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Slow start to ski season at Apex Mountain Resort near Penticton

Click to play video: 'Slow start to season at Apex Mountain'
Slow start to season at Apex Mountain
Ski hills across the province are experiencing a slower-than-normal start to the season. Apex Mountain resort near Penticton was able to open on time this year, but with limited runs due to warmer weather conditions. Taya Fast reports – Dec 26, 2023

This is typically one of the busiest weeks at Apex Mountain Resort near Penticton, B.C., but with not a whole lot of snow on the ground, it’s been a slow start to season.

The ski hill opened on time this year but with limited runs and activities.

“Our numbers are significantly down from where we were, for example, last year we were able to open up a week earlier than normal and open every single run on the mountain and that was Dec. 2. So, a much different story this year with a much slower start,” Apex Mountain Resort general manager James Shalman said.

“Volume is down, people aren’t quite as excited to ski on limited terrain as they would with the whole mountain being open, but people are still excited to be up here. It’s a beautiful day up here and it’s Christmas holidays and people just still want to come out and celebrate in the snow.”

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Click to play video: 'Christmas Eve at Stuart Park Skating Rink'
Christmas Eve at Stuart Park Skating Rink

On Tuesday, the Stocks Chair, T-Bar and Magic Carpet as well as the Tube Park were operational, while the Skate Loop and Skate Rink remained closed.

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Only 15 of the 80 available runs on the mountain are currently open and another 10 are expected to open on Wednesday.

“Dec. 27 is going to be the first day of our high-speed attachable quad. Today we’re getting everything ready,” Shalman said.

“We’ve had snowmaking in place for the last three weeks that have just made a nice layer on the top, made some of those perfect corduroy runs. But tomorrow we are going to be opening up the quad, seven days a week for the rest of this season.”

Click to play video: 'Drier and warmer than normal winter weather'
Drier and warmer than normal winter weather

According to Shalman, the mountain will need a significant snowfall in order to open up more terrain this season.

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However, with little snow in the forecast, it is hard to predict when that will happen.

“We have opened what we’ve deemed safe to be open. Our closed terrain is closed for a reason, there are exposed obstacles, there’s rocks, tree stumps, whatever they happen to be. We really want to make sure that it’s a safe experience for everybody. So please do not duck a rope,” Shalman said.

“If you duck a rope, not only are you probably going to get hurt, but we’re now going to have to send our patrol in to assist you and so that’s putting our patrol at risk as well. So just keep it safe, stay within bounds, stay within the open terrain, you’ll have a safe experience, and you’ll have a great time riding.”

Click to play video: 'Ski hills facing tough holiday season'
Ski hills facing tough holiday season

Ski hills across province have been facing less-than-ideal weather conditions.

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“I think we are all in the same boat,” Shalman said. “Apex is one of the few mountains in British Columbia that has snowmaking from the top of the mountain to the bottom. So that’s definitely an advantage for us. However, all resorts in B.C. are struggling with a slower start than normal.”

Click to play video: 'Warm winter woes on Lower Mainland ski hills'
Warm winter woes on Lower Mainland ski hills

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