Winter has made its appearance at Mount Washington Alpine Resort and after a few recent snowstorms, the resort is now open for skiing, snowboarding, Nordic and snow-tubing.
“A few storms have rolled through this week leaving us with a good base to kick the season off with improvements in technology, a new snowmaking system, and a great new dining option,” said Mount Washington spokesperson Kayla Stockton. “With snow in the forecast and snowmaking in effect, we’re looking ahead to a great holiday experience for our guests.”
The mountain’s packed snow base is now sitting around 63 centimetres, with 18 centimetres of new snow falling in the last 48 hours. Mount Washington’s new snowmaking infrastructure will augment natural snow, with concentrations of effort in the Easy-Acres beginner zone as well as the blue run Coaster, off the Whiskey Jack chairlift.
“There is an art to snowmaking,” said Dean Prentice, general manager of Mount Washington Alpine Resort. “You can’t just turn on the snow guns at zero degrees and expect an even snowfall across the slopes. Weather conditions are important considerations for snowmaking, and you have to factor in temperature, humidity, and wind. Generally, a wet bulb temperature of -2 Celsius is needed.”
Primary machinery testing occurred in the Easy-Acres beginner zone and allowed for the Resort’s Free Discovery Days program to move ahead beginning December 9th this year providing guests new to skiing or boarding with the opportunity to try the sport. Over the past week machinery testing has continued with snowmaking in the Whiskey Jack zone, on the blue run, Coaster.
“The primary idea is to hit the areas progressively from the beginners’ area - starting with the bottom of the mountain,” Prentice said. “The other thing that’s important to cover night skiing terrain.” The Resort will continue making snow to support natural falling snow as weather conditions permit.
The resort will open with terrain for all ability levels including all runs accessible from the Whiskey Jack lift, the full Easy-Acres beginner zone, as well as the Tube Park and limited Nordic operations. Night skiing will also be in operation as of Friday. Mountain operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the holidays, and more terrain will open as snow conditions allow. Discounted lift tickets will be available at the kiosk on opening day (Friday, Dec. 20) at $49.
Guests can celebrate the start of the season with a season-opener après ski party kicking off at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Ted’s Bar and Grill. The event will feature Vancouver Island Brewing seasonal draft pours, door prizes, and live music designed to have guests dancing in their boots.
Moving into the holidays, Mount Washington is celebrating with events for the 12 Days of Christmas kicking off Saturday Dec. 21 with photos with Santa, Christmas cookie decorating and a performance by kids’ favourite, Captain Thunderpants. Holiday events will take place everyday throughout the week with annual events like Elves Ski Free on Christmas Day, the Boxing Day Torchlight Parade, and more festivities leading into New Year’s Eve celebrations.
For more information opening weekend terrain, weather conditions, hours of operation, specific event details and more, visit www.mountwashington.ca