While the heavy rains that drenched Metro Vancouver this week may have left many residents feeling down, things are looking up for skiers and snowboarders, as the rain has translated to snow at the top of Whistler Blackcomb.
On Friday, weather cams on both Whistler and Blackcomb were showing healthy helpings of the white stuff at and near the mountain peaks.
Last month, the resort unveiled its operating plan for the 2020-21 winter season, which included a number of new health and safety measures, including the mandatory use of non-medical face masks or coverings. Guests are also recommended to wear face masks while indoors and outdoors in public spaces throughout the resort towns.
In order to allow for physical distancing, a reservation system is also being introduced for pass holders. All pass holders will be required to make a reservation before arriving at the mountain and throughout the season. Users will “be able to make as many week-of reservations as their pass type and availability allows.”
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Single lift tickets for the mountain will only go on sale starting December 8. Officials said the number of individual lift tickets available will be dependent on how many reservations have been made by pass holders. They’ll only be available either online or through call centres — they will not be sold at the ticket window in the resort.
Physical distancing will also be practiced on chairlifts and gondolas. Only related parties will be seated together or two singles on opposite sides of lifts that can fit four or more. As for ski and ride school, class sizes will be reduced to a maximum of six people and lessons must be purchased in advance.
And while on-mountain restaurants will be open, the number of people coming in and out will be managed. Dine-in restaurants will operate with reduced seating and extra spacing.
The images from the mountain come the same week that The Weather Network released its long-term winter forecast for Canada.
“For snowy regions like Western Canada, winter is expected to experience typical patterns during this snowy season,” the network said. “For BC and a large part of the Prairies, we expect colder than normal temperatures with an abundance of snow across the region, including the ski areas.”
As for Whistler Blackcomb, the resort is scheduled to open for the 2020/21 winter season on November 26.
In the meantime, keep doing that snow dance.