With nearly 20 centimetres of snowfall this week, Asessippi Ski Area & Resort is preparing for its annual Slush Cup competition at the end of the month.
The ski hill near Russell, Manitoba closed two weeks ahead of schedule last year, but anticipates to keep things going until Sunday, March 31.
“It was a similar story for most of the ski areas right across western Canada, this season they hope the fresh snow will keep visits strong over the spring break and also drive more season pass sales,” said Roz Pulo, the resort’s director of marketing.
The Banff Ice Big Air competition was held last Saturday at the hill, and attracted skiers and snowboarders from across Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Asessippi Ski Area and Resort is now open for the season, albeit in gradual stages.
The ski hill just west of Inglis, Manitoba had a few runs open last Thursday, but by Sunday there were 12 runs groomed and open. More runs are scheduled to open this week as more snow continues to fall.
Asessippi is kicking off its season with the Get Amped traditional freestyle competition. Thirty-two competitors will enjoy mild temperatures on the hill, as they show off their skiing and snowboarding maneuvers.
The resort is open daily over the holidays, except on Christmas Day. Snow conditions and operating hours can be found by visiting Asessippi.com.
Asessippi Ski Area & Resort is reporting a successful long weekend after drawing an estimated 4,500 people out to the ski slopes February 10-13.
The relatively new mid-February holiday in Manitoba and Saskatchewan has been good for business.
“The vibe is somehow different during the winter break, more relaxed and people just smiling,” said Roz Pulo, director of marketing for the resort.
Last Saturday, 77 athletes competed for $4,000 in cash in the Rail Wars with Big Air event.
“It was not surprising the event attracted riders and freestyle skiers from Whistler, Banff, Edmonton as well as all areas of Manitoba and Saskatchewan,” Pulo said.
The ski hill extended its hours to accommodate the additional visitors and ended Sunday night with a spectacular fireworks display. On Monday, the focus was on families, with face painting activities and indoor movies for the kids.
“The temperatures were mild this year and the excellent snow conditions seemed to draw a really good crowd, reporting an increase of almost 20% over last season.”
Asessippi Resort is located approximately four hours northwest of Winnipeg near the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border.
Those wanting to learn how to ski or snowboard for the new year likely already have January 15 marked on their calendars. That’s Provincial Learn to Ski and Snowboard Day at all participating Manitoba ski resorts.
Seven of the largest ski and snowboard areas in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have come together for the one-day event. And with the mild temperatures expected to stick around for a while, the weather should make for ideal conditions on the slopes late next week.
“Most of the ski resorts here have very good snow making systems and we are open for winter fun,” said Roz Pulo, director of marketing at Asessippi Ski Area & Resort.
Other participating locations, besides Asessippi, include Holiday Mountain, Mission Ridge, Stony Mountain, Table Mountain, Thunderhill Ski Club and Wapiti Ski Area.
Asessippi Ski Area and Resort has received certification from the FIS for its Top of the World/Roller Coaster run.
Fédération Internationale De Ski, or the International Ski Federation, is the international organization that maintains standards in many areas of skiing, including alpine.
Asessippi received approval for its slalom course, certifying the resort for both ladies and men, with an official vertical drop of 117 meters and total length of 450 meters.
“We had worked with MB Alpine when we designed this course and knew we were eligible but having received the actual certification does feel like one more achievement,” said Spencer Reavie, president of Ski Asessippi Limited. “It gives our athletes the assurance and confidence that they are competing on an internationally approved course.”
Manitoba Alpine will host the Manitoba Cup at Asessippi from February 4-5 and return March 16-18 for the Provincial Finals.
The resort is located about four hours northwest of Winnipeg near the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border.