Hudson Bay Mountain was forced to close, turning hundreds of skiers and snowboarders away after their operations were affected by power outages Friday morning.
“It was at least a couple hundred [people]. When there’s this much snow and it’s epic, people tend to take the day off. A lot of time they’ll take the morning off, ski until noon and then go back to work. It’s always really busy in the morning,” said Chrissy Chapman, resort services manager.
She added there has been roughly 40 new centimetres of snow on the mountain in the past two days.
According to Frank McBride, manager of hill and trails, when employees came in this morning the power was already off, but came back on again around 8:10 a.m.
“We were just about to open before the power went off again. It’s actually good, had it gone off 10 minutes later, we would have had to do evacuations off the chairlift,” said McBride, noting that they practice chairlift evacuations every year in case of emergencies.
Almost the entire mountain has been without power since 10 a.m. They still have single-phase electricity allowing them to turn on lights in the lodge, but all the dual-phase power which normally runs the ovens and lifts are non-operational.
Chapman said they’ve been in contact with BC Hydro and the earliest time the power could be back on is 2 p.m.
“It was shaping up to be a pretty good day . . . our main parking lot was probably about three quarters full,” said McBride.
The mountain does plan to open on Monday to give guests a chance to make up the lost time on the slopes.
“There’s just way too much good snow to enjoy. There’s another 20 [centimetres] forecasted and all those season pass holders out there and with how great everything went last night, it just seems fitting to open Monday,” said Chapman.
This is the second power outage on the mountain during operation since 2010, according to McBride.
Hudson Bay Mountain was one of roughly 1,400 homes and businesses without power in Smithers on Friday morning.
Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for the Bulkley Valley.
There were no reported outages in Telkwa, Moricetown or the Hazeltons yet.
For more information on power outages in the area, visit www.bchydro.com/outages/orsTableView.jsp.