The crew at Kimberley Alpine Resort are eagerly awaiting the day they turn on the snow guns to begin stockpiling the white stuff for the coming season.
VP of Marketing and Sales for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, the parent company of KAR, says they are just waiting for more consistently cool temperatures before snowmaking begins but so far, things are shaping up well.
“We do have a little snow up top,” Mosteller said. “But we like what is setting up right now. You want the ground to freeze first, so when the snow falls, you get a good base. When the ground is warm it doesn’t pack as well.”
Mosteller says the jet stream position bodes well for snow this year, the Farmer’s Almanac and Environment Canada both predict good moisture and lower temperatures for the coming winter.
And before the big natural snow arrives, KAR will be making snow.
“We’ll get going as soon as possible no matter what Mother Nature does,” Mosteller said. “We are waiting for consistent, colder temperatures at night. The system is tested and ready. We’ll start building piles, let the snow cure and then start moving it.
Opening day this year is scheduled for December 14 and KAR has a number of events planned throughout the year.
“There are so many young families in Kimberley right now — we want to focus on things families will enjoy,” Mosteller said. “We have an all new kids trail through the woods. But we can groom this trail so parents can go down it with their kids.”
More night events in the terrain park are also planned. There will also be more parties and bands in the Plaza.
“We are looking at a bunch of events to bring the Plaza to life.”
New this season will be Ski Dating nights, which will offer apres ski specials for a ski date.
There are also a number of race events planned for 2014. Mosteller gives credit to the local racing community for pursuing and hosting the events.
There are IPC NorAm races in February, Osisko Speed Camps and Super G for teenage ski racers and more.
Mosteller says it’s great to see these events and also great to see them use the Conference and Athlete Training Centre.
“Every community in B.C. dreams of having a facility like this, but you have to fill it. We are getting more events and the energy is starting to happen in the conference centre. The City of Kimberley, Tourism Kimberley and KAR are all really pushing to get more use of the facility.”
Also coming to Kimberley this year is the Jeep Junior Free Ski event, which travels to Kicking Horse, Fernie and Kimberley. Free skiing uses steep, natural terrain, that skiers use to show their skills, getting a little air and showcasing technique.
Mosteller says the great thing about this event is it gets passholders from other RCR resorts to experience KAR.
KAR has also invested in a new BR 350 Sno Cat, which Mosteller says is the latest and greatest in Cat technology.
“It can groom really steep slopes. This Cat can do the steep runs off the Easter Chair. It burns less fuel and grooms more terrain.”
All in all, lost of positives, Mosteller says. He also believes that the new Pacific Coastal flight direct from Victoria could send skiers from Vancouver Island to Kimberley.
“They do have Mt. Washington on the Island, but it takes a long time to get there and the weather can be iffy. In Kimberley you ski in the sunshine.”