Marble Mountain making the most of warm temperatures

Warm temperatures and a lot of rain have made this winter a real challenge for the Marble Mountain ski hill in Corner Brook but they're making the best of it.
Despite a delayed start to the season, Marble Mountain's general manager, Chris Beckett said crews did an excellent job keeping the slopes in good shape. (Zach Goudie/Twitter)

It's not easy to operate a ski hill in Newfoundland — and waiting for the perfect weather is next to impossible.

The freeze and thaw, along with a lot of rain in February, has made this winter a real challenge for the Marble Mountain ski hill in Corner Brook.

General manager Chris Beckett admits it's been an uphill battle, but they're making the best of it.

"It's a lot of work, it's a team effort to get everything up an going at the beginning of the year," Beckett told CBC's Corner Brook Morning Show. 

"It's hard work making snow in Newfoundland with all the variables that we're challenged with. The wind, the humidity, we live right next to the ocean. But once we get the snow made and we get open, then it's maintaining what we have — and that takes a lot of work from our grooming operations overnight to what happens during the day."

Carnival events

The Corner Brook Winter Carnival is underway and Marble Mountain plays host to many of the events.

Despite the recent warm weather, Beckettsaid the lower mountain was able to open Friday morning and some races planned for the day were a go.

"Old Sam race is going to go ahead today, the 53rd Old Sam Race ... we're excited to be able to open today and host that race," he said.

As part of CBC's #seeyouhere campaign, the Corner Brook Morning Show broadcast live from the ski hill and Here & Now has also taken part in many aspects of the carnival.

Snow buffer

Beckett said they were fortunate to have a slight snowfall Wednesday night, and remaining closed on Thursday ensured that the slopes weren't torn up.

"It would have meant that all that fresh snow that we received two nights ago would have been moved off the surface … and that wouldn't have been there to absorb all that moisture that fell in rain."

"It would have melted our snow pack much more than it had, so it's kind of like a little buffer."

Full schedule

After a delayed start to the season, Beckett said crews have done an excellent job keeping the mountain in good shape, and that the man-made snow earlier in the season was key.

According to Beckett, the remainder of the season is jam-packed with events.

He said there are things planned for St. Patrick's Day, with The Slush Cup and the Race on the Rock Snowmobile Races planned for the beginning of April.

"It doesn't stop until April so we're full bore, we're excited … we didn't lose as much snow as we thought, and I think there's actually some snow in the forecast coming up next week, which is even more exciting."