The rumour mill can be cruel sometimes, but this time it delivered - Whistler Blackcomb confirmed on Tuesday that Whistler Mountain will open five days earlier than the planned official Nov. 22 opening. Blackcomb Mountain will open as scheduled.
"In addition to new snow and a great forecast lining up towards the end of this week, our fleet of 220 state-of-the-art snow guns has converted over 70 million gallons (265 million litres) of water into snow over the past few weeks," said Doug MacFarlane, mountain manager at Whistler Blackcomb. "This ensures excellent on-piste coverage for quality skiing and riding on opening day."
However, Whistler Blackcomb also cautioned skiers and boarders to stay on marked runs and obey all mountain signage to avoid hitting rocks and other hazards that need more snow to cover.
"Guests should be aware there will be rocks and other hazards below the snow surface; we do not recommend skiing and riding outside the temporary boundary in any circumstances.
The alpine forecast is calling for between nine and 16cm of new snow before Saturday's opening. Information about the base is not available yet, but will be posted online and updated daily after Nov. 17.
The Whistler Village Gondola will open at 8:30 a.m. and the Emerald Express, Big Red Express and Franz Chair will be operating on opening day. A total of six runs will be open to the public including Ego Bowl, Upper Whiskey Jack, Upper Franz, Papoose, Orange Peel and Pony Trail.
Whistler Blackcomb has a number of opening day events planned, including live music waiting in line to upload and download, while the first 1,500 people to upload the gondola will also receive a gift ranging from a cup of hot chocolate to a fully loaded EDGE Card, Snow School lessons, retail and rental gifts and surprises from sponsors including Scandinave Spa Whistler, The Adventure Group (TAG) Whistler, Extremely Canadian, Canadian Snowmobile, Coast Mountain Photography, CAN-SKI, Showcase, Powerade and Milk2Go.
For on-mountain dining, the Roundhouse Lodge will be open.
The Whistler Blackcomb Live Pass, Powered by Telus app were available for download on Nov. 13. The app allows you to track data using GPS and share information like on-mountain photos via Twitter and Facebook. For more, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/app.