Despite lack of snow early in the season, Team N.B. skiers ready for the slopes

While the 2023 Canada Games are officially being hosted by Prince Edward Island, several ski events will be held in New Brunswick at Crabbe Mountain in Upper Hainesville. (Shane Fowler/CBC - image credit)
While the 2023 Canada Games are officially being hosted by Prince Edward Island, several ski events will be held in New Brunswick at Crabbe Mountain in Upper Hainesville. (Shane Fowler/CBC - image credit)

While a lack of snow caused some headaches for competitive skiers in New Brunswick, the head of Ski New Brunswick says they will be prepared for the upcoming Canada Winter Games.

A warm and wet late December and early January meant qualification rounds for Team N.B. had to be postponed by two weeks.

Dick Daigle, president of Ski N.B., said the inconvenient weather has had an impact on the ability of athletes to prepare for the games.

"Typically, most of these athletes would be on the local hills before Christmas, and it's been a challenge to do that," said Daigle.

WATCH | Crabbe Mountain prepares for Canada Winter Games:

Team N.B. was able to hold qualifications in Edmundston last weekend after a two-week delay.

Thirty-two athletes competed for 14 spots on the province's ski team.

This lack of snow forced some to look to ski hills in neighbouring Quebec and Maine, and nearby Vermont, to get their early training in.

"They've spread out and and gone to camps or academies, and they've managed to get quite a bit of training in," said Daigle.

Hosting duties

While the 2023 Canada Games are officially being hosted by Prince Edward Island, several ski events will be held in New Brunswick at Crabbe Mountain in Upper Hainesville.

But Crabbe had its own issues earlier in the season with its runs.

A lack of snow and rainy warm weather forced the closure of the mountain for several days over the Christmas break.

But there has been some good news lately.

A snow storm hit the province last week, which greatly increased the amount of snow in central and northern regions of the province.

And the outlook is promising for skiers, with snow in the forecast and the highs to remain at or below freezing for the Fredericton region for the next several days.

"For the most part, it's been, it's been two years of planning and now it's kind of all culminating here in the next four weeks," said Jordan Cheney, the general manager at Crabbe Mountain.

"We're well prepared. We've got some snow that we still got to make, but confident that we'll have it in time."

Crabbe Mountain is scheduled to hold several freestyle skiing and alpine and para-alpine skiing events between Feb. 18 and March 5.

The rest of the ski events will be held on P.E.I., but some could be moved to New Brunswick if there isn't enough snow on the island.