Whistler Mountain starts Friday

15th November 2010, by Chris Gill

Whistler is ready!

Whistler is ready!

Powder hounds in Canada are delighted with the news that Whistler is to open six days early, this Friday 19 November.

They are calling it La Nina’s early snowpack and a promising sign for the season ahead, with colder weather and heavy snowfall expected again mid-week. So, this weekend Whistler Mountain will open for skiing and baording with lots of new powder to ride. Blackcomb Mountain is due to follow a week later.

Mountain manager at Whistler Blackcomb Doug MacFarlane said: “New snow and low freezing levels, along with the hard work of our mountain operations, grooming, and snowmaking teams mean we can open Whistler Mountain on Friday. Though early-season conditions will apply, having those first few turns of the season is a great feeling and we’re happy to make that happen for our guests.’

The forecast is for snow on Wednesday and Thursday, with the freezing level falling to 1200m. Of course, resorts in the region had a very good start to winter last season – by the time it got to Olympic February things were very different (warmer and wetter), but followed by a better latter season; so, anything’s possible. Still, it’s great news for the resort to be able to join other parts of North America and kick off the 2010/11 season.

As in previous early starts, officials at the resort have warned skiers and riders to be extra vigilant on the slopes – watching out for natural hazards, such as exposed rock, where cover has not yet deepened sufficiently. And, of course, guests are being advised to keep within the ski area boundaries.

Whistler will join Banff Lake Louise and, since Friday, Mount Norquay for early snow sports. Colder temperatures and hard work by the snowmaking crew have made it possible for Norquay to open some slopes and terrain park features, which will be available weekends initially. Over at Lake Louise, more terrain has opened too. The third of Banff’s ski areas, Sunshine Village, needs a little more snowfall – but is almost there ...

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