Planning a ski trip? Fewer runs open amid mild weather across Canada

Click to play video: 'Planning a ski trip? Canada’s mild winter keeps fewer hills open'
Planning a ski trip? Canada’s mild winter keeps fewer hills open
WATCH: Planning a ski trip? Canada's mild winter keeps fewer hills open – Dec 28, 2023

Ski resorts are facing challenging conditions amid warmer weather across Canada during a typically busy holiday week, limiting the runs open.

Blue Mountain in Ontario as of Wednesday had just one out of 11 runs open. In an email to Global News, spokesperson Tara Lovell said that it has “very limited terrain until snowmaking temperatures return this weekend.”

She noted that Blue Mountain began a multi-year investment in snowmaking this year to be as “responsive and nimble as possible to Mother Nature.”

The ski hill did have up to 30,000 guests in its Village area over Christmas, Lovell noted.

“Our snowmaking team is on-the-ready 24 hours a day to take advantage of any snowmaking windows,” she said.

In Quebec, Mont Tremblant has all of its lifts open as of Wednesday, although many of them only have about half of their runs open, while The Edge has one out of seven open and Versant Soleil has two out of 15 open.

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Click to play video: 'Slow start to season at Apex Mountain'
Slow start to season at Apex Mountain

Meanwhile, Whistler Blackcomb had 18 out of 27 lifts open on Wednesday, with many of the open lifts having about half of their runs available.

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“Warmer temperatures have presented us with a few challenges here in the early season, but our teams have taken advantage of optimal weather conditions as they occur to make snow and expand our terrain offerings and will continue to do so as conditions permit,” Whistler Blackcomb spokesperson Dane Gergovich said in an email to Global News.

“We are targeting an expansion of skiable terrain to 4,800 acres (or 58 per cent of total skiable terrain) and hope to achieve this in the coming days, weather and conditions dependent.”

He said they are ready to mobilize and create more snow at a moment’s notice.

On Christmas Day, the ski hill said on Facebook that it was hit with a pile of snow, though it admitted earlier in the week that the weather had made its operations particularly challenging the past week.

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“Our teams are stoked and working hard to get skiers, riders and sightseers safely up the mountains,” it said on Dec. 25.

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

Near Penticton, B.C., Apex Mountain Resort is seeing a slow start to the season, during a week that’s usually one of its busiest.

“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.

Meanwhile, skiers in Alberta are seeing better conditions.

Lake Louise Ski Resort said Wednesday it has received 13 cm of snow over the past week, and all lifts and 131 runs are currently open.

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— with files from Taya Fast

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