There's a silver lining to the cold and snow. Edmonton area ski hills are opening up

·2 min read
The sun is rising on a new season at Sunridge Ski Area. (Submitted by Randi Hopkinson - image credit)
The sun is rising on a new season at Sunridge Ski Area. (Submitted by Randi Hopkinson - image credit)

The arrival of wintry weather means the ski season is close behind as Edmonton-area hills prepare to open.

Snow Valley Ski Club is the first out of the gate, opening this morning.

"We've basically just finished up snow making for now; we're pushing it all around and we're gearing up to open to the public Saturday at 9 a.m.," said spokesperson Tim Dey.

Edmonton Ski Club will have a soft opening on Monday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Those hours will remain in place until next weekend when it will open at 10 a.m. Regular hours will commence the following week.

Submitted by Jocelyn Wetterberg
Submitted by Jocelyn Wetterberg

Derek Look, Rabbit Hill Snow Resort general manager, said their snow-making machines, coupled with the recent natural snow, have the slopes looking pretty decent.

"Yeah, we're making lots of snow," he said. "We're looking really good for our tentative opening date of Nov. 24."

Look said the hill should be ready by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

At that time Rabbit Hill will unveil a new feature.

"We're going to introduce a tube park," he explained. "It's on the east side of our hill where we've got one of our carpet lifts.

"We'll have about three lanes over there. We're really excited to be able to offer a tubing product this year to those folks that don't necessarily ski or snowboard."

Randi Hopkinson with Sunridge Ski Area said they've installed a brand new snow-making system and after a few hiccups, they're on track to open next week.

"We've finally got everything up and going now so we're making snow at a pretty quick rate for being a little behind," she said. "Our opening date is next Friday."

Hopkinson said they've also removed the old T-bar in order to extend one of their runs.

"We're hoping to make some cool features off of it, but it depends on how much snow we get," she said. "If we keep getting snow like we have been though, it's going to be a pretty nice season."

For those looking for something a little more challenging, Marmot Basin in Jasper is opening the upper mountain this Saturday.

All ski hills have COVID-19 restrictions in place and visitors are encouraged to check the websites for details before heading to the slopes.

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