Soleil 6000’ starts Saturday Whistler/Blackcomb ‘gives thanks’ for successful season By Paul Andrew A solar powered alpine celebrations during the month of May on Whistler Mountain promises to extend the hype created during the 1998/99 season, and extend spring skiing until 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s all part of Soleil 6000, which the mountains have created to celebrate the best snow pack since the 1974 season. The month-long celebrations will incorporate a special stage at the Roundhouse Lodge on weekends for afternoon performances, slush cups ski races, a variety of mountain top events such as snow volleyball and half-pipe competitions, and a vintage ski race. First to perform on the Soleil 6000’ stage is Whistler’s own Guitar Doug, who will open for the Caribbean style music of Alpha Ya Ya Diallo, a man well known to most patio patrons in Whistler. The music takes place during apres on May 1-2, and every Saturday and Sunday afterward until the end of May. "Now that spring has arrived, it’s time to give thanks for an amazing season," said David Perry, vice-president of sales and marketing at Whistler/Blackcomb. "Soleil 6000 was created to celebrate the resort’s success, commemorate the incredible history of spring skiing on Whistler Mountain and rejuvenate before we jump into summer." With the snow-pack on Whistler still more than 350 cm, Whistler-Blackcomb is not only celebrating the most snow since 1974, it is bringing back 1974 prices. Each weekend in May will feature barbecues on the patio at the Roundhouse with menu items at 1974 prices. Non skiers will be able to purchase a $10 Party Pass to get them up the mountain to enjoy the snow volleyball and apres-ski party after 2:30 p.m. Full-day lift tickets in May are $29 for adults and $24 for youths and seniors. Hours of operation in May are 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. "The Monsta Pipe, three times larger than a World Cup pipe, expanded terrain park and an alpine beach party give our guests that perfect reason to head up into the alpine and play in the sun while celebrating the best snow in years," Perry added. The Roundhouse Lodge will act as the "hub" of entertainment during the Soleil 6000’ celebrations.