Summit Lake Ski Hill: A year in review

A review of the 2016 season for the Summit Lake Ski Hill.

Another season has come and gone for the staff at Summit Lake Ski Hill.

Because of the lack of snow, it was a shorter season, opening in January and closing mid-March.

Despite the reduced number of ski days, about 350 people were able to make it up to the hill.

Some of the busiest times for staff were on the days the school program took place.

Students from the local elementary schools (Nakusp Elementary, Lucerne, and Edgewood Elementary) come up to the hill three times during the season as part of their physical education class. They get to choose between having a ski lesson, or a snowboard lesson. Once the lesson is over, they spend the rest of the day skiing or snowboarding.

“They love it,” said Eric Waterfield, president of the ski hill. “It’s positive to get out of school for the day, and our ski and snowboard instructors work with the kids, and they have a good day when they’re on the hill.”

For some of the students, it’s the only time they’ll get the chance to come to the hill.

Interfor hosted an appreciation night and paid for everyone’s tubes, rentals, and ski passes for an evening.

“We had a big fire going, and we had the tube park,” said Waterfield. “We lit up the cross country trail with torches, it was a good night.”

About 150 people turned up for the event, and money the ski hill made from the evening was put toward buying another snowmobile for ski hill staff.

While there were some big hits, the ski hill also had some misses.

The ski hill has a night skiing event a couple of times during the season. It takes place on a Friday night, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with rental fees costing only $10.

However, due to poor snow conditions, not many people attended the events.

Now that the season is over, staff are looking forward to what’s coming in the year ahead.

“This year, we’re looking at doing extensions on our cross country trails,” said Waterfield. “That’s going to be the big thing, and preparing for our lodge expansion next year.”

The plan is to tie the trails in with the forestry road above the hill, so staff can take the groomer down to the far end of the lake. People will then be able to come off the far end and drop down on a hill.