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How long could the local ski hills stay open?

Cypress Mountain (March 18, 2016) (Source: cypressmountain.com)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Spring is almost here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a full day of skiing on one of the North Shore mountains.

But it turns out even a healthy helping of snow doesn’t guarantee a later-than-normal spring ski season.

“Usually, we don’t close because of snow conditions — it’s a number of people coming up sort of thing. We all know that Vancouver loves its beaches and patios and such, so that’s usually the case when we close sort of sort of thing,” says Joffrey Koeman with Cypress Mountain.

He expects to shut down in mid-April but admits you could easily hit the slopes into early June.

The 1998-99 season saw the mountain close in April and then re-open until June, with both the snow and interest there.

Koeman says despite snow levels, most people just don’t think about skiing once the weather warms up.

“You’ve got so much pent-up demand in November to get open for one or two runs, but when you’re 100 per cent open in the spring, it’s just a shame that more people don’t like to come up at that time. So maybe this is the spring when people will continue to come,” says Koeman.

If they do, the mountain will consider staying open beyond the expected mid-April close.

Meanwhile, the snow isn’t done falling for the year, says NEWS 1130 Meteorologist Russ Lacate.

“It’s certainly cold enough to keep making snow up on the mountains. And I wouldn’t be surprised by more flurries atop the peaks around seven days from now,” says Lacate.

“But the length of the spring skiing season depends on many other factors including the slope stability. Because no matter how much snow falls, it’s the freeze and the thaw cycle so common near the coast in the spring during that can lead to an enhanced threat of avalanches over time.”

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