Whistler Mountain, which was originally to open on American Thanksgiving, is opening five days early on Saturday, November 17. Thanks to cool temps, natural snowfall and snowmaking equipment, five lifts will be up and running. Guests can either upload from the Whistler Village Gondola or the Creekside Gondola. Blackcomb Mountain will open as scheduled on Thursday, Nov. 22.
A fleet of 220 snow guns has converted more than 70 million gallons of water into snow over the past few weeks. That, combined with real snow and a forecast for more of the white stuff toward the end of this week, ensures “excellent on-piste coverage for quality skiing and riding on opening day,” said Doug MacFarlane of Whistler Blackcomb. But the mountain manager reminds guests that early season conditions will be in effect, especially off-piste. And he encourages people to obey mountain signage, ski and ride on open runs only and stay within the operational areas marked by Temporary Boundary signage. There will be rocks and other hazards below the snow surface, so going outside the temporary boundaries wouldn’t be a wise decision.
The first upload on both gondolas will begin at 8:30 AM on November 17. Emerald Express, Big Red Express and the Franz Chair lifts will also be running — providing access to 1,800 vertical feet of skiing and riding terrain. Six ski runs will be open: Ego Bowl, Upper Whiskey Jack, Upper Franz, Papoose, Orange Peel and Pony Trail. Lift status may be found at the Whistler Blackcomb website.
Opening Day Festivities | In addition to a surprise musical act at the Whistler Village Gondola, the first 1,500 people to upload either gondola will receive a gift. They range from tokens for hot chocolate to big ticket items such as EDGE Cards, snow school lessons, and retail and rental gifts.
Dining | Whistler Mountain dining will open November 17, including Essentially Blackcomb Cappuccino Bar in the Carleton Lodge, Dusty’s Bar & Grill in Creekside, Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain and the Garabaldi Lift Co.
App | The latest version of Whistler Blackcomb’s Live Pass TELUS app will be available for download for both iPhones and Androids from the Apple store and Google Play on November 13 at 8 PM. The app allows skiers and riders to track their runs using GPS, plus share their speed and vertical, and take and share photos with friends via Twitter and Facebook.
Snow Report | Whistler Blackcomb’s Snow Report will be updated daily beginning November 16, and an be accessed online throughout the season or by calling 604.932.4211 in Whistler, 604.687.7507 in Vancouver or 800.766.0449 toll-free.
EDGE Card | For both Canadian and Washington State residents, Whistler Blackcomb offers the EDGE Card, where guests may ski/ride from $65 CAD per day. They’re valid all season, and available at early bird pricing until November 19.
Early Season Winter Deal | Guests planning a trip to Whistler may take advantage of the Early Season Winter Deal. It includes two nights lodging and a two-day lift ticket package form $109 per person, per night. For more information on the area, visit Tourism Whistler.