Extreme cold caused Canyon Ski Resort to close its hill for most of the week, but general manager David Martel said that could be “a bit of a blessing in disguise.”
The final preparations for the 2019 Canada Winter Games are underway at the venue, which will host a number of events.
“We’re able to get out and work on some of the runs we would typically have to work on after hours,” Martel said. “We’re getting super excited to make this all happen for the games. It’ll certainly be an exciting time here at Canyon.”
The hill was closed to the public Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday this week — it was only open Thursday for evening skiing. Martel said the resort will keep an eye on the weather, but skiers will be able to hit the slopes Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
“We are a weather-dependant sport, so it’s always a Catch-22 when it’s cold — the snow conditions are great, but people don’t always want to come out and bear the elements,” said Martel.
Martel said staff discuss closing the hill when it is around -30 C, due to safety risks for skiers and staff members.
“We have a lot of school groups during the week, so a lot of them do reschedule and will be put in for days in the following weeks. It’s a bit of a scheduling task to get them into other days,” he said.
While the weather is expected to get warmer in the coming days, Environment Canada still has an extreme cold warning in place for central Alberta.
These warnings are issued when cold temperatures or wind chill creates an elevated risk of frostbite and hypothermia.
Environment Canada suggests people should watch for shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes during the extreme cold warning.
Canyon Ski Resort isn’t the only place feeling the effects of the extreme cold. A skating party at Bower Ponds, which was scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, has been cancelled.