Tube park and ice wall part of fresh start for Edmonton Ski Club
‘Rather than just offering skiing and snowboarding, we’ve really focused on trying to offer different things'
Danielle Weiss points toward a clump of trees at the Edmonton Ski Club.
"We're standing in front of where the ice wall will be, if all goes well," says Weiss, volunteer coordinator with the Alpine Club of Canada - Edmonton Section.
The 10-by-six-metre climbing structure will accommodate up to six climbers at a time, she says.
"It's very fun. The ice wall would give people the opportunity to do it locally, to try it in their own backyard."
Weiss anticipates they'll start construction on the $100,000 project in mid-December with an eye to having it open in early January.
"There's a couple of loose ends we're tying up before we can start," says Adam Luciuk, general manager of the Edmonton Ski Club.
The ice wall is just one of the projects designed to offer "different outdoor recreation opportunities," says Luciuk, who was brought on to reopen the hill in 2019 after the club took a two-year hiatus due to financial difficulties.
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"So rather than just offering skiing and snowboarding, we've really focused on trying to offer different things for people to do in the outdoors," he says.
You can see more from the Edmonton Ski Club this week on Our Edmonton on Saturday at 10 a.m., Sunday at noon and 11 a.m. Monday on CBC TV and the CBC GEM.
The partnership with the Alpine Club, whose members offer skills training and ski-touring nights, summer mountain biking and the new tube park are examples of broadening the club to make it "self-sustaining," Luciuk says.
The club has also added amenities like a new warming hut and guest services building where patrons can buy lift tickets and snacks.
"There's so much community support for this place and being able to see that community support in getting people outdoors and creating a health gathering space is something really quite special," he says.
Mila Tulik, a 13-year-old ski racer, calls the club home.
"I've had a lot of fun here and made a lot of memories," she says. "I'm always excited to be here and ski with my friends".
"I think it's a great place for people to come and spend some time outside safely and just enjoy the outdoors".
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The Edmonton Ski Club isn't the only local hill where you can get some turns in this winter. Sunridge Ski Area, Snow Valley Ski Club and Rabbit Hill Snow Resort are also open with COVID-19 measures in place.