Whistler Blackcomb anticipates ‘slow opening’ on Saturday with storm rolling in | Squamish Chief

Whistler Blackcomb anticipates ‘slow opening’ on Saturday with storm rolling in

Opening alpine terrain expected to be ‘a challenge’ with high winds, snowfall in forecast

Whistler Blackcomb (WB) expects the mountain to be delayed in opening on Saturday, Dec. 29 with heavy winds and snowfall in the forecast.

In a release, the ski resort said “Guests in resort, and locals with time off at Christmas, may want to sleep in Saturday morning as Whistler Blackcomb weathers a strong coastal storm front.”

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Typically one of its busiest days of the year, WB said it is anticipating “a slow opening” on Saturday morning, with winds predicted to hit 100 kilometres an hour by 8:30 a.m. at restaurant elevation, “making moving guests from the valley extremely difficult.”

“The storm is forecast to peak between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and will abate around midday, allowing us to potentially open more lifts and terrain; although, the weather will really dictate how the day unfolds,” said Jennifer Smith, senior PR specialist, in the release.

Opening alpine terrain is “expected to be a challenge throughout the day,” WB said. Guests are encouraged to track weather updates at whistlerblackcomb.com/the-mountain/mountain-conditions/snow-and-weather-report.aspx.

“Guest safety is our first priority, and we would much rather put a lift on standby, and limit accessible terrain, than put skiers and riders in circumstances where their safety is compromised,” said Smith.

At press time, DriveBC had not reported any major traffic incidents on the Sea to Sky Highway, although it did warn of slushy, slippery sections of road between Depot Road in Squamish and Whistler Cay Drive. Check back with drivebc.ca for traffic updates.

On Dec. 20, high winds toppled several trees, leading to power outages in Alpine and traffic jams throughout the Sea to Sky. The majority of WB’s lifts remained closed on that day, with the exception of Olympic Chair, Magic Chair, Fitzsimmons Express and Excelerator Express, as well as lower Excalibur Gondola and the Whistler Village Gondola, up to mid-station.

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