With all the fresh snow blanketing the lakecity and its surroundings in recent days, it’s hard not to be distracted by thoughts skiing.
Downhill skiers will be thrilled to hear Mt. Timothy Ski Area has set Dec. 13 and 14 as its opening weekend, with hopes of offering as many as 17 beginner and intermediate runs to patrons.
“It’s looking really good out there,” said Mt. Timothy on-site administration manager, Alisha Piccolo.
“The groomer is out setting the base as we speak.”
Piccolo estimates 60 cm of snow has already fallen on the local hill, located about 30 minutes east of Lac La Hache, with much more of the white stuff forecasted for the days to come.
As well as lots of snow, skiers will also be greeted with 45 thick, new cushion pads on the chairlift, made possible through an ongoing fundraiser.
Sponsors can make a $500 donation in exchange for an advertising space on the pads as well as get a receipt for tax purposes.
“We’re hoping to sell more and have new cushions from top to bottom,” Piccolo said.
There will also be a new manager in the kitchen and a new menu for the season, she said, noting there will be a few items available on opening weekend as the kitchen gets set up for full-time service over the holidays.
Beginning Dec. 20 Mt. Timothy will be open every day through until Jan. 4, excluding Christmas day.
This weekend Mt. Timothy is hosting a training weekend for its 23 full-time and part-time seasonal staff to prepare for opening day.
“We’re really excited for the season,” said Piccolo. “We’re looking forward to seeing familiar faces and new ones out enjoying the mountain.”
A little closer to home, the Williams Lake Cross-Country Ski Club is thrilled to announce that 15 kilometres out of a total of 28 have been groomed with tracks set on both sides and about another 20 km have at least single tracks at Bull Mountain.
Club communication co-ordinator Kirsty Gartshore reports the classic skiing is great with several of the groomers and die-hards trying it out.
“Skate skiing in the middle between the two sets of tracks is still a little rough but with a bit more snow to pack down this will improve,” she said.
About 60 people attended the open house held at the library last weekend with 64 skiers registering for a season’s pass and sharing new ideas for the winter ahead.
The club’s learn-to-ski children’s program Jackrabbits will get underway Sunday, Dec. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. and will run Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings until March.
Gartshore said an interesting inversion has been happening at Bull Mountain this week with warmer temperatures up at the hill in town offering great conditions for skiers.
“ I would encourage everyone to get out and get up there for some early season classic skiing! Conditions are often posted on our blog at http://wlccsc.blogspot.ca/.”