Whistler Blackcomb has come through once again, opening Whistler mountain a week earlier than planned.
Locals counted down the days, the hours, the minutes until opening day on Whistler — Thursday Nov. 19. And, as there is every year, a handful of kids set up camp overnight to make sure they got the first chair up the mountain. It’s an annual rite of passage in Whistler.
You can feel the excitement slowly starting to sizzle. Every night brings more white stuff to the mountains and the snowline is creeping down… lower and lower.
For the next five months, Whistler’s water cooler chat will revolve around freezing levels, weather systems, and powder.
Take it from us: If you want to be a part of the local conversation, or make the most of your ski holiday here, get to know where the 1,600-metre mark is on the mountain, what it means when the freezing level rises above it, what happens when there’s an inversion, what’s in store for Whistler when there’s a pineapple express on the horizon, where the best place is to go when there a 20 cm dump of fresh snow.
And so, it all begins again for another winter.
What will the season hold this year? You never really know. There could be day after day of sweet powder turns. There could be endless sunshine or a deep freeze. There could snowstorms relentlessly pounding the valley. There could be rain.
There’s a lot of chat about how it’s going to pan out for us this year.
And yet, at this very minute, just days to go before we can get back into our snowy peaks again, a homecoming of sorts, a place that makes us feel somehow truly alive again, none of that really matters.
Right now all we’re thinking about is climbing up into the Blackcomb Glacier, skis on shoulder, boots kicking into the snow, or those first fast turns through the trees. Or even the satisfying early-season quad burn that never seems to get any better no matter how many pre-season squats you do.
Just five lifts will be turning this week and there will be no access into the alpine but we don’t care! Yes, it’ll be early season conditions (don’t use your new skis or board) but it’s just enough just to entice you back up there again, link a few sweet turns and satisfy the ski soul after our long, hot summer. It’s going to be a long winter and more snow is in the forecast.
Blackcomb Mountain opens for the season as planned on Thursday Nov. 26. It can’t come soon enough.