February 19, 2015 5:26 pm
Updated: February 23, 2015 2:41 pm

Free skiing at Canada Olympic Park with a Castle Mountain pass

The ski and snowboard hill at WinSport¹s Canada Olympic Park on Feb. 19, 2015.

Kristen Wynne / WinSport
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CALGARY – If you were disappointed to hear Castle Mountain Resort closed for the season on Monday, a free trip to Canada Olympic Park (COP) might lift your spirits.

Castle Mountain Pass Holders can ski or snowboard at WinSport’s COP for free for the rest of the season, the company announced Thursday. The season typically extends into mid-April, but is weather-dependent.

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High temperatures and a lack of snow in the reason forced the early closure of Castle Mountain, which typically sees a yearly snowfall of 910 cm, but has only seen 264 cm for the 2014-2015 season so far.

Several mountains in British Columbia have also been affected by the warm temperatures: Mount SeymourGrouse Mountain and Cypress Mountain were all on standby earlier this week as they waited for more snow to fall.

But that’s not the case at COP, 15 minutes from downtown Calgary – it  relies on snowmaking equipment.

“We’ve had a great season here so far with many days of mild temperatures and we’re currently the only spot in Calgary with snow,” said WinSport spokesperson Kristen Wynne.

And there are other mountains in B.C. that are doing well despite the melting temperatures: Panorama Mountain Resort saw 28 per cent growth in visitors from the U.K., Australia and New Zealand this season, in addition to an increase of 5 per cent in overnight bookings.

“Panorama has positioned itself well for this season with their millions of dollars invested in snow making equipment. They are hosting the International Paralympic World Cup next month, so conditions need to be good,” said spokesperson Kim Logan in an email to Global News.

Panorama is about 300 km southwest of Calgary along the Powder Highway.

Panorama Mountain Resort on Feb. 16, 2015.

Panorama Mountain Resort

 

© 2015 Shaw Media

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