For ski bums and other outdoor winter enthusiasts, this winter's balmy weather has made it a bit tough to hit the slopes at the province's few ski hills.
Luckily, this weekend's cold snap has come at the perfect time for Dave Cashmore. Cashmore is the outside operations manager at Table Mountain regional park, the ski hill near North Battleford.
This weekend, he and his colleagues started the hill's night skiing program.
Saskatchewan Weekend host Eric Anderson made the trip up to Table Mountain to chat with Cashmore, and see what the year's been like for the ski hill.
"Actually it started off slow, but Christmas break was really good. We finally got opened on Dec. 19, and it's been fairly busy since then," Cashmore said.
He noted this year's meager snowfall hasn't been an issue at the hill.
"We make all of our own snow. We can't rely on mother nature to make enough snow for us. We start to make snow as soon as it gets cold enough."
Cashmore said they have a high-pressure water system at the base of the hill that pushes water up to the guns and creates snow. Then about 40 pole guns spread the snow out over the hill.
Cashmore said they try to make the slopes as interesting as they can.
"We have a variety of terrain, from the beginners to the more advanced years."
He said the crews that maintain the hill try to "spread it so we can get people started in the industry, and they can progress onto the mountains and try something more extreme."
Lack of mountains aside, Cashmore noted with a laugh that keeping a ski hill on the prairies comes with its own challenges.
"The first part is getting enough snow, getting enough cold weather to make the snow this year," he said. "The other part is basically, if people don`t see we have snow in town, they don't think we have any.
"Once they realize we're open, and everything, they come out and enjoy what we've done."
That enjoyment seems to have kept him going for the last 21 years, which is how long he's been working at the ski hill.
"I just was looking for a winter job, and I've stayed on for 21 years," Cashmore said.
"It's like a small family out here."