Open for busi­ness

Ski Cape Smokey wel­com­ing all skiers, snow­board­ers

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS | NORTHSIDE/CAPE BRETON - BY JULIE COLLINS jcollins@cb­post.com

“A lot of peo­ple don’t re­al­ize what it’s like un­til they get here,” said Kevin Dauphi­nee, de­scrib­ing the view from the top of Smokey.

“It’ll take your breath away from the mo­ment you take the turns up Smokey Moun­tain on the Cabot Trail, you will start to re­al­ize what a beau­ti­ful part of the is­land this is for sure.”

Ski Cape Smokey opened for the sea­son last week­end, said Dauphi­nee, a long­time vol­un­teer main­te­nance su­per­vi­sor and one of this hill’s most stead­fast am­bas­sadors.

“When you get on the Poma lift, you can look back and the view of Ingonish Har­bour, the beach, Keltic Lodge and then North Ingonish, it is un­be­liev­able. If you walk up to the top of the moun­tain (which isn’t ac­ces­si­ble by the Poma) it will blow you away even more — you feel like you are on top of the world. It’s truly amaz­ing.”

Even though there wasn’t much no­tice, last week­end’s open­ing went smoothly, ac­cord­ing to Dauphi­nee.

“Be­cause it was last minute and was only for Satur­day and Sun­day, we didn’t fig­ure to have many peo­ple. But the first day we had a few groups from Syd­ney and the se­cond day we had some peo­ple from Syd­ney and Bad­deck, and some folks from Mar­tock who didn’t know we were open. They had their snow­boards with them and they ab­so­lutely loved it.

They fell in love with the hill and said they can’t wait to come back.”

He noted that the snow the area re­ceived over the last few days is go­ing to help build a good base.

“Right now we have about a three to four-foot hard-packed, well-groomed base and the up­com­ing fore­cast this week should help as well.”

The skill hill will be open Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Later in the sea­son the hill will stay open un­til 4:30 p.m.

Nat­u­rally Ac­tive for Life Vic­to­ria County is spon­sor­ing its an­nual open house on the week­end with two-for-one ski­ing on Fri­day and free lift passes and rentals (while sup­plies last) on Satur­day.

“We’ve been do­ing the open house the past two or three years and it’s been go­ing over well. We picked up a lot of new skiers and hope­fully it will be the same for the week­end.”

The vol­un­teers aren’t mak­ing any snow at the mo­ment, which is a big plus for the hill.

“Of­ten off to the sides of the runs skiers hit na­ture’s fluffy pow­der. We also leave some runs at the top that we don’t groom so peo­ple can grab some pow­der,” Dauphi­nee said.

“The snow con­di­tions are amaz­ing and the peo­ple here are what make this trip worth it. Our vol­un­teers spend count­less hours on the hill, but we are here be­cause we want to be here and we want the hill to re­main open and vi­able.”

There are ski rentals avail­able and this week­end there will be a full menu avail­able in the cafe­te­ria. The bar will be open as well.

Along with the reg­u­lar week­end hours, Ski Cape Smokey will be open on Fam­ily Day, Mon­day, Feb. 20 and for the week of March break.

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As seen in this re­cent photo, the runs at Ski Cape Smokey in Ingonish are ready to welcome skiers and snow­board­ers on Fri­day for the first full week­end of the sea­son.

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