A Thunder Bay ski hill took advantage of the chillier weather earlier this week to put its snow-making equipment to work.

Loch Lomond Ski Area's operations manager said getting a head start on the snow serves an important purpose.

"The whole idea of the man-made snow is that, when we spread it out and flatten it and make it into a ski run, it's not just so you can ski on it,” said Brady Hammond.

Brady Hammond

Loch Lomond Ski Area operations manager Brady Hammond stands next to one of the company's 18 snow-making machines. (Adam Burns/CBC)

“[It's] so when the natural snow falls, it doesn't melt into the ground."

Hammond said the artificial snow is durable enough to withstand a rise of a few degrees, but "the thing that really worries us, and we watch [for], is the rain. That's what gets us a little bit antsy.

“If we wake up in the morning and it's raining, it's not a very pleasant day for us."

Hammond said Loch Lomond is “90 per cent” sure it will have one ski run, known as Lower Snow Bowl, open this weekend.

Loch Lomond Ski Area  operates 18 snow-making machines, and pumps 200 gallons of water per minute (about 750 litres) from three man-made ponds near the hill.