NEWS

Robson Square Ice Rink: warm, wet weather dampens Vancouver skating rink

12/11/2014 04:59 EST | Updated 02/10/2015 05:59 EST
This week's wet, warm weather has proven a challenge at the Robson Square Ice Rink, where workers are trying to make it feel like winter - in temperatures as high as 14 C.

"It's tough beating out mother nature," said Robson Square icemaker Ron Fell. "She's tough on us. We can't control the environment like in an arena." 

Fell said a refrigeration plant is working hard underneath the rink to keep it frozen. It cools down a brine that is fed through pipes that run through a cement slab below the rink. The cement sucks heat out of the water, keeping it frozen. 

They've had a little bit of pooling water but Fell said he's learned not to get too stressed about maintaining the ice when the weather's warm, especially since the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, when temperatures reached 16 C.

Fell, however, has to keep a close eye on conditions, putting water on the rink overnight giving it eight to 10 hours to set for the next day, in time for people to enjoy it.

His favourite part of his job is watching everyone have a good time, he said. 

"No one comes here grumpy, or maybe they show up grumpy but I'm sure they go away happy...It's just a lot of fun down here."

MORE:cbcNews