Mild weather brings shaky start to Yukon's winter tourism season
Cancelled sled dog tours, and a possible false start to ski season as Yukoners wait for the cold
Manuela Larsen, owner-operator of a sled dog outfitter in Whitehorse, is not yet anxious about her winter season — it's only November, after all — but she is noting that things seem a little delayed this year.
"We had to cancel a few bookings," she said. "I don't know what's going to happen, because we haven't had any real cold yet."
"It's getting later and later," she said. "They are nowhere near frozen like they used to be in the past."
She says last winter was stressful for her business, with just a "bare minimum of snow and cold."
Larsen says she was pleased to see some fresh snow fall this week around Whitehorse, but she'd prefer a serious cold snap. Her business relies on frozen rivers and lakes for trails.
"We don't need a whole lot of snow for sledding … but if there's no ice, there's nothing we can do."
Ski hill may shut down again
The milder weather this month has not been as big a problem at the Mount Sima ski hill, but the managers there are also hoping to see the mercury drop — at least a little bit.
The ski hill has been making snow since October, and opened to the public last weekend. It may have been a false start to the season.
"I believe this week looks like we might have to shut down again, because of the warm temperatures," said Cindy Chandler, the ski hill's general manager.
"Minus five, and anything below that, is perfect for us."
According to Environment Canada, daytime temperatures in Whitehorse will be hovering around the freezing point through the week. Colder weather is expected by the weekend.
Environment Canada's seasonal forecast for Yukon, however, predicts a slightly warmer-than-normal winter.
With files from Steve Hossack