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2016 Opening Day
AAVA Hotel News

Photo Credit: Tourism Whistler

Whistler Ski Season Opens Day Early

Whistler Blackcomb Opening Day 2016

The taste of winter is in the air folks! – that special crisp feeling that says snow is on the way. Between the steadily dropping snowline, and the eager new faces wandering around town with their new skis, boards and boots there’s a noticeable feeling of excitement in Whistler this week. 

The final countdown to the start of a new season is on! Snow has been falling up top and the forecast is calling for more throughout the weekend. Official opening day is scheduled for November 24 and our anticipation levels are off the charts.

Whistler Blackcomb Opening Day

But guess what, folks! Whistler Mountain will begin operations for the 2016/17 winter season one day ahead of schedule, on Wednesday, November 23! The head start has been made possible by recent colder temperatures and natural snowfall at lower elevations over the past week. Blackcomb Mountain will be open as scheduled on Thursday, November 24 as well.

“Our current base is sitting at 86cm (34in), as measured at the Pig Alley weather station on Whistler Mountain and we have received 84cm (33in) of snow since November 1. There is another 35cm (14in) to 45cm (18in) of snow in the forecast for higher elevations throughout the weekend and early next week leading up to opening day. With recent colder temperatures, our snowmaking team has been able to give Mother Nature a helping hand in preparations for opening day. We know there are many skiers and snowboarders anxiously waiting for the season to start and are excited to get them out there.” says Doug MacFarlane, Director of Mountain Operations at Whistler Blackcomb.


On November 23, guests will have the option to upload Whistler Mountain via the Whistler Village Gondola or Creekside Gondola. First upload will be at 8:30am with last upload from the valley at2:00pm. The lifts will be spinning until 3:00pm with a mandatory download in effect on both gondolas. There will be limited terrain open and early season hazards will exist.

Then on November 24, Blackcomb Mountain will open with uploading via the Excalibur Gondola and Excelerator Express as well as the Wizard Express and Solar Coaster Express. First upload will begin at8:30am with last upload from the valley at 2:00pm and skiing and boarding until 3:00pm. Mandatory download will be in effect with limited terrain open and early season hazards.

For a live lift status throughout the day, guests are encouraged to check the on mountain lift status boards or the Whistler Blackcomb website.

Don’t believe it? Check out the Whistler Blackcomb Webcams to see it with your own eyes! Or keep track of the snowfall levels on the Whistler Blackcomb website with their Snow Report.

Whistler Blackcomb Opening Day 2016

Opening Day Celebrations

For the occasion, Whistler Blackcomb will be recreating an expedition base camp in Skier's Plaza near the Blackcomb Excalibur gondola. It's the perfect occasion for nature lovers seeking adventure to enjoy their first turn of the season around a bonfire with friends.

Come check out this FREE event on Nov 24, 7pm -10pm that will set the tone to celebrate winter's arrival. Features include a 19+ beer garden, live music, prize giveaways, campfire treats, and a covered zone to just hangout in.

Whistler Opening Day

The No. 1 Resort in North America

With 8,171 acres of skiable terrain, 37 lifts, an annual average snowfall of 11.70 metres (38.4 ft) and a goal to be the best mountain resort in the world, it’s not surprising Whistler Blackcomb consistently finds itself at the top.

With the anticipation of opening day and the descending snowline weighing heavily on skiers and snowboarders near and far, Whistler Blackcomb is proud to celebrate numerous awards and accolades for the 2016/17 winter season including being named the No. 1 Overall Resort by SKI Magazine for the third year in a row.

Whistler Blackcomb Opening Day 2016

Whistler Blackcomb Awards and Rankings 2016/17

  • No. 1 Overall Resort – SKI Magazine
  • Best Ski Resort in the World – Telegraph UK
  • One of Canada’s Best Ski Resorts – Telegraph UK
  • Regional Best Overall Resort - OnTheSnow
  • No. 1 in Terrain Variety and Off-Hill Activities – SKI Magazine
  • No. 2 in Lodging and Après – SKI Magazine
  • No. 3 in Lifts, Dining and Terrain Parks – SKI Magazine
  • No. 4 in Terrain Challenge and Scenery – SKI Magazine
  • 5 Star Ski Resort – Skiresort.info
  • Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship – The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade
  • Condè Naste Traveller Reader Awards – Condè Naste
  • 12 Best Apres Ski Bars in the World-GLC – UnofficialNetworks.com
  • Certificate of Excellence-Crystal Hut – Trip Advisor

“We are honoured to be recognized as a top ranking resort in a variety of categories and publications both in North America and overseas, as we continually strive to be the best, it is encouraging to receive such positive affirmation we are on the right track.” says Stuart Rempel, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Whistler Blackcomb.

The Big Picture Documentary Series

Get excited about opening day by watching The Big Picture Documentary Series! Like all ski resorts, Whistler Blackcomb must adapt to a changing ski and snowboard world if it wants to flourish for another 50 years. What will the future hold for ski resorts? Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb’s Chief Operating Officer, offers his perspective.

Learn more and watch the full documentary series 


Book Your Ski Season Now

Opening weekend in Whistler has all the excitement of Christmas, only it’s better because you can show up without a gift. The atmosphere is amazing, you can’t duplicate it – you just have to be here. And early December is the perfect time for some skiing and riding! We've got fantastic lodging deals so you can enjoy some turns with your friends and family to start the season.

Book with us now and plan your winter getaway!

Photo Credit: Mike Crane

Posted by on Friday, November 18, 2016