Area ski hill representatives are raving about opening weekend conditions after starting their seasons this past weekend.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort officially opened for the 2015-16 season Friday.
“These are the best conditions we opened with in three years, and even today, conditions are mid-season conditions,” Don Sharpe, the resort’s director of business operations and marketing, said Monday morning.
When Mount Washington opened, the Sunrise, Eagle and Hawk chairs were all operating, as well as the Magic Carpets. Sixty-eight of 81 trails opened — which is all of the front side of the mountain — as well as 23 kilometres of Nordic trails and three kilometres of marked snowshoe trails.
The Tube Park opened as well, and the snow school, ski and board rentals, retail stores and food and beverage outlets all began operating. The Eagle Chair closed Saturday due to strong winds but reopened Sunday.
“We had amazing conditions,” said Sharpe. “We had clear skies Friday morning and lots of very happy people, and we brought in a DJ.
“Saturday was a little bit snowy here; we were hit with another 35 centimetres, so there were not as many people, but they all came back Sunday, and conditions today are absolutely epic.”
Mount Cain Alpine Park, just southeast of Woss, opened this past weekend as well, with 21 of 21 runs and a couple of bonus runs operating, starting Saturday.
Neil Borecky, president of the Mount Cain Alpine Park Society, says they had great crowds, with many skiers and snowboarders purchasing day passes and season passes, and everything ran very smoothly for opening weekend. He says there were no accidents, all the equipment worked, and all the volunteers and staff came together to make it happen. As well, they have new management at the Cain Cafe this year, and Borecky says that went over very well.
“It was our best ever,” he said. “What made it such a good opening is that we had so much snow. We had a really good base of 120 centimetres, and it just kept snowing the whole weekend.”
Borecky would like to acknowledge the presence of the ‘Namgis First Nation on the hill.
Borecky encourages people to bring chains if they are driving up to Mount Cain, and he says skiers and boarders should not venture into the backcountry unprepared because avalanche hazards are quite high right now.