February 8, 2015 9:26 pm
Updated: August 6, 2016 3:11 pm

Mt. Washington suspending operations due to lack of snow

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WATCH: Vancouver Island’s Mt. Washington ski resort has suspended operations for the second straight year due to a lack of snow. Kylie Stanton has more on the story.

For the second straight winter, Mt. Washington will have to suspend operations because of a lack of snow.

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“We’re a little surprised, because we had a great Christmas and really great conditions through January,” said Don Sharpe, Director of Business Operations for Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Vancouver Island’s largest ski hill.

“We sort of thought we could make it through these warm temperatures, but just couldn’t make it. The rain last night was pretty intense, and really reduced the snow we have on the ground.”

Operations will close on Monday, February 9 at 3:30 pm. They won’t be issuing refunds for the time being, as they’re optimistic the snow will return shortly.

“We still think the season is only halfway done. We’re not going to look at those options until April.”

They’re hoping for a repeat of last winter, where a temporary February closure only two weeks before a massive blizzard restored operations for the year.

GALLERY: Photos of muddy Mt. Washington, which is temporarily closing due to the lack of snow

“We totally believe that’s what’s going to happen,” says Sharpe. “As soon as enough snow is on the ground, we’re back at it.”

READ MORE: 200 people were temporarily laid off in last year’s closure

Mt. Washington is one of many ski resorts hurting this winter. The Fraser Valley’s Hemlock Resort isn’t opening at all, while in Whistler a slushy pond formed under a major chair lift last week. Because of patchy conditions on the north shore, passholders at Mt. Seymour could ski for free at Mt. Washington – but that option is now also no more.

Sharpe acknowledges conditions have been difficult, but says anyone operating a coastal ski hill in British Columbia knows what they’re getting into.

“It’s always a challenge when you’re a seasonal operation. We just have to work with mother nature, she’s in charge.”

© 2015 Shaw Media

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