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Castle Mountain rebounds after rocky start to ski season

Click to play video: 'Castle Mountain rebounds after rocky start to ski season'
Castle Mountain rebounds after rocky start to ski season
Alberta has had a couple of cold stretches, including recently. But overall, it has been an abnormally warm winter season, with little snow. Some ski hills have been using snow machines, others have had minor shut down periods. But as Brandon Cassidy reports, at least one resort is back on track and looking to finish the ski season strong. – Mar 8, 2024

Skiers and snowboarders are flocking back to Castle Mountain now, but Mother Nature had the local ski resort on its heels at the start of the season.

“It was a pretty grim start to the season, morale was down,” said Tahlia Spangen, a lift operator who works for the resort in her first season, originally from Australia. “There was a lot of chatter about if the season will last.”

The local ski resort is no stranger to a lack of snow or a fight with Mother Nature. Castle Mountain Sales and Marketing manager Cole Fawcett calls this type of year a “one in ten.”

“Castle has historically been impacted negatively, quite negatively in terms of snowfall,” he said. “And so, the resort made recent investments in snow-making machines … but Castle couldn’t always use them.”

Assistant Manager of Castle’s Maintenance Department, Jeremy Hargreaves said. “It was very difficult to continue making snow, the weather was very challenging … Our snowmakers have done very well to get us to this point.”

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“It wasn’t until the last week really when we had the last meter and a half of fresh snowfall that we knew we could turn off the snow machines this year,” said Hargreaves.

“We’re actually at about 95 per cent of snowfall as last year to the same date,” Fawcett said.

Click to play video: 'Castle Mountain gets a snowy head start to the ski season'
Castle Mountain gets a snowy head start to the ski season

Heading into the final weeks of operation, Castle Mountain has an air of excitement and relief.

“As we head down the home stretch, we’re feeling quite good,” Fawcett said.

“It’s looking amazing, and the morale is heightened, everyone is on a vibe,” explained Spangen. “It’s so good to be around and to see some smiling faces around castle.”

Spring passes are now available, with the end of the season marked for Sunday, April 7.

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