Cape Breton Regional Municpality hoards snow for months in order to hold snowboard event

The plan is to build a nine meter snowboard run, with a rail feature, on a grassy slope that runs from the Esplanade down to a parking lot on the waterfront. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has been piling up the snow on the slope since the new year.

Organizers keeping their fingers crossed that it won't rain

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has been piling up the snow on the slope since the new year. (Holly Connors/CBC)

The organizers of a snowboard event planned for Saturday on the Sydney waterfront say they're optimistic it will go ahead, despite the recent lack of snow.

The now ironically named White Out Urban Snowboard Competition is being hosted by the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and Ollie Around, a skate, snow and surf shop.

"I had no expectation that we'd be worried about snow, that's for sure, especially after last winter," said Joe Costello, CBRM recreation program coordinator. 

The plan is to build a 9-meter snowboard run, with a rail feature, on a grassy slope that runs from the Esplanade down to a parking lot on the waterfront.

'Pretty substantial amount of snow'

CBRM has been piling up the snow on the slope since the new year.

"It's a pretty substantial amount of snow when you look at it ... but when you actually head down to the site and see what we've stockpiled, you'll take a look at it and be like, 'wow, I didn't realise that much snow could build up in one lot," said Costello.

Ryan Mansfield, owner of Ollie Around, says he's also counting on gathering snow from local ice rinks.

"It's just fresh and wet so it's nice and fast, and nice and packable. It will make for great conditions on our little slope," said Mansfield.

In the meantime, Mansfield says he's "praying that it doesn't rain."

Potential back-up plan

Costello says he's been in discussions with Ski Ben Eoin about potential back-up plans.

"We've talked about making snow on site, or making snow at Ski Ben Eoin, [but] the temperatures haven't really been conducive to that," he said.

"If worse came to worse, they've also extended the chance that we could move everything out there."

Costello says he remains hopeful the snow will stay.

At least one element has already been canceled — there'll be no outdoor skating rink.

Costello says the sledding hill will depend on how much snow is left to spread around.

The goal is to have the snowboard slope ready for trial runs by Friday afternoon.

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