Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for November 30, 2012

Cold snap delays Mount Sima opening by one week

Due to a severe cold front blanketing Whitehorse and surrounding area, the opening of Mount Sima’s Alpine Adventure Park has been delayed until next Friday.

By Marcel Vander Wier on November 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Due to a severe cold front blanketing Whitehorse and surrounding area, the opening of Mount Sima’s Alpine Adventure Park has been delayed until next Friday.

The ski hill was originally slated to open today.

A press release issued by Mount Sima late yesterday afternoon stated that “safety is our first priority at the hill and although we would like to open earlier, the weather conditions are dictating otherwise.”

Opening day has now been pushed to Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. This year, the ski hill will operate Friday to Monday.

“It’s really unfortunate,” Parker Hickey, general manager of Mount Sima told the Star shortly after the announcement.

“We’ve got really good conditions. We’ve got really good coverage on almost all of our trails, and we’re all ready to go.

“A lot of people are going to have to not be sick tomorrow.”

On Friday morning, temperatures were listed at -26 C in Whitehorse, with a windchill making it feel more like a bitter -36 C.

The windchill warnings were the main cause of concern, Hickey said yesterday.

“Even today, we didn’t send our workers up to the top. It was just too cold.”

Hickey said his staff is disappointed.

If the park had opened today, it would have been two weeks earlier than last year’s opening date of Dec. 15, and marked the first November opening in Hickey’s memory.

“Opening weekend is a big weekend because there’s a lot of hype for it,” he said.

“But we’ll still get that next weekend. We’ll still have our opening weekend, and it will probably be a little bit bigger and better than we’d hoped because we’ll have a little more time.”

While all the trails are currently groomed, snow is forecasted this week, which could make for fresh powder in time for next Friday’s opening.

“That’s a bonus,” Hickey said.

Mount Sima does not have a regulated temperature cutoff to close the park, but a number of factors play a role in determining whether the park remains open, including windchill and forecasted daily temperature highs.

Hickey said thermal inversions often occur at the hill, where temperatures at the top of Mount Sima are higher than at the bottom.

“We get that often in the winter, so people should always check,” he said. “We see it all the time up here, especially when it’s very cold.”

Hickey encouraged skiers and snowboarders to call the snow phone prior to planning a trip to the park for information on potential closures. That number is 667-7547 (667-SKIS).

It is updated at 7 a.m. every morning the park is scheduled to be open.

Mount Sima is located 12 kilometres south of downtown Whitehorse.

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