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Skiers, snowboarders thrilled about Mount Washington opening
Mount Washington Alpine Resort saw the season's first skiers and boarders fly down the hill Sunday.
While it was wet and stormy Friday and Saturday in the Comox Valley, Mount Washington was finally getting that dumping of snow it needed to be able to open its alpine operations.
Comox Valley musician, and avid skier, Helen Austin and her family were among the snow sport enthusiasts who flocked to the mountain on opening day.
"We were thrilled to finally get up the mountain and do some skiing," Austin said Monday. "A big part of why we moved here was the mountain so we were chomping at the bit for it to open. My daughter celebrated by skiing in her tiger onesie and my son whooped his way down every run."
Opening day had been scheduled as Dec. 6, and with the good news that opening day had finally come over a month later, the resort website was inundated with those checking for updates. It went down over the weekend due to those high traffic volumes, but was back up and running Monday morning.
For updates on mountain conditions, and to view the resort's webcams, visit www.mountwashington.ca, or check the resort's Facebook page.
As of Monday morning, the mid-mountain snow base was 100 centimetres, with machine-groomed, spring conditions listed.
The Hawk Chair, Whiskey Jack Chair and Easy Acres beginner area, including all Magic Carpets, are in operation daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., according to the website. The Eagle, Sunrise and Boomerang chairs were not yet open as of Monday.
Nine of 17 nordic trails are open, too. The Tube Park continues to operate.
Snow sports enthusiasts, and resort's 700 staff — many of whom work was on hold for until the mountain opened — weren't the only ones eagerly awaiting opening day. Many local businesses were also looking forward to the influx of direct and indirect business the mountain brings to the Valley.
Ski Tak Hut's Jade Keene said Monday that sales at the ski and snowboard shop had already picked up.
"Starting before even yesterday with the mountain open — once we saw this weather was coming — we started to get busier; we noticed a pretty drastic change," said the sales representative. "So, everyone in the shop's really excited.
"Hopefully, from here on out we have a fantastic season, and it's a little bit of a late start but we can get a lot of snow pretty quickly here on the Island as we've seen before, so we're hoping this is the start to a great season."