Ski hills need more snow

Colton Davies

Ski season is right around the corner in the South Okanagan. But there’s one problem - there isn’t enough snow on the mountains yet.

Warmer-than-usual conditions that recently hit the region have meant less snow has fallen on the hills than expected for this time of year.

Staff at Apex Mountain and Mount Baldy both reported their mountain bases as having 50 centimetres of snow on Thursday, respectively.

Apex was forced to push back their public opening date on their ski hill to December 9th, after originally planning to open on December 2nd.

Apex General Manager James Shalman said the concern is that large drainage ditches on the mountain need to be covered with more snow before it’s safe to ski.

He noted the large ditches are due to Apex Mountain being as steep as it is.

"It's just not safe for us to open the mountain, there's just way too many hazards out there," Shalman said.

"We need about another 15 centimetres of snow... We're set to have a really good season, the base is solid. But we just need a little bit more snow in order to safely open the mountain."

Mount Baldy, meanwhile, has been planning to open to the public on December 8th, which hasn’t changed.

Baldy General manager Andy Foster echoed the need for more snow.

"The forecast is calling for about 30 centimetres of snow (here) over the next three days, which would put us in a really strong position," he said.

"We set Dec. 8th saying weather-dependent. And we're happy that it looks like we chose right, and we hope we're proved right."

Further north, both Big White and Silver Star are already open for the season.

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