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Whistler turns 73 million gallons of water into snow

Staff writers
November 20, 2012 — Several ski resorts across western Canada are already opened for business. Recent snowfall combined with snow making machines have created the ideal conditions at Whistler.

Whistler opens five days ahead of schedule
Whistler opens five days ahead of schedule

Over 191 acres of land, a vertical mile of skiing and a peak-to-peak gondola ride. Just some of the features that makes BC's Whistler Blackcomb one of the largest and most visited ski resorts in North America. 

Whistler opened for business on Saturday, November 17, five full days ahead of schedule.

In addition to the natural snowfall that has accumulated, snow making machines have helped to create the ideal conditions. 

"We have an amazing fleet of 220 snow guns," says Whistler's Stuart Rempel. "So up until last Friday, we had turned 73 million gallons of water into snow. Then layer on top of that the 89 cm of snow we've had since Saturday and here we are with a great base on the mountain and lots of ski hills open."

Depending on what Mother Nature delivers, the resort usually aligns its opening to the U.S. Thanksgiving.

"And fortunately, November is typically a snowy month," adds Rempel. "We have a lot of reliable snowfall that comes through in November and stays through March, April and even into May."

Additional snow expected through Wednesday
Additional snow expected through Wednesday

As ski operators and riders keep their eyes on the forecast, Rempel has confidence in another long season. 

"We had a 14 metre snowfall last year and we get over 11 metres annually. So based on the forecast going forward it looks very, very promising for a strong year this year." 

While most skiers and snowboarders are eager to hit the slopes, officials encourage outdoor enthusiasts to get educated on avalanche safety.

Conditions are ripe for snow slides in the mountains and five have already been reported in different locations this season.

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