Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

The return of the cold rejoices the ski resorts.

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At Wentworth Ski Resort in Nova Scotia, there is natural snow on the ground and the trees are white, but skiers are riding on artificial snow.

  • Julie Sicot (View profile)Julie Sicot

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Nova Scotia's ski resorts opened between Christmas and New Year's Day. Although they still attract skiers, natural snow is becoming increasingly rare. Weather conditions force areas to adapt.

Wentworth station near Truro opened on December 30. A date that moves back further and further each year.

The start of the season has really warmed up, explains Leslie Wilson, the general manager of the estate . We used to try to open before Christmas, but now it's at Christmas or just after Christmas and before New Year, things are changing.

To start the season, Nova Scotia's four alpine ski resorts rely on artificial snow.

By the end of November, we are ready to make snow. The temperatures need to drop to -5 degrees Celsius, we would even like -10, -15, adds Leslie Wilson who bought a new snow cannon this season.

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Leslie Wilson is the third generation of owners of the ski resort which has been open for more than 90 years.

Same story at the Martock ski resort, near Windsor, the closest to the Halifax Regional Municipality.

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Opening during the Christmas holidays is a wonderful bonus, as there are no guarantees with the climate here, says Andrew MacLean, who opened his station on December 26.

Natural snow is wonderful, but to be able to open and to have a regular season, you need artificial snow.

A quote from Andrew MacLean

The cold snap expected in the coming days with a spell of snow is therefore rejoicing ski resort managers.

The province's four alpine ski resorts, Cape Smokey and Ben Eoin in Cape Breton, and the ski areas of Martock and Wentworth, must therefore adapt to global warming, even if for the moment, winter activity is not called into question.

And, like all economic activities, inflation also weighs on the areas.

Our prices are increasing for everything related to maintenance, catering and staff, explains Leslie Wilson, who employs nearly 200 people to the winter season.

Despite everything, Nova Scotians remain attracted to board sports.

On weekends we can accommodate more than 2,000 people, says Andrew MacLean, the majority coming from the Halifax Regional Municipality. We have a large number of full season pass holders who sometimes come every day.

Resorts that push back from year to year opening now hope to be able to be open until the end of March, beginning of April.

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From this summer, the Wentworth ski lifts will operate for mountain bikers.

To maintain good performance, they also rely on development of new activities. The Wentworth station will open its mountain bike lifts for the first time this summer.

From this summer, we will therefore be a resort during the four seasons, indicates Leslie Wilson whose family is one of the owners of the estate for three generations.

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