Smokey Community Centre – Ski Cape Smokey 2012 Season
Closed for season: Sunday, March 18/2012
Glorie Anne MacDougall – “Thanks for everything again this year!!
Look forward to another exciting year to come!! Have to say I am gong to miss my ski hill family:)
Until we meet again, Have a great spring/summer!!
Thanks again to all the volunteers you will never know how much you are appreciated!!!”
Ski Cape Smokey ended its season on a high note Sunday after a
successful March break week. The ski hill, which boasts the highest vertical drop
in the Maritimes, was only forced to close one day last week, on Thursday,
due to inclement weather which brought a mixture of snow, freezing rain and high winds.
Larry Dauphinee, chair of the Ski Cape Smokey Society, said there were more than
120 skiers using three runs at the hill on Sunday.
Approximately 150 people came out Saturday, he said.
“It’s been phenomenal. It was one of our best March breaks ever,”
Dauphinee said from Ski Cape Smokey on Sunday.
“We had great conditions all week. We only missed one day on Thursday
because of the weather forecast, and even then we could have probably
stayed open but we decided to give us all a break.”
The hill is provincially owned but is currently operated by the non-profit society.
This was the third year in a row the hill has opened after a lengthy closure.
Like last year, only the surface lift has been in operation, giving access
to half of the hill. He said the numbers reached expectations since the
ski hill only has one lift that brings skiers up the mountain to the
150-metre height. “One of the great things with the numbers that we
have is everyone has lots of room on the hill to ski. Crowding is not an issue at all.”
The season started very late for Ski Cape Smokey on Feb. 24,
after a significant snowfall allowed volunteers to properly groom the hill.
The lack of snowstorms this winter made it difficult for the society to set an
opening date. For a time, operation of the ski hill was in doubt because of the cost of insurance.
Dauphinee said its insurer gave the society a good price on insurance,
allowing the ski hill to operate for 16 days.
While the hill is equipped with snow guns to produce artificial snow,
they are expensive to use, he said. As a result, the snow-making equipment sits idle.
But the novelty of operating solely on a natural base has had its benefits.
Dauphinee said people from other areas of the province, particularly Halifax,
have remarked on the “beautiful” conditions. “Most people aren’t used to seeing
that real snow anymore. Everyone is skiing on artificial, so it’s a little bit different
when you come to a hill that’s got 100 per cent natural snow.
The biggest thing is you don’t have the ice that you have at most other hills.”
The snow showed the first signs of deterioration Sunday as the
temperature climbed to 12 C in the afternoon.
There were a few small pools of water at the bottom of the slope.
Dauphinee said the society is “in the black” with the ski hill making
enough money this season to open again next year if it
receives co-operation from Mother Nature.