BRITISH COLUMBIA

Whistler Opening Day Is Nov. 16 2013

11/12/2013 04:09 EST
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Whistler Blackcomb is opening 13 days early this year, delighting skiers and snowboarders alike.

Whistler Mountain will open to snow-eaters on Saturday, with access via the Whistler Village and Creekside Gondolas.

The company is also opening three mountain lifts: the Big Red Express, the Emerald Express and Franz's Chair, which will provide access to terrain including Ego Bowl, Upper Whiskey Jack and the Pony Trail.

Guests are warned to stay inside a temporary boundary as there will be rocks and other hazards below the snow surface, said a Tuesday news release.

The first skiers and snowboarders will ascend the mountain at 8:30 a.m. with the final lift at 2:30 p.m. Equipment rentals are available at the base of Whistler Mountain from Essentially Blackcomb, Can Ski Creekside and the Salmon Store, beginning Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Blackcomb Mountain, meanwhile, is set for an American Thanksgiving opening on Nov. 28.

Whistler will have a jump on the ski season thanks to early snowfall as well as efforts by the company's snowmaking team, which converted 60 million gallons of water into snow over the past weeks, mountain manager Doug MacFarlane said in a statement.

The opening comes as the resort hosts Cornucopia, a food and wine festival that runs until Sunday.

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