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Whistler/Blackcomb ski season opens It may have looked a little questionable at first thanks to El Niño, but Whistler/Blackcomb has met its season opening target date of this weekend. "Our 1997/1998 season starts here on Nov. 21, just as we planned," said David Perry, vice president of marketing and sales, in a release. Blackcomb Mountain opens today (Nov. 21) with limited skiing and snowboarding on Wishbone, Choker, the N64 half pipe and the Horstman Glacier. Lifts scheduled for operation include the Wizard Express, Solar Coaster Express, Catskinner, Jersey Cream Express, Glacier Express, Showcase T-Bar and Horstman T-Bar. Skiing and snowboarding is limited to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders only. Perry said that there is a "wealth of skiing and riding opportunities" in the high alpine, thanks to a combination of natural and manmade snow. Whistler/Blackcomb invested than $31 million in capital improvements during the summer on both mountains and in the village area. Snowmaking systems were expanded, with Whistler Mountain receiving the bulk of the investment — $1.1 million. Whistler Mountain is expected to open Nov. 26, in time for the US Thanksgiving long weekend. When Whistler Mountain begins operation next week skiers will be treated to two new lifts, the Emerald Express and Big Red Express. The Doppelmayr lifts replace the Green and Red chairs. Blackcomb Mountain has a new children’s adventure park, 13 new trails, and a 16-acre terrain park. Hours of operation on Blackcomb are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends. Early bird pricing is in effect. Blackcomb will remain open until Aug. 3, 1998.

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