Edmonton-area ski hills open for the season

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WATCH ABOVE: Snow Valley, Sunridge and Rabbit Hill are all open to the public on Friday. – Nov 15, 2019

While some may not have enjoyed last weekend’s cold snap, it was the driver that helped a local ski hill open for the season.

The first chair went up the hill at Snow Valley at 9 a.m. Friday.

READ MORE: Over 360 crashes in Edmonton over snowy weekend

Richard Larson, 75, was one of the first skiers up the hill. He’s been a regular at Snow Valley for 20 years.

“It’s well run, the snow coverage is excellent, the grooming is excellent. And it’s a good place for us old people to come,” he said with a laugh.

Tim Dea with Snow Valley said he expects upwards of 1,000 people to take in opening day, with the hill getting busier around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.

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“We’re just excited about the season and getting underway,” he said Friday morning.

“Snow conditions are excellent. With the warm weather, it’s going to be beautiful out. Snow making went amazing with the cold snap we had last weekend and so we were able to finish up and make enough snow to open all four lifts.”

READ MORE: Early season snowfall a blessing for ski hills, Calgary businesses

Dea said the quad chair, triple chair and two carpets are up and running. It’s welcome news to those at the hill, after experiencing issues with the quad chair last season.

“We got it all fixed and everything is running. We’ve got some new programs, some new events.”

Starting next Friday, the hill is holding “Food Bank Friday.” Dea said skiers and snowboarders who bring a donation for the food bank will be allowed to ride the hill for $10 after 3 p.m.

READ MORE: Lake Louise to open Nov. 1 for ski season

Another new event this season is Thirsty Thursdays.

“Folks can come and sample on Thursday evenings some of the local breweries and some of their samplings. That’s going to start in December.”

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Sunridge Ski Area in northeast Edmonton also opens Friday night, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Rabbit Hill Snow Resort opens for the season Friday at 4 p.m.

For more information about opening times and lift ticket prices, visit Snow Valley’s website.