Frigid weather puts freeze on N.B. ski hill attendance
Early start to ski season hampered by extreme cold and icy conditions
A recent stretch of frigid, icy weather in New Brunswick forced many skiers away from the province's slopes over the holidays, despite an earlier start to the season.
Poley Mountain ski resort near Sussex was closed on Monday because of the forecasted freezing rain and wet weather. The latest freezing rain event follows a string of storms and bitterly cold conditions that have kept all but the biggest ski enthusiasts indoors.
General manager Bill Anderson said the most dedicated skiers are showing up on even the worst days.
"Amazingly the snow and the skiing is so good that a few people do brave the weather," said Anderson.
"It's chilly but they can always come in and sit by the fireplace a few minutes and away they go again."
Sugarloaf Park in Campbellton opened its ski hills on Dec. 23, but couldn't take full advantage of the early opening, said park manager, Greg Dion.
"It's keeping people away, that's for sure," he said. "It's cold, it's bloody cold, and I guess you could say people are staying inside and keeping warm."
Dion said he is still looking on the bright side.
"We were open, so that was great that we were able to open before Christmas," he said. "We had some awesome days between Christmas and New Years, until the cold hit.
"So we're open and we're operating, so that's the positive out of it all."
Meanwhile, despite the power outages caused by the ice storm in New Brunswick last month, Crabbe Mountain near Fredericton sold approximately 1,000 more lift tickets compared to last December.