After a promising start to the season, Quebec ski resorts are hoping to get through the difficult holiday season thanks to cold weather forecast in the coming days.
After a “very beautiful December” where the snow was “present,” the game was spoiled for many of them by incessant rain, shortly before Christmas, explains the Quebec Ski Resorts Association's director of communications and marketing, José. Kosun.
While 60 to 70% of the ski area is typically open at this time of year, the percentage was closer to 30 to 40%, depending on the resort, between Christmas and New Year's Day.
However, if some ski resorts are well equipped to make artificial snow, as in Bromont, Montérégie or Mont-Tremblant, in the Laurentians, others do not have the necessary equipment to make up for the lack of natural snow.
“In fact, thanks to the hard work of the operations team and the impressive fleet of snow cannons capable of operating in such conditions, the mountain currently offers 45 slopes with good sliding conditions on 4 slopes across 14 open lifts,” the company spokesperson confirmed. Mont Tremblant Ski Resort.
“It is the ski resorts that are less equipped to make snow that are affected, because we have not seen any significant snowfall in any of the areas at the moment,” confirms José Coson.
She points out that of the roughly $70 million the Quebec government invested in the province's ski resorts last year, 20% of that budget went to improving snow-making systems.
Gloomy atmosphere and cold weather ahead
Moreover, the gloomy atmosphere in the city has had an impact on traffic at the ski resorts, where some slopes are still open despite everything. “When we see the grass in front of our house, we think there is no need to skate, so we fight a little against this perception,” explains José Cosson.
At the majority of stations in Quebec, conditions are considered “springy,” but the picture may change soon. In fact, projected temperatures for the first days of 2024 are expected to be even colder, according to Environment Canada.
In Montreal, for example, maximum temperatures for next week will fluctuate between 2 and -5 degrees Celsius while the temperature will drop to -12 degrees Celsius. “Initially [de samedi]“Snow production has returned to the majority of the slopes, which will make it possible to cover the slopes and increase the skiing area day after day,” explains José Cosson.
In addition, ski resorts are increasingly investing in automated equipment, with buried piping systems, which allow them to create snow once conditions are right.
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