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Sunshine Village, Nakiska ski hills to open this weekend

Alberta ski season kicks off despite non-cooperative weather
WATCH: While many runs are still in need of some snow, people are still taking advantage on opening weekend at Calgary-area ski hills. Adam MacVicar reports.

A dusting of snow in Calgary may have some mountain lovers thinking about dusting off their ski and snowboard gear and if so, they’re in luck.

Sunshine Village and Nakiska Ski Area will be opening for the season on Friday, Nov 9.

“The conditions are looking good,” Sunshine communications and brand manager Kendra Scurfield said Tuesday.

“We have a base of around 60 centimetres, a bit more, and more snow is expected. Our team has been working really hard to pack down all the snow that we can so that we can open as much terrain as possible.”

Not every run will be open, but Scurfield said Strawberry Run, as well as the hotel and some food and drink services, will be available.

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Sunshine will also offer free skiing for all veterans and military personnel as a way to say “thank you” over the Remembrance Day weekend.

Nakiska also announced Tuesday it would be opening with “early season conditions” on Friday.

“Given Nakiska’s location, Calgary’s closest mountain, you can work in the morning and make first turns in the afternoon this Friday,” Matt Mosteller said.

The ski resort said in a news release it would stay open through weekends until the hill’s official opening on Nov. 30, when the runs will be open seven days a week.

Nakiska said in a news release it would stay open through weekends until the hill’s official opening on Nov. 30, when the runs will be open seven days a week. It will open at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

The hill at Sunshine will open Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., with the gondola operating 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Scurfield said there will be parking at Sunshine Village, adding skiers and snowboarders can catch a shuttle to the hill from Banff at several locations throughout the town.

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Meanwhile, closer to Calgary, crews have been working around the clock at WinSport to get the hill ready for their opening day on November 10.

According to WinSport officials, the weather hasn’t been cooperative. Typically, temperatures around -5C are needed to make snow.

“We didn’t really think we were going to be able open this weekend,” WinSport communications specialist Leighton Klassen said. “But as we know, Mother Nature changes very quickly and it did allow us to make a lot of snow this week.”

The Legacy Chair will be running starting Saturday, allowing skiers and riders to use the west side and beginner area of the hill.

Other areas of the hill are expected to be opened later in the month.