left their vehicles to take photos of the wintry spectacle.

Among them was Jessica Martin, a tourist visiting from Montreal.

“Taller than I am, that’s for sure,” Martin told CTV Atlantic. “I’ve never seen that before and we do get a lot of snow in Montreal – at least, I thought we did.”

The unusually tall formations were created by a variety of factors, including heavy snowfall in the autumn.

The weather station at North Mountain reports 217 centimetres of snow on the ground. For comparison, Sunshine Village – a popular ski resort in the Rocky Mountains – has a base snow depth of 151 centimetres.

All that snow has meant a difficult winter for drivers in the region. Highways around Cape Breton Highlands National Park are intermittently closed due to blowing snow.

Sometimes, the conditions are so poor that snowplows can’t be brought in to clear the roads, according to Parks Canada spokesperson Kelly Deveaux.

“When the road is closed on North Mountain, we understand that there are impacts. But when the visibility is so reduced that it poses a risk for the travelling public and our crews, we are in a situation where we do have to close the road,” she said.

Parks Canada is advising spectators to exercise caution when visiting the snowbanks. Visitors are asked not to climb the snowbanks, and anyone who pulls over is asked to do so safely.



Straight outta Cape Breton

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