Blackcomb opens Thursday

Tue 21 November 06

The mountains have received over 300 centimetres or 10 feet of snowfall since November 1, beating the past record of November 1994

Blackcomb Mountain will open this Thursday, November 23 in the midst of a record November snowfall, and in time for the US Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Currently digging out from back-to-back storm cycles, which are dumping significant snowfalls onto the mountains, Whistler Blackcomb is having one of its best openings in memory.

The mountains have received over 300 centimetres or 10 feet of snowfall since November 1, beating the past record of November 1994 when the mountains received 272 centimetres or 9 feet. The current mid-mountain snow base is sitting at a healthy 144 centimetres or 57 inches.

We are having one of our best openings in years,” claims Bob Dufour, Whistler Blackcomb’s vice president of operations, and a resort employee for 35 years. “Our crews are working hard to keep up with all this snow in order to get as much of the mountains open as quickly as we can. With a high avalanche danger in the out-of-bounds areas, their work is cut out for them in advance of this weekend.”

This Thursday’s opening day on Blackcomb Mountain will see the following lifts in daily operation: Excalibur Gondola and the Wizard Express providing upload from the Village and Blackcomb base; and Excelerator, Solar Coaster, Jersey Cream, and Catskinner Chairs operating mid-mountain. Glacier Express is expected to open on Friday and will remain open for the weekend, weather permitting.

On Whistler, the Creekside Gondola will begin daily operations on Thursday. Uploading will take place via the Whistler Village and the Creekside Gondolas. The Emerald Express and Big Red Express will operate mid-mountain. The Peak Chair is expected to open on Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting.

“We are doing everything we can to get the alpine lifts and the terrain they access ready for this weekend,” says Dufour. “With Blackcomb’s Glacier Express opening on Friday, and Whistler’s Peak Chair opening on Saturday, visitors and locals will have more than 5,000 acres available to ski this weekend, and 3,800 vertical feet of powder heaven to carve up. It’s going to be incredible!”

Weather forecaster has been predicting this storm pattern over the past few weeks. Environment Canada’s 5-day forecast calls for heavy snow through Friday with accumulations of up to 88 centimetres or 35 inches.

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Whistler/Blackcomb, Canada

Snowboard Guide rating 10 out of 10 “Major riding for all styles and all levels, especially backcountry and amazing park and pipes.But take note: lift queues can be very long, especially at Easter and Christmas. Avoid major holidays if an option and Sundays are quieter than Saturdays, especially on Blackcomb. Great summer riding on Blackcomb Glacier.”