Hemlock Resort undertook hill grooming over the summer to allow for earlier opening if the snow takes its time in coming.
Samuel Hicks, director of operations and human resources manager, says staff are fully trained and now they are just waiting on a few good snowfalls before starting up.
“We’re ready to open. We’ve been ready since December 1,” Hicks told The Observer Friday.
Due to late snowfalls, local hills did not open until January 18 last season. Staff at the local hill are hoping the flurries come sooner and harder this year. But they do not need to wait for as much snow this year as they did last year. Hemlock’s owners invested significant funds this year to do some summer grooming. Workers bulldozed the scraggly growth around the yellow chair and a large portion of the red chair.
Hicks explains that the summer grooming should help the hill to open sooner because less snow is required on a summer-groomed hill to make a good run. It requires a “much smaller snowpack” for great ski conditions.
“This year the ownership group committed a lot of money to do the summer grooming,” says Hicks.
It did start to snow at Hemlock Thursday December 18 and flurries continued through the weekend before the rain came. As of Monday morning, there was 10 centimetres at the base and 30-40 cm at the top. They need approximately 50 cm at the base to open.
“We’re all in the hands of Mother Nature,” Hicks remarks.
As for the season, Hicks is excited the mountain is offering its popular ladies and family deals again. Back by popular demand, Hemlock is offering free skiing for women every Thursday starting January 8. They also have a deal for families of four every Friday starting January 9. For all the up-to-date information and offers, check out their website at www.hemlockresort.ca.