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'Feels like winter’ at Martock: Nova Scotia ski hills open for season after slight delay


MARTOCK- Thousands of Nova Scotians will likely hit the slopes this weekend, catching the first time all three major ski hills are open this year.

Ski Wentworth, between Oxford and Truro, opened on Thursday, joining the season with Ski Martock, just outside of Windsor and Cape Breton’s Ski Ben Eoin. Both opened Jan.1.

“We traditionally open in December. Last year we opened the middle of the month, two year’s prior we opened on the 23rd,” Ski Martock’s operations manager, Andy MacLean said Thursday.

“[It’s] a little bit late, but really we’re talking a week.”

Although 2014’s December was just as bare in terms of natural snow as 2015, it was cold enough to make the white stuff. MacLean said the warm temperatures last month prevented them from creating enough to open earlier.

Luckily the temperatures dropped right after Christmas and Martock was able to make enough snow on top of what fell before New Year’s Eve to take advantage of the last holiday weekend, MacLean said.

“It looks like winter here, feels like winter,” MacLean said.

“The machine-made snow is the bread and butter that’s going to cover the hill and is more durable.”

Opening weekend saw thousands of skiers and snowboarders at Martock, MacLean said, with the main trail open first, the second planned for the weekend, and half of the bunny hill open featuring an easier “magic carpet” conveyor belt replacing the tow rope.

In his 31 years at Martock, MacLean said he’s seen a whole range of weather, including February’s where the hill was just a bit of white snow up the middle.

“I’m not ready to say that winter’s shifting in that direction, but if it is a shift we plan to make changes to adjust,” MacLean said.

Leslie Wilson, Ski Wentworth general manager, also said they usually like to open before Christmas but the high temperatures worked against them.

“We have been noticing … it seems to be getting a little bit later,” Wilson said.

Wentworth is planning to stay open until this first weekend of April, and Wilson said every year it seems like people enjoy skiing longer into the spring.

 

 

Ski Wentworth, between Oxford and Truro, opened on Thursday, joining the season with Ski Martock, just outside of Windsor and Cape Breton’s Ski Ben Eoin. Both opened Jan.1.

“We traditionally open in December. Last year we opened the middle of the month, two year’s prior we opened on the 23rd,” Ski Martock’s operations manager, Andy MacLean said Thursday.

“[It’s] a little bit late, but really we’re talking a week.”

Although 2014’s December was just as bare in terms of natural snow as 2015, it was cold enough to make the white stuff. MacLean said the warm temperatures last month prevented them from creating enough to open earlier.

Luckily the temperatures dropped right after Christmas and Martock was able to make enough snow on top of what fell before New Year’s Eve to take advantage of the last holiday weekend, MacLean said.

“It looks like winter here, feels like winter,” MacLean said.

“The machine-made snow is the bread and butter that’s going to cover the hill and is more durable.”

Opening weekend saw thousands of skiers and snowboarders at Martock, MacLean said, with the main trail open first, the second planned for the weekend, and half of the bunny hill open featuring an easier “magic carpet” conveyor belt replacing the tow rope.

In his 31 years at Martock, MacLean said he’s seen a whole range of weather, including February’s where the hill was just a bit of white snow up the middle.

“I’m not ready to say that winter’s shifting in that direction, but if it is a shift we plan to make changes to adjust,” MacLean said.

Leslie Wilson, Ski Wentworth general manager, also said they usually like to open before Christmas but the high temperatures worked against them.

“We have been noticing … it seems to be getting a little bit later,” Wilson said.

Wentworth is planning to stay open until this first weekend of April, and Wilson said every year it seems like people enjoy skiing longer into the spring.

 

 

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