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Edmonton ski hills still green, in need of cooler temperatures to open

None of Edmonton's four ski clubs have a definitive opening date thanks to the unseasonably warm temperatures.

All are waiting for temperatures to drop so they can make more snow. Those running the clubs said the temperature needs to be at least -5 C for a sustained period of time, about five or six hours, to make snow.

Only twice in November have temperatures reached -4 C, according to data from Environment and Climate Change Canada's Blatchford weather station.

"That's sort of part of the art and science of making snow: Is it worth firing [the machines] up just to get a little snow?" Snow Valley Ski Club's Tim Dea told CTV News Edmonton.

"I mean, -20 C would be great," added Rabbit Hill Snow Resort's general manager Derek Look. "But we'll take anything at this point."

The resort is about two weeks behind on snow making.

Grass was still visible Tuesday at Look's ski club and the others in the city.

Dea is hoping the long-term forecast – which predicts temperatures falling to about -7 C by the middle of next week – proves true.

"I'm being optimistic. I think the middle of next week, but you know what, the absolute for sure is when we start turning the lifts. So that's as accurate as I can get."

During the time Dea has been with Snow Valley, the latest the club has opened was Dec. 2.

However, he does not expect the season to start so late as to affect the annual Welcome to Winter event Dec. 1-3.

Sunridge Ski Area and Edmonton Ski Club are also making snow when possible.

Sunridge is holding off on declaring an opening date; Edmonton Ski Club is contemplating pushing back a projected opening date from Nov. 24 to Dec. 1. General manager Zoe Sloan said the club wants to avoid rescheduling lessons and programs.

If the conditions continue, Look is considering opening the resort with fewer runs than usual.

As Dea put it, "We're sort of in a hurry up and wait mode."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nav Sangha and Galen McDougall Top Stories

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