I thought that I put together a brief look at the expenses of downhill skiing/boarding in the Northwest in light of the upcoming deadline to purchase Shames Mountain by the Shames Mountain Co-op initiative.
In the event that Shames Mountain should close, the nearest option to ski/board is Ski Smithers.
I would assume that not too many people from Prince Rupert, Kitimat and Terrace would purchase season’s passes at Ski Smithers simply due to cost and travel issues.
Hence the following budget calculation for a weekend outing in the mountains:
The example looks at the cost of one weekend ski trip to Smithers for a family of two adults and two youths or one weekend skiing at Shames, driving twice to the hill.
It is assumed that regular skiers would purchase a season’s pass for Shames Mountain.
With moderate use throughout the season (20 visits and that is not even skiing every weekend, Christmas break, Spring break, Easter) at an estimated Season’s pass price of $350, a ski day costs about $ 17.50.
Travel is assumed in a fuel efficient car. If this were to occur 10 times to match the skiing with a season’s pass at Shames, the cost would amount to around $7,000 per season to ski at Smithers and between $ 2,500 and $3,000 at Shames.
For most of the ski season, the travel to Smithers would involve driving early in the morning and into the night with little to no daylight during travel.
Besides the obvious cost difference, time spent traveling to and from Smithers eliminates time for any other activities during these ski trips.
Skiing at Shames leaves time on such weekends for some chores such as home work, house cleaning, shopping, snow removal etc.
There are many other non-financial reasons to support the Shames Mountain Co-op Initiative. So I encourage skiers/boarders to consider buying their shares at Shames to keep a less expensive option of winter sport available in our region.
Dr. John Krisinger,