Outdoor activities grind to a halt amid freezing temperatures in Alberta

·2 min read
The gondola at Banff Sunshine Village Ski Resort is seen in this undated handout photo. On Sunday, the ski area was closed due to extreme cold.  (Banff Sunshine Village/The Canadian Press - image credit)
The gondola at Banff Sunshine Village Ski Resort is seen in this undated handout photo. On Sunday, the ski area was closed due to extreme cold. (Banff Sunshine Village/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Some outdoor activities in and around Calgary have been cancelled due to dangerously cold conditions.

Several ski resorts have closed for the day due to frigid temperatures. The coldest wind chill values will be between minus 40 and minus 50.

In social media posts, Sunshine Village Ski Resort in Banff, Nakiska Ski Area near Kananaskis and Marmot Basin in Jasper said they would be closed Sunday due to the extreme cold.

For the bundled-up and brave, other resorts, including Lake Louise Ski Resort and Castle Mountain Resort, remain open with some chair lifts closed.

WinSport in Calgary said Sunday that its ski and snowboard hill at Canada Olympic Park will be closed Monday, but the hill is expected to re-open Tuesday. The tube park is expected to be closed until Thursday.

On Sunday, Environment Canada issued an extreme cold weather alert for all of Alberta, as temperatures pose frostbite risk. The cold snap is expected to last into next week in many areas.

Environment Canada
Environment Canada

The Tim Hortons Western Canada Pond Hockey Championships, in Chestermere, has been pushed back a day in the hopes that warmer weather will soon arrive. The event was supposed to start Monday, but has been pushed back to Tuesday.

"We have waited and waited and waited," said Lesley Plumley, the event's planner.

"We're like, this is just not going to work. The safety is paramount to us for everybody … I think all of our participants are going to actually thank us for not letting them play in the really bitterly cold weather."

Supplied by Tim Hortons Western Canada Pond Hockey Championships
Supplied by Tim Hortons Western Canada Pond Hockey Championships

In Calgary, drivers face icy sections of road, said Christopher McGeachy, a spokesperson for the city's roads department in an email.

McGeachy said road salt is rendered ineffective when it is colder than -12 C, so crews are applying sanding chips and gravel to the roads to improve traction.

He said staff will be working day and night through the cold to ensure roads are safe.

Outdoor event Zoolights, at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, has also been cancelled Sunday and Monday.

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