Spring might be just around the corner, but skiers in Edmonton are squeezing out every last bit of winter they can after a season filled with warmer weather.

“It’s been a challenging season to say the least,” said Jim Rickett, president of the Edmonton Nordic Ski Club. “We had to get creative. We had people snow farming early on, which is what we call shovelling snow from another area onto the track.”

Rickett said this season his Nordic club saw a large number of children enrolled in ski programs which meant staff and volunteers had to get creative when dealing with the lack of snow. But on Saturday, the trails finally saw some of the fresh stuff.

“These challenges brought us together,” Rickett continued. “We can make snow but there’s nothing like the fresh stuff. The snow is here, we’re so happy to have snow. We’ll continue grooming until the last possible day, sometimes that can even be into April.”

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The lack of snow at the beginning of the season forced many Edmonton ski hill operators to delay opening or make snow to ensure they could eventually open, a problem that plagued many resort operators right across the country this winter. When the snow finally arrived some Edmonton operators had to deal with extreme cold which also impacted operations.


Click to play video: 'Ski resorts, farmers struggling with warm winter'


Ski resorts, farmers struggling with warm winter


“The season has been challenging for ski hills all across Canada, but we’ve received a lot of support from the community” said Isaac Wykes with the Edmonton Ski Club.


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“We have people that come out here every time it snows and our groomers know that they like the “pow” and so they just do one little lap around and try to leave as much of the fresh stuff as possible,” Wykes continued.

Wykes said the Edmonton Ski Club hopes to remain open until the end of March.

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“We love it, with this natural snow, it’s really beautiful,” said Danilo Cajo, who was cross-country skiing with his family Sunday afternoon. “We’re coming here at least once a week.”


Click to play video: 'Spring skiing arrives with plenty of snow'


Spring skiing arrives with plenty of snow


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