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Castle Mountain gives skiers and snowboarders a sneak peek

Click to play video: 'Sneak peek at Castle Mountain ski resort' Sneak peek at Castle Mountain ski resort
Castle Mountain ski resort in southern Alberta opened six trails for a sneak peek this weekend. As Sarah Komadina reports, all 70 trails will be open on Friday. – Dec 12, 2016

Castle Mountain ski resort was able to open their trails a week early this year because of excellent snow conditions.

The mountain was set to open Dec. 16, but received more than 200 cm of snow, creating ideal conditions for skiers and snowboarders.

The resort opened six trails on Saturday with the Huckleberry Chair, Green Chair and the Buckaroo Magic Carpet.

“We prayed to Ullr [the god of snow] and it started to snow in the middle of it.” general manager Brad Brush said.
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READ MORE: Castle Mountain Resort hopes to rebound from ski season cut short

Jordan Pearce came from Australia to experience a Canadian winter.

“It was like 35 C… here it’s like -35 C,” Pearce said.

He will be working at the resort for the time first time this year.

“We are doing an internship here for snowboarding and just training up the next two weeks and then we do our exam.”

READ MORE: Castle Mountain could face two consecutive short seasons

About 30 of the 160 employees that work at the mountain are from the U.K. or Australia. Veteran employees worked this weekend, and the new ones will be trained over the next week.

The general manager says this sneak peek weekend not only gives new snowboarders a chance to check out the hill, but also brings back the lifers so they can get prepared for the winter.

“It just gives people confidence the snow is here, they get their new equipment that they want to get out… and then prepare their old equipment. They just want to get out and ski.”

All 70 trails will be open Friday.

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