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Mount Washington early opening fourth in a row

It's beginning to look a lot like ski season on Mount Washington — early ski season, that is.

Thanks to the recent precipitation the Comox Valley has been receiving, the snow accumulation on the mountain has translated into an early start for the resort — Nov. 30 rather than the scheduled Dec. 7.

Brent Curtain, spokesperson for Mount Washington, said within a 48-hour period over the weekend more than 80 centimetres of snow fell, adding to the five- to 10-centimetre base.

"Obviously it's a huge snowfall," he explained and added they expect to see another two systems coming through the area later this week.

"There's an even bigger one predicted for Thursday with the potential to bring another 30 to 40 centimetres. That's a substantial amount of snow for November so it makes the decision to open early that much easier."

Curtain added the early opening is unprecedented, as the resort has never opened early four seasons in a row.

The fresh snow has staff busy with grooming and maintenance, he said.

"People are suddenly picking up their speed. We have a lot of ops crews on snowmobiles that have been racing around on snowmobiles and grooming machines. They knew looking around this was coming down the pipe and all the staff have been training so it's going to be a busy week-and-a-half in preparations for opening day."

Curtain noted although other ski resorts within the province have early openings scheduled, Mount Washington can lay claim to having a significant amount of snow.

"Other resorts might have five to 10 runs open; I don't know how many we'll have, but we're definitely looking at significant terrain."

For more information, or to check out the snowfall on the resort's webcams, visit www.mountwashington.ca.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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