Mount Washington Alpine Resort targeting Dec. 7 opening date

Major snowfall in the forecast for this week

With ski resorts opening in other areas of B.C. this week, attention turns to Vancouver Island’s own alpine resort, Mount Washington.

And while the snow cams still showed a hill without its winter coat Wednesday morning, Mount Washington marketing manager Sheila Rivers said that is about to change.

“We are looking at a really strong forecast coming in this week, with lower temperatures and a lot of precipitation, which will fall as snow up here. And it’s looking like that will really hit us quite hard,” she said. “We are still two and a half, almost three weeks away from when we are supposed to open, and you know, we can open within two days after two good storms.”

The opening date is slated for Dec. 7 and Rivers expects everything to be in place by then.

“We always try to open around there… in years where we get a ton of early snow we might try to open the first weekend in December, but it’s usually that [second weekend],” she said.

The set-up for the season is carrying on according to schedule, with the installation of the radio frequency identification gates ongoing.

“We haven’t even installed all of the RFID gates yet,” said Rivers. “Those are going in next week. And our staff don’t even arrive until the first week of December. So we really are on time for everything. The snow in November is typically inconsistent so this [lack of snow] is not unusual in any regard. We’ve had, I think, two or three snowfalls here in November, which is pretty typical. I know people get pretty antsy this time of year, but there’s [no need to worry].”

In the meantime, the resort has been taking advantage of the drier conditions, working on the infrastructure for the zip line, which is slated to open in 2019.

“We have got a lot of progress done on the zip line, with foundations and towers, because we have had a little bit of a drier spell here in November,” said Rivers. “That only helps us a little bit for what we will have to do in the spring. So for the weather to hold off until this weekend, that has been great. It has really helped with operations quite a bit.”

The $3.5 million ZipTour will include four spans, each with two cables side by side. The total length will be 2,313 metres (7,589 feet) long and will drop a total of 415 metres (1,364 vertical feet).

For more information on season passes, ski conditions, and to check out the snow cams, visit https://www.mountwashington.ca

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