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'It's awesome': Local ski hills open for season despite lack of snow in Edmonton

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The winter sport season got underway in Edmonton Saturday, despite a lack of snow on city streets.

Ski clubs worked around the clock to get ready for skiers and snowboarders on opening weekend.

"We opened at 9 a.m. The phone started ringing at 8," said Zoe Sloan, from the Edmonton Ski Club. "It's been numerous calls and emails and people stopping in with questions."

While there were lots of smiles on the hill Saturday, the above average temperatures and a lack of snowfall meant staff – and snow machines – have been working overtime to get the hill ready.

"Minus 4 and below is where we typically make snow," Sloan said. "We did have a cold snap in October where we made a whole bunch, so we just left it in a pile and it self-insulated so we didn't lose a whole lot of product."

While there's still lots of snow to blow, what was there was more than enough for folks eager to get back on the slopes.

"It's awesome," said skier Joshua Crosby. "All the runs aren't open, but who cares? You're out here, you're having fun. It's awesome and well appreciated."

At Snow Valley Ski Club, around 9 million gallons of water was turned into enough snow to open around 70 per cent of the runs and get lessons started up. Snow making will continue at night to finish up what's left.

"Everyone is just in a great mood because we're open. It's just the best time ever," said Tim Dea of Snow Valley Ski Club.

Rabbit Hill Snow Resort also opened Saturday, while the Sunridge Ski Area opens Sunday. 

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