A stream of storms blowing in from the coast has prompted more British Columbia ski resorts to open early. Most ski areas are thanking La Niña conditions for the early boon of snow.
Mt. Seymour Resort snuck in with a last minute launch into daily operations last weekend. The Mystery Peak Chair, four runs, 16 features in the terrain park and tobogganing were up and running. By this week, the resort added on the Lodge Chair, which bumps up the number of runs available to 11, and beginners are riding the new Goldie Magic Carpet. Night skiing starts Dec. 2, and the Eighth Annual Rome Premature Jibulation takes place Dec. 3 in the Pit.
Apex Mountain Resort began running its Triple Chair, T-bar and Magic Carpet last weekend, but plans to start up the Quickdraw Quad Dec. 2. All lifts will continue to run daily for the remainder of the season, and the resort is gearing up for its 50th anniversary weekend Dec. 10.
Fernie Alpine Resort opened last weekend for two days, but officially launches its season Dec. 2.
“What is great is that Mother Nature has delivered close to six feet of total snowfall this winter, and we are opening more than 90 ski runs,” Vice President Matt Mosteller said. “It’s the most ski runs open in the Rockies right now.”
Last weekend, Revelstoke Mountain Resort threw a sneak peek to give skiers and riders a chance for some early turns. After closing for the week, Revelstoke throws open all of its lifts for the remainder of the season starting Dec. 3. Get a taste of opening day on the sneak peek weekend in this video, courtesy of Vimeo and Flat Light Productions.
At Revelstoke, cat skiing starts on Dec. 2, too. A special promotion booked up the first two days in less than 24 hours. (Standby reservations are available, and the resort may extend the special through Sunday.) Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing begins their season next weekend.
Big White opened two days early this week when the resort started up lifts Dec. 1. The Ridge Rocket Express Quad, Plaza Quad Chair, Lara's Gondola and the Magic Carpet ran yesterday with nine runs available. Lift tickets are available at 50 percent off until more terrain is added. The Mega Snow Coaster Tube Park will open for the season on Dec. 2 with the ice skating rink to be ready for the weekend of Dec. 3-4.
Mt. Washington Alpine Resort plans to jumpstart the ski season a week early with lifts starting to run Dec. 2. All front side lifts are scheduled to run except Whiskey Jack Chair, which will start operating for night skiing Dec. 15. The new Easy Acres beginner terrain will have four Magic Carpet lifts running. The Stomping Grounds Terrain Park, Ozone Tubing Park and Nordic Centre will also open Dec. 2.
Prior to opening day, a groomer at Mt. Washington track packs the new learning terrain at Easy Acres. Photo Courtesy of Mt. Washington Alpine Resort.
Heavy early-season snowfall prompted Panorama Mountain Village to bump up its planned opening. National and international athletes have been using the slopes at Panorama for early-season race training. But now, the Mile 1 Quad will open with a limited selection of runs for Sneak-a-Peak-Week starting Monday, Dec. 5. Lift tickets will cost $49 during the week while ski and stay packages start at $99 per night by reservation at 800-663-2929. Panorama’s official opening is still scheduled for Dec. 9.
Also with early snowstorm deposits, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort decided to open for an early bonus weekend with 70 runs open. Lifts, including the Golden Eagle Express and Stairway to Heaven Chair, will run Dec. 2-4 with lift tickets selling at 10 percent off for the weekend. After closing for the week, daily operations will commence Dec. 9.
Kimberley Alpine Resort also plans to open for a preview weekend. The resort is opening Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 10-11 for weekend skiing and riding. The official opening for the season is scheduled for Dec. 16.