Snowmaking operations go full guns 

Blackcomb expected to open Nov. 22

With temperatures dropping well below zero in the evenings, and remaining below zero at higher elevations, snowmaking on Whistler and Blackcomb has begun in earnest.

Whistler-Blackcomb crews are working around the clock to make snow, with runs in the mid-elevation and the terrain park receiving the most attention. A collection of 150 snow guns, including the new Super Wizard snow guns purchased last winter, are blasting about four million gallons of water every day.

"Cold and crisp, these are wonderful conditions to make snow," said Bob Dufour, director of operations.

The mountains almost doubled the capacity of snowmaking reservoirs on Blackcomb this year, and spent more than $225,000 on restoration and replanting work on both mountain so that they will retain the snow better.

"We have already made more snow this year than we did last year by opening day," said snowmaking manager Bob Pasch on Nov. 5, 17 days before Blackcomb Mountain is expected to open.

Areas on Blackcomb to receive snow include Zig Zag, Wishbone, Catskinner, the Nintendo Terrain Park, and the cat track from the bottom of Catskinner to the Solar Coaster. The guns will be redirected to Springboard by the end of the week, and, as local jibbers have already discovered, a pile of snow has been made at the base of the mountain by the Magic Chair.

Whistler priorities include Upper Whiskey Jack, Pig Alley, Ego Bowl, Papoose, Franz’s and the area around Olympic Station.

Blackcomb Mountain is expected to open on Saturday, Nov. 22. Whistler Mountain is scheduled to open Nov. 27.

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