It’s a return to old ways this winter, with Whistler Mountain scheduled to be open 199 days, Nov. 25 to June 11. In recent years Blackcomb has been open longer than Whistler Mountain, which closed on April 19 last season, but traditionally the ski season on Whistler ran through May and well into June. This season Blackcomb’s winter season will end April 25, but the Horstman Glacier will be open for summer skiing from June 12 to Aug. 2. "We have extended the ski season at Whistler Mountain because Whistler’s north-facing slopes have the best late season snow conditions," David Perry, vice president of marketing and sales, said in a release. "Also, with the new Peak and Harmony Express quad chair lifts and Franz’s Chair, accessing these terrific high alpine snow conditions has never been easier." Construction of the new Peak Chair, a high-speed quad manufactured by Doppelmayr, is on schedule. Towers and sheave assemblies were flown into place over the last two weeks. Towers for Franz’s Chair have also been flown into place. Whistler Mountain’s new Roundhouse Lodge, currently under construction, is already booked for group events, conventions and other special functions next spring. Both Whistler and Blackcomb will open for the 1998-99 season on Nov. 25. The new operating schedule allows for routine lift maintenance of Whistler Mountain’s Village Gondola June 12-July 1. At Blackcomb, lift maintenance will be done between April 26 and June 11. Whistler Mountain will be open daily for summer hiking and sight seeing from July 1 to Sept. 19, and weekends only Sept. 20 to Oct. 10. Whistler Mountain has been closed to the public all of this summer while the Roundhouse Lodge has been under construction and the Village Gondola has undergone extensive maintenance, including replacement of the haul cable. The Blackcomb base area will continue to have activities throughout next summer, including the West Coaster slide, horseback riding and the trapeze.