Where to ski in Nova Scotia

Cruising down the Rosebowl and waving up at the folks on the ski lift may be the quintessential “Ski Wentworth moment,” but general manager Leslie Wilson says nothing compares to skiing the peaceful glades known as the south-side trails.

“They’re narrow winding trails through the woods and they’re just beautiful,” says Wilson. “We don’t have snowmaking there yet, so they’re always a huge hit when they’re open.”

Located less than 90 minutes from Halifax, Ski Wentworth brings in skiers from across the province — as well as visitors from around the world. Wilson says tourists visiting Wentworth are usually very impressed with Wentworth’s height and variety of terrain, even if they’re accustomed to larger resorts in B.C. and beyond.

“We’re that perfect size, especially for families — not too big, not too small,” says Wilson. “Your kids can go off and do their own thing but you basically know where they are. Everyone can be out having a great day.”

There are more than 20 alpine trails and Wilson says Wentworth’s diverse terrain means there’s something for everyone, from beginner trails for cautious new skiers to black diamond trails as well as glade skiing and snowshoeing.

There’s live entertainment on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, and usually a dance every Saturday night. There’s also babysitting available in the “Ski Gloo” on weekends and holidays for little ones who are too young to hit the slopes.

This season, Wentworth has added 30 new snowmaking guns and rolled out a shiny new rental fleet — as well a new system to speed up the rental process.

“It’ll be all brand-new skis and boots and we hope to get people in and out much faster,” says Wilson.

About 45 minutes from Halifax in the opposite direction sits Ski Martock with its dozen alpine trails, full nordic park for cross-country skiing and popular biathlon range.

Ski Martock operations manager Andy MacLean says Martock is known for being a resort with a reliable, consistent product — despite being in an ocean-influenced climate that can make for frustratingly wet winters.

He’s from southern Ontario and says Martock has a very similar feel to those ski hills. He’s hoping for a middle ground between the treacherously snowy winter of 2015 and the ultra-mild winter of 2016 — lots of powder, but without the horrific driving conditions that keep everyone stuck at home.

Martock introduced a brand-new rental inventory last season as well as a magic carpet conveyor lift, and it’s been focused more recently on renovating its lodge, bar and food service area.

“We’ve always been really invested in that beginner experience. We’ve partnered with the Head Start program — the first of its kind in the world — to combine really great rental equipment with terrain that makes it easy for beginners to learn on,” says MacLean.

Martock was also the first ski hill in Canada to introduce a Burton Riglet Park, which introduces kids as young as three to snowboarding.

“We’re really trying to provide products that make it easy for families to come together,” says MacLean. “It’s definitely not the same product for everyone — there’s something everyone will find interesting, stimulating and fun.”

If you’re looking to get away for a weekend to hit the slops, you may want to consider a trip to Cape Breton Island.

Ski Ben Eion is located on Route 4, which is around 45 minutes outside of Sydney. The quaint hill is complete with a chalet, licensed pub, pro shop, repair shop and breathtaking views of the Bras d’Or lakes.

Ski Ben Eion offers a variety of trails, both alpine and cross country, ranging from beginner to difficult.


Article Source: Halifax Herald

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