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Falling snow excites winter sports buffs

MOUNT WASHINGTON
MOUNT WASHINGTON'S Whiskey Jack camera view shows some snow at the peak Tuesday morning. Between 10 to 20 centimetres of snow fell over the weekend and another 20 to 40 centimetres is expected later this week. Opening day is still expected to be Dec. 7.
— image credit: Mount Washington Alpine Resort

A small taste of the white stuff in the Comox Valley Sunday meant more on the mountain, and Mount Washington staff — along with snow sport enthusiasts — are keenly watching for more.

"We're in the same boat — any time we see the snow fall in the Valley, you know, obviously it gets everybody excited and we just want the snowfall to come," says Mount Washington's Brent Curtain. "And it looks like with the forecast, that it's going to be happening, so we're definitely pumped for the start of the season."

Due to winds associated with a storm over the weekend, the mountain received between 10 and 20 centimetres of snow depending which area of the hill is measured, according to Curtain. However, more snow is expected later in the week.

"There is a significant system sitting off the coast that's supposed to be moving in later this week, and right now, the forecast is saying upwards of between 20 and 40 centimetres so it could be quite a significant snowfall event that we see going into the weekend," explains Curtain, adding things look good for the resort's projected opening day of Dec. 7.

He adds resort staff evaluate conditions after a snowfall, but it's hard to predict opening day this far in advance so the resort uses historical averages to calculate when to open.

However, Curtain also points out the mountain opened early the past three years in a row.

"So if we could do it again, we would definitely do it — but the snow has to co-operate," he says.

Resort staff are buzzing around doing final winter preparations on the slopes, and lift mechanics are busy testing the lifts before the season starts.

For more information, visit www.mountwashington.ca.

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