Whistler-Blackcomb has announced they will open for the 2017/18 season on November 17th.

The resort will open Whistler Mountain six days ahead of schedule as a streak of cold temperatures allowed for what the company is calling ‘prime snowmaking conditions’ along with a weather forecast calling for 50 centimeters of snow. Blackcomb mountain will open as scheduled on November 23rd.

Five lifts will be operating, including the Whistler Village Gondola, the Creekside Gondola, Emerald Express, Big Red Express and Franz’s Chair. Guests will have access to 20 runs covering 600 acres of terrain with a base of one metre at the Pig Alley weather station.

“We couldn’t be more excited about opening Whistler Mountain early again this season. Our snowmaking and operations teams have been working extremely hard to get the mountain ready for guests” says Pete Sonntag, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Whistler Blackcomb.

The mountain wants to remind the public that early season conditions still apply. Doug MacFarlane, Senior Director of Mountain Operations says it is important to obey all mountain signage; “ski and ride on open runs only and stay within the operational area marked by boundary signage”.

In addition to opening early for another year the resort also confirmed to Mountain FM that the Couloir Extreme (located near the Horstman Hut on Blackcomb Mountain) is being renamed the Saudan Couloir. Many veterans of the mountain resort will know that the Couloir Extreme was formerly called the Saudan Couloir, named after the man many consider the ‘grandfather of extreme skiing’ Sylvain Saudan.

The run’s name, and the race that followed (the Saudan Couloir Ski Race) was never authorized by Sylvain Saudan. Years later when Saudan found out that his name was being used it was removed from the run and compensation was sought for the use of his name.

Saudan made a trip to BC this week and made an appearance at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and also sat down with Whistler Blackcomb, where staff have since confirmed that the Couloir will once again be known as the Saudan Couloir. The resort also filmed a video with the ski legend during his visit. Whistler Blackcomb Senior Manager of Communications Marc Riddell said no decision had been made about bringing back the Saudan Couloir race. “We’re very happy to have Monsieur Saudan back into the fold” said Riddell. The deal for the renaming of the run has been in the works for the past “four or five months” according to the Riddell; “He’s back in Whistler Blackcomb and we couldn’t be more pleased”.


Filed under: Blackcomb, Ski, Snow, Vail Resorts, Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb