Sawyer Ramsay 24′
Manitoba is not usually considered a great place for skiing or snowboarding. There are no mountains, with the lone places being either small hills or decent size valleys. Nevertheless, there are still quite a few ski hills in Manitoba that are enjoyable and make for a fun time. This year, Manitobans are limited in terms of skiing and snowboarding due to the closing of multiple ski hills.
Manitoba has a considerable amount of downhill skiing and snowboarding despite its flat geography. There is Spring Hill, Stoney Mountain, Falcon Lake, Holiday Mountain, Asessippi, Ski Valley, Thunder Hill, and Mystery Mountain. Most of these, however, are in remote locations and are a long drive from Winnipeg. The only ski hill relatively close to Winnipeg is Spring Hill, located northeast of the city in East St. Paul. It is small, taking only a few seconds to reach the bottom. Nevertheless, it is still a fun ski hill that has a decent terrain park and is highly accessible for Winnipeggers. There are also a few hills that are within a one or two-hour drive from Winnipeg, like Stoney Mountain and Holiday Mountain. These hills are a good balance between size and distance from Winnipeg but are not open this year.
Stoney Mountain and Holiday Mountain are closed in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the natural environment. It is the second year that Stoney Mountain has been closed. Although the pandemic affected Stoney Mountain, Holiday Mountain closed for a much different reason. Drought has been ravaging Manitoba, especially with the torrid weather in late summer and the fall of 2021. With a lack of water, winter snow production was too low to adequately cover the hill. Skiing on the hill would be like surfing without a wave.
The closing of these two ski areas has limited the options for Winnipeggers. Most of the good ski hills in Manitoba are unfortunately located far away from the capital city. These include Asessippi, Ski Valley, Thunder Hill, Falcon Lake, and Mystery Mountain. Most of these are upwards of a three or four-hour drive from Winnipeg. However, Ski Valley and Falcon Lake are closer to Winnipeg at about a two-and-a-half-hour drive away. These are all decent hills and are all open this year.
The 2022 year is not the best for skiers and snowboarders across Winnipeg. But the drive to conquer a less-than-mountain remains strong in the most dedicated among them.