It’s been an on-again-off-again season at ski and snowboard hills in southern Ontario as unusually warm weather, paired with rain, has dampened the spirits of some winter sports enthusiasts.

A ferocious winter storm over Christmas weekend helped pad the ski hills, allowing for the Glen Eden ski area located within the Kelso Conservation Area in Milton to open their runs on Dec. 27.

Days later, however, a warm front moved through parts of southern Ontario, forcing Glen Eden to halt its chair lifts and close the runs.

“We've had a lot of nights where we've gotten the guns on for a couple of hours, and then you go into a five to six degree day, warm up and some rain and you lose that and that's a struggle,” AJ Leeming, sr. manager of programs and services at Glen Eden said.

Leeming added: “I won't lie and say it's fine. It's great. It's not. But what we're committed to is making the most of it the second winter gets here and making the rest of the season phenomenal.”

A week later, aided by the creation of artificial snow, the ski hill was able to claw back some of the season -- opening a select few runs.

According to the Glen Eden conditions report, the ski hill has four lifts open and six runs as of Thursday afternoon.

This is well below half of the 17 runs the ski hill can operate when the weather cooperates.

“Today is a little bit warmer, it's a little bit slushy, but overall it's still good,” said Glen Eden season pass holder Alyssen Sun.

Glen Eden isn’t the only ski hill in southern Ontario trying to piece together a season due to abnormally mild conditions.

Chicopee Ski Hill in Kitchener is dealing with a similar situation, however, as of Thursday the ski hill had no runs open, according to its website.

Officials with the ski hill said some runs are open for private members, and the public is expected to be welcomed back on Monday.

"With the weather volatility, we just haven't had the really deep, cold temperatures,” said Bill Creighton, chief excitement officer with Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort. “They look like they're coming in this weekend for a short period of time, and then we're back to marginal temperatures, which are hard for us to make snowing."

"These runs have a great base. The conditions are fantastic. Outside of that, you're almost on the grass,” he said.

Five of the twelve runs are open as of Thursday. In order to even make snow, officials said they need the temperature to be at least minus two outside.

“We'll get through this, but certainly we do miss that Christmas break and all of that revenue from that time,” said Creighton.

For three decades, Gordon Travis has been a member of Chicopee, which is nice and close to his home in Kitchener.

“It's interesting today. It's a little foggy. But the snow is good,” Travis said.

But it's been a tough season for winter sports enthusiasts like Travis as warm conditions have kept the hill closed this season.

As for Travis, he said he lives close by and the close proximity to the hill is handy.

Where are the best conditions in southern Ontario?


Arguably one of Ontario’s most popular ski resorts, Blue Mountain in Collingwood is a two-hour drive north from mid-town Kitchener.

Despite being 150 kilometres further north, Mother Nature hasn’t brought enough cold weather and snow into the region.

As of Thursday afternoon, Blue Mountain said it had just 20 of its 43 trails open, and nine of its 11 lifts in operation. The resort has recorded no new snow in the last 24 hours, and just two centimetres of snow in the last seven days.

A photo of the hill shows muddy snow with some vegetation peeking through. Despite this, there are some winter enthusiasts on the hill.


Being situated a little further north has been beneficial for Mount St. Louis Moonstone in Coldwater.

A two and a half hour's drive from Kitchener might be worth it for sill hill enthusiasts looking to take advantage of a near fully operational hill.

On Thursday, the mountain resort shows the ski resort has all 36 runs open, and seven of 11 lifts in operation. Two of the hill’s four terrain parks are also open.

Trail cams on the hills show a healthy coating of snow blanketing the runs, with nearly all areas fully covered in snow.

Mount St. Louis Moonstone says it has a base depth of 55 to 75 centimetres.


Around two hours and 20 minutes north of Kitchener is Horseshoe Valley.

With a base depth of 50 centimetres, the resort said it has recorded two centimetres of snowfall in the last 24 hours.

Horseshoe Valley’s website shows it has 15 of its 28 runs open, including the terrain park.

Currently, there are five of the hills six chair lifts open.

The resort's live webcams show the ground is primarily covered in snow, with some bare spots around the base and edges of the runs.


A little closer to home, located just past Orangeville, is Hockley Valley.

Enthusiasts looking to hit the slopes are an hour and 15 minutes from this resort and will find comparable conditions to southern hills.

Hockley Valley on Thursday said it has six of 16 runs open, with three of four lifts in operation.

The resort has a base depth of 20 centimetres and has recorded one centimetre of new snow.


To the east, Boler Mountain in London is an hour and 20-minute drive from Kitchener.

Live webcams of the hills show very few people participating in skiing or snowboarding. The webcams show large patches of grass on the hills and no snow around natural features.

Despite the warmer weather, Boler Mountain on Thursday was recording 14 of its 21 runs open.

It is also recording a base depth of 35 centimetres, however, no new snow is being recorded.


Just outside Barrie, and a two hour and 10 minutes drive from Kitchener is Snow Valley Ski Resort.

Mother Nature has brought some winter weather to the area, with the resort reporting on Thursday that it has 13 of its 21 runs open, as well as seven of its eight chairlifts in operation.

The resort is recording a base depth of 45 centimetres and no new snow.

When it comes to snow tubing, the resort is recording six of 14 tubing runs open.