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Updated: 6th January 2019 06:03

West Coast ski season opens early

The recent dump of snow on the West Coast has triggered early openings at several ski resorts in B.C., Alberta and nearby Washington State.

The forecast is for a banner year for snow. The CBC's Tim Weekes looks at whether it will be a banner year for ski businesses 2:03

The recent dump of snow on the West Coast has triggered early openings at several ski resorts in B.C., Alberta and neighbouring Washington State.

At least four B.C. ski resort have opened early this year, with many hopeful another La Nina winter will bring plenty of snow and visitors to the mountains.

Grouse Mountain and Whistler both opened on Friday, joining Cypress Mountain, which opened last weekend.  In the Interior, Sun Peaks is also opening early on Saturday.

In the Alberta Rockies Marmot Basin, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise are also open, along with Mount Baker in Washington.

At Whistler some keen skiers even camped out overnight to be the first up the lifts on opening day. The resort has a base of 70 centimentres, with 20 runs and five lifts open, including the Village and Creekside gondolas, Emerald Express, Big Red Express and Franz's Chair.

Other opening dates include:

A skier gets an early jump on the season at Whistler during a photoshot for the resort on Thursday. ((Manny Mendes Dos Santos/coastphoto.com))

  • Blackcomb, Silverstar and Hudson Bay in Smithers on Nov. 24.
  • Revelstoke Resort on Nov. 26.
  • Big White on Dec. 3.
  • Mount Washington on Dec. 9.

Last year Whistler-Blackcomb recorded its second highest snowfall of 1,432 centimetres or 47 feet during a La Nina weather pattern.

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