Ont. ski hill bringing summer activities back

Balmy weather in central Ontario has caused the province’s largest ski resort to rethink its December activities and reopen a roster of summer events.

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Blue Mountain will offer rock climbing, zip-lining, mini putt and a ropes course starting this Saturday.

The activities will remain running until temperatures drop to -2.2 C, the warmest possible conditions for staff to make artificial snow.

Public relations manager Tara Lovell says this year’s open date will be “a little bit later” than past ski seasons, and that the team had to “get creative” to entertain visitors, some of whom likely expected snow by mid-December.

“But it’s winter in Ontario, so it’s going to come,” Lovell told CTVNews.ca.

There’s no anticipated date for the slopes to open, but Blue Mountain’s snowmaking crews are watching the forecast “24 hours a day” in anticipation of colder conditions, Lovell said.

Blue Mountain’s latest open date on record was Dec. 26 in 2001.

“As soon as we have a snow-making window we can start blowing snow on the hill,” Lovell said.

A few other Ontario resorts have had better luck with the weather. Calabogie Peaks near Ottawa was able to cover three runs with man-made snow earlier this month. In Muskoka, Hidden Valley Ski Area opened on Dec. 5 but closed the following weekend. It’s scheduled to reopen Saturday.

Closer to Toronto, Dagmar Ski Resort in Ashburn remains closed due to the unseasonably warm weather

Blue Mountain still anticipates plenty of guests for the holidays, Lovell says, and the summer activities are a way to get people outside on the last warm days of the year.

The resort is still running its annual “candy cane scavenger hunt,” movie nights and wagon rides.

And despite the green scenery, Santa is still on site, Lovell said.

“Santa will be here, with or without snow,” she said.


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