Thunder Bay

Extreme cold keeps Thunder Bay's skiers, outdoors enthusiasts inside

Extreme cold kept chairlifts from spinning for two days at Thunder Bay's alpine ski resorts.

Mount Baldy and Loch Lomond hope to re-open on Thursday

Cold weather has halted skiers from taking to the slopes at Mount Baldy in Thunder Bay, Ont., but operations manager Lyndon Letwin says the cold weather is great for snowmaking. (Mount Baldy Ski Area)

Extreme cold kept chairlifts from spinning for two days at Thunder Bay's alpine ski resorts.

Mount Baldy and Loch Lomond were both closed on Tuesday Dec. 26 and Wednesday Dec. 27. 

Both hills hoped to be open on the Wednesday, but cold weather kept them from selling lift tickets. The ski areas hope to re-open on Thursday.

"[It's] not good for the safety of our employees, safety of the skiers, and safety of the ski patrollers here on the hill," said Lyndon Letwin, the operations manager at Mount Baldy.

"[The cold] makes everything more complicated and a lot harder. It's easier for people to get injured, more difficult to get them off the hill."

The Christmas break is one of the busiest times of the year for ski hills, but opening in the cold just isn't worth it, he said.

"It's not an enjoyable [day] for our employees to be outside at minus 40 for extended periods of time."

Letwin said there is a silver lining to being closed to the public for a day or two. He said staff are still busy doing maintenance at the hill, while also making snow.

"Especially with the frigidly cold temperatures it makes our snowmaking much more efficient and we can just pump out more and more snow the colder it gets."

Kamview Nordic Centre and Lappe Ski Centre also cancelled races, and closed night skiing because of the temperatures.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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