Even without Mother Nature’s co-operation, Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area (HVHSA) will open for the season this weekend (December 5 and 6).
The opening is solely thanks to the company’s investment in snowmaking equipment and the hard work of its Outdoor Operations team.
“Our long-term investment in snowmaking equipment was made for exactly this reason,” said Interim General Manager, Bruce Howell, who took the reins of the company just under two weeks ago when former GM Tim Oliver took a position at Beaver Valley Ski Club. “It’s paying off now.”
HVHSA increased their snowmaking capacity again this season with the addition of snowmaking on the Lazy Lady and purchase of more moveable snow guns that can be positioned where needed.
Due to the lack of natural snow and warmer temperatures, snowmaking at the ski area has been primarily focused on one area – Fifth Avenue on the blue chair – with more runs and lifts to open as weather permits.
The lack of snow doesn’t mean that locals aren’t ready to get on the slopes, said Howell. “Our Christmas break and eight-week camps are filling quickly and we’ve had lots of calls in the past few weeks from people wondering when we’ll be open.”
Looking ahead into the season, the ski area will host its annual, family-friendly holiday events: the Torchlight Parade on Christmas Eve and early New Year’s Eve fireworks on December 31.
They’re looking forward to once again hosting a stop on Freestyle Skiing Ontario’s Timber Tour in January, with two days of slopestyle competition. Pro terrain park builder, Caleb Bosse, will once again be on hand to build top-notch features for the competition, and HVHSA’s terrain park staff are currently at a ParkScapers training course to up their knowledge of terrain park construction.
And off the hill, the Muskoka Ski Club – the organization that owns HVHSA – continues to grow its membership base. “We have a great mix of local and seasonal residents who call this club home in the winter,” said Howell. “It’s a wonderful place for kids and adults alike.”
Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area will be open December 5 and 6 with one lift and one run for the special lift ticket price of $11 per person. They will assess the weather after this weekend to determine if the slopes will be open the following weekend as well.