Road To The Olympic Games

Olympics Winter

Olympic site gets snow trucked from afar

Persistent warm, wet weather is forcing organizers of the Vancouver Olympics to take even more drastic measures to prepare the Cypress Mountain snowboard and freestyle-skiing venue, trucking in snow from as far as two hours away.

Cypress Mountain still soggy

The persistent warm spell hitting B.C.'s South Coast is forcing Vancouver Olympic organizers to take even more drastic measures to prepare the Cypress Mountain snowboard and freestyle-skiing venue.

High temperatures and rain have melted much of the snow-pack at the North Shore mountain site. Technicians have been replacing that with snow from higher up the mountain and building up the runs with wood and hay.

Now a spokeswoman for the Vancouver organizing committee says VANOC is trucking in about three dozen loads of snow a day from as far away as Manning Park, more than two hours drive east of Vancouver.

VANOC's vice-president of communications Renée Smith-Valade said it was always part of the contingency plan to augment snow at the Olympic sites from outside sources, such as Mount Allison in Manning Park.

She said the measures are being taken to ensure there's enough snow to replenish the finish areas, enhance training runs and add snow to optimize TV shots.

The Mount Allison snow is only a small percentage of the total being used at Cypress, but it is making the venue look great, Smith-Valade said.

"It's beautifully white and clean and it looks great on television," she said.

Smith-Valade couldn't say how much the trucking of snow will cost, but that it should be covered by VANOC's contingency fund, because of unspent money in the snow removal budget.