Edmonton Ski Hills is preparing to open for the season

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Edmonton’s ski hills are gearing up for next season, but cooler temperatures are what they need now.

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“The hill right now is kind of a combination of brown and white,” Rabbit Hill general manager Derek Look said Saturday when the height reached 8C.

Making snow requires it to be a bit cooler in the city and is a similar situation in Edmonton’s Snow Valley, with daytime highs last week of 9 C and 10 C and lows of -2 C and -5 C.

“We have started to make snow, but obviously we are on hiatus due to the good weather … we have a ton of snow made, but we still do not have enough to open,” said Tim Dae, Snow Valley marketing and communications manager.

Looking at next week’s forecast, temperatures are about to drop with highs in just single digits.

“We need this plus 11 things to get out of here, minus 11 or even minus 20 would be ideal at this point,” Look adds.

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Staff in both hills are excited for the upcoming season with fewer COVID-19 restrictions and both are participating in the provincial restriction waiver program.

Last year due to capacity limits, Snow Valley day tickets were in short supply or, in some cases, not offered at all when all of the hill programs had filled up.

But things look different for this year.

“We’re looking at the school book again, which is good … everyone here feels the same way, the feeling is that this is going to be a good season,” Dae said.

This year Snow Valley will have a Welcome to Winter event the first weekend in December and will bring back Fridays from the Servus Food Bank.

New to Rabbit Hill this year is a tube park, which is expected to open sometime in December with tube rides that can be booked online.

Look added that the ski staff are happy that people can come get a lift ticket and go riding whenever they want, and not just book online like they did last year.

To see what protocols exist for each ski slope, you can go to www.rabbithill.com and www.snowvalley.ca and read about any restrictions or recommendations before hitting the slopes.

Both hills are expected to be open around the third week of November.

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