Cypress may close 3 weeks early for Olympics

In interviewing Tim Gayda, 2010’s vice-president of sport, the Vancouver Sun is reporting that VANOC may close public access to Cypress Mountain THREE WEEKS EARLY if weather patterns don’t improve…

VANCOUVER — While recent winter rains have washed North Vancouver skiing business downhill, 2010 Olympics officials insist they’ve got enough snow stockpiled to run Olympic events at Cypress Mountain.

Cypress is home to aerial and mogul skiing and to snowboarding, snow-cross and ski-cross events.

Tim Gayda, 2010’s vice-president of sport, said a decision won’t be made until Wednesday whether to take over the mountain three weeks earlier than planned.

“They’re going to look at it on Wednesday,” said Gayda Monday. “It will largely depend on what the future weather will bring. It’s a pretty big decision.”

Plans called for VANOC to take control of the mountain and close it for skiing on Feb. 1.

He said the recent warm, wet weather wasn’t unexpected.

“We’ve looked at this and many other scenarios in terms of having too much snow or very cold temperatures,” said Gayda.

He said Olympic planners took steps last year, during colder weather, to blow “a massive amount of artificial snow” onto the venue courses.

“When we saw this warming trend, we worked with the mountain to look at all the places where there was natural snow and we started to stockpile it,” he said. “When you push it into these big piles, it insulates it a lot better. There’s thousands of cubic metres of snow in each pile.”

Seeing as there’s less than three weeks remaining until they’re scheduled to shut down for the Olympics anyways, I guess that’d mean that should they decide to close public access early it would be effective immediately.

I’d expect passholders would receive some sort of a bonus to make up for the additional closure period, but only time will tell.

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