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Local ski hill opens early for the season thanks to recent winter weather
Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton
Published Saturday, November 10, 2012 4:03PM MST
Last Updated Saturday, November 10, 2012 6:30PM MST
While most Edmontonians grumble over poor driving conditions caused by recent snowfall, some local skiers and snowboarders are rejoicing.
The recent weather has made for perfect early-season snow conditions for Sunridge Ski Area, where a number of people came out to ski and snowboard as the hills opened up early for the season on Saturday.
“It’s November 10 and it’s already looking like middle of December,” said Harold Weissenborn, Sunridge’s general manager.
“I would guess that we’ve got at least as much natural snow as we had all of last year. It’s fantastic.”
Weissenborn said the cold temperatures and recent snowfall has allowed Sunridge to fire up their snowmaking equipment earlier than usual, creating perfect early-season snow conditions.
This is the earliest opening day of the season for Sunridge in years, with many hills operational as of Saturday.
“Last year it was December before we had that many runs open so we’re way ahead of schedule,” Weissenborn said.
He says while most drivers complain about the snow, most of Sunridge’s customers saw it as a sign that the season would be starting soon.
“Everyone else curses at it when you’re driving around and stuff except for the people who come out here. They can’t wait. The phone has just been going off the hook the past week, ‘are you open, are you open?’” Weissenborn said. “There’s definitely some enthusiasm for winter.”
Jerrett Huchings has been coming to Sunridge for more than 30 years.
He decided to make use of the snow and take his family out to ski and snowboard on Saturday.
“It’s the earliest I ever remember it being open for sure,” Huchings said.
“We plan on doing this all weekend.”
Locally, Snow Valley and Rabbit Hill Snow Resort haven't yet officially opened for the season.
Snow Valley expects to open for the season in mid-November and Rabbit Hill will open on Nov. 16, however Rabbit Hill will be making use of the recent snow dump by being open this weekend for a special “Bonus Weekend” before closing again until the official opening.