Saskatoon residents are waiting for the chance to race down Optimist Hill this winter season, but Mother Nature has put a pause on the fun.
“We’ve caught a few kids jumping the fence to get onto the snow already,” said Optimist Hill’s general manager Maxine Tebbe.
However, the lack of snow this November has caused the hill to push back its start date while it tries to create snow for eager skiers and tubers.
“With plus 11 degrees last weekend and plus two this weekend we might not be making snow during the day, but we are going to try to make it throughout the night, push through and get snow on the ground,” Tebbe said.
She said Optimist Hill began making snow on Nov. 6 last year.
“I remember coming out here to learn how to make snow and it was really not nice out at all, but there was already snow on the ground.”
By the Nov. 27, Optimist Hill was able to host its grand opening.
“It’s kind of the norm to not be open until December for some of the hills here.”
Tebbe said that at Optimist Hill, they are making real snow, not artificial, which can pose a tricky financial problem.
“We are using city water, so we are paying for every drop of water that we put on the hill. We want to make sure that the conditions are optimal so we are getting our bang for our buck.”
Two feet of snow is needed for the hill to open for skiers, and it could take up to three weeks to produce it without help from Mother Nature.
Optimist Hill is shooting for a grand opening date of Dec. 1.