While we still anticipate operating throughout this very cold week, we would like to shed some light on our cold weather policy so you have some idea of what to expect this mid-week period (applicable Monday – Thursday mostly). The purpose of Castle’s cold weather policy is to minimize the risk of damage to lift infrastructure and limit the potential for injury to guests and staff during periods of extreme cold weather.
There are several hazards that become apparent during periods of cold weather. The ability for Castle Mountain’s lift infrastructure to function can become hampered due to the inability of greases and oils to lubricate as effectively as normal. A second hazard is the inability to quickly rescue both workers and guests from our aerial lift systems, should a manual rescue be required. All on-hill injuries are time sensitive. This is especially true during cold weather due to the potential for additional cold injury to the guest, worker and rescuer.
The most likely scenario this week is that we’ll see aerial lifts (chairlifts) face delays in opening as summit and mid-mountain temps drop below -30 overnight and stay there through the morning. Often times we’ll start the day w/ T-Rex t-bar while we wait for temps will rise above the -30 threshold in the vicinity of lunch. At this time the go-ahead is often (but not always) given to start up aerial lifts (chairlifts) and we carry on with the rest of our day.
This week, at minimum through to Thursday, please be sure to check the snow report before heading out. Our Mountain Safety team reserve the right to suspend operations anytime temperatures reach -25 or lower, especially if high winds produce extreme windchill values. Temperatures shown on our snow report page are live and updated automatically thanks to data from University of Lethbridge weather stations at the summit and in the base area.