January 29, 2016 8:51 am
Updated: January 29, 2016 10:12 am

#OurYYC Apprentice: Jordan Witzel drives a snow groomer at COP

WATCH: As part of our ongoing series, Jordan Witzel tries driving snow groomer while learning what attracts both beginners and world-class athletes to WinSport.


Global Calgary Meteorologist Jordan Witzel is heading out in the community to experience some of the many careers that make up our dynamic city.

Through the #OurYYC Apprentice series, Witzel will try his hand at different jobs for one day – to see just how challenging they can be.

My #OurYYC Apprentice series this month dives into the winter season with a job-shadowing opportunity on the slopes of Canada Olympic Park (COP).

The world-class ski resort it is maintained by a handful of behind-the-scenes workers who don’t often rely on winter weather to provide the snowpack. In fact, more than 90 per cent of the snow at COP is man-made.

Snow is made early in the mornings, and the job of grooming and conditioning that snow is left to a team of employees who manage four groomers for nearly 12 hours each night.

Jordan Witzel tries his hand at driving a snow groomer at Canada Olympic Park.

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WinSport, which operates COP, doesn’t attempt to compete with the local mountains. Instead, its mandate is to offer a chance for amateur snowboarders or skiers to improve their skills, as well as offering Olympic-level venues to elite athletes from around the world.

READ MORE: Snowboarder Shaun White says Calgary halfpipe suits him

During my time at COP I worked with WinSport employee Ian Newcombe, who taught me how tough it is to handle a groomer. I have to say it’s a pretty fun job, and a little like driving a tank I guess!

Oh, and I got a surprise visit from my self-proclaimed “#1 fan” Tyler Middleton from local radio station X92.9.

WATCH: Lots of laughs were had when Tyler Middleton from X92.9 made a surprise visit to Canada Olympic Park on Friday to see Jordan Witzel

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