After opening for a brief, three-day period, the T-bars at Mount Cain had to stop spinning but staff and locals and hoping for more snow next month.
According to the board of directors’ chair David Mazzucchi, the hill opened with about two metres of snow on the upper mountain. However, recent heavy rain has removed the snow, and they will need another significant dump before they can open again.
“Nobody’s excited about it, but we’ve been here before,” said Mazzucchi. “It’s unfortunate but we’ll make the best of it and hope for more snow.”
A recent atmospheric river has been bringing lots of rain and warm temperatures to Vancouver Island, including Mount Washinton which as of Tuesday has a 44 cm base, with rain in the forecast until Thursday.
Mazzucchi adds that it is a bigger concern for Mount Cain because it is volunteer-run. Right now, he says they are looking at a loss for the season.
“Because we were open over Christmas, we’ve managed to retain our staff,” said Mazzucchi. “It would be nice to be open in the latter part of February, we do have two weeks where we’re open for spring break.
“If we could be open for then and we can manage to get our accommodations filled for that time, that would certainly help us to better financially this season.”
Mazzucchi adds it looks like the weather will be getting colder soon, and hopefully, that will also bring snow to the area.
He adds for now, they are working to get grants that will help them make improvements and improve skiing access.
“There’s money that’s on the table for climate change adaption plans,” said Mazzucchi. “The thought is maybe we could make some sort of road to get to the upper lift.”
He adds if the average member of the community wants to help keep them afloat, memberships can be purchased online for both individuals and families.
The season has also been a trying one for Mount Cain mechanically, with motors breaking on the lifts during the opening week. Despite this, he says they are staying optimistic as they hope for more snow.