After an early opening with plenty of fresh snow, Whistler Blackcomb prepares to open Creekside and Garbanzo Express on Whistler Mountain this weekend.

WHISTLER, BC, Wednesday, November 18, 2009 – The current storm system has blanketed the mountains with over 204 cm (80 inches) of fresh snow in the past week. Operations crews are hard at work preparing more lifts and terrain to open this weekend as conditions allow.

It may still be early in the season but don’t tell that to Mother Nature. With over 362cm’s (142.5 inches) of snow so far this month Whistler Blackcomb has more than doubled its average November snowfall of 148cm (58 inches). With almost two weeks left in the month, as well as over 100cm (40 inches) in the forecast for the next five days, Whistler Blackcomb is well on its way to the possibility of breaking the record of snow in the month of November, 416cm (164 inches).

“I’ve skied here for over 15 years and I’ve never seen this much snow so early in a season, it seems like every day’s snowfall is topping the last,” say’s Stephen Butt, Communications Coordinator and voice of the Snow Phone for Whistler Blackcomb. “We have already received one third of our average annual snowfall for the entire season and it’s only four days into the season, it’s unbelievable!”

With all this new snow, operations crews are hard at work getting ready to open Creekside Gondola and Garbanzo Express, in anticipation of what should be another amazing weekend. On Saturday, in addition to the Whistler Village Gondola, guests will be able to upload and download Whistler Mountain via the Creekside Gondola with access to Red Chair, Emerald Express, Franz’s and Garbanzo Chair.

The heavy snowfall does pose challenges for the operations crews opening the high alpine. With the current blizzard-like conditions in the alpine, crews have not yet been able to access this area of the mountain. Once crews can get to the alpine, lots of work will begin to prepare the area for skiing and riding which includes: avalanche control, and hazard marking and signage. Whistler Blackcomb appreciates guests’ patience as crews work to safely prepare the terrain before opening.

Though there is lots of snow early season conditions do apply. The Whistler Blackcomb Ski Patrol posted “Temporary Boundary” signs throughout the ski area indicating that the terrain beyond the ropes is not yet “ready” to ski or ride, even if that terrain is “normally” within our ski area boundary. Whistler Blackcomb would like to remind guests; though terrain may look appealing from where the ropes are, the terrain may include hazards such as ditches, exposed rocks etc. where more snow is needed before the terrain is considered safe. To see examples of signage used at Whistler Blackcomb click HERE. Whistler Blackcomb would also like to remind guests’ to be aware of tree wells. Skiing and riding in a group is always recommended.

In addition to Whistler Village and Blackcomb Base Guest Relations locations, Creekside Guest Relations and ticket windows will be open starting this weekend from 8am to 5pm.

Follow the Whistler Blackcomb Snow Report, updated 5 times daily, by calling 604-932-4211 in Whistler, 604-687-7507 in Vancouver, or free-phone at 1-800-766-0449.

Be sure to follow this and other ski holiday twitter at rocky-peak Holidays official tweet @HolidaysCanada. You can also view Whistler Blackcomb Ski Pass Rates at