Mount Washington officially kicked off its winter season Friday with a countdown and the ceremonial first chair.
Opening day is always exciting for snow enthusiasts and this year is no different.
“Absolutely thrilled. It’s going to be fantastic. Look at the snow,” said John Melville, who was visiting the resort from Chemainus.
“It’s been magic out here. Snow’s coming down but it’s so good to be out here,” said Nick Gilmour.
Nanaimo resident Summer Hilborn said she was impressed by the conditions.
“They’re pretty good actually. It’s nice that there’s a lot of snow for the first day.”
Last year, the season began earlier but the resort says this year’s opening is remarkable because of how much terrain is open.
“We’re really excited to be open. It’s one of the most exciting openings we’ve had in a few years, with Eagle chair, Hawk chair, a lot of terrain open on the resort and a lot of snow in the forecast this weekend,” said Kayla Stockton, the Resort’s Marketing Manager.
Snow conditions aren’t the only variable Mountains are having to contend with this winter, however, as COVID-19 infections still pose a concern and some BC mountain resorts are requiring all guests to be vaccinated.
This does not apply to Mount Washington, however, although their 800 staff are vaxed and you will have to show your vaccine passport to use the resort’s restaurants.
“There are a few factors into the equation as to why that decision is made for any ski resort. For us, we do predominantly operate outside when we’re recreating outdoors. We don’t have any gondolas and that is one of the factors,” said Stockton.
Those on the mountain don’t seem too concerned about the policy.
“To each their own I suppose. It doesn’t bother me at all. I mean I’m vaccinated,” said Chris Taylor, who was enjoying the opening day on the mountain.
“If they want to ski let them ski. We’re outside, we’re having fun and we’re being active. Why put a damper on that?” said Lexi Borden-Sayah, a skier.
“Though I have noticed myself that the people who are vaccinated are skiing way better than the unvaccinated,” joked Tao Werner, from Cumberland.
The mountain expects nearly all of its terrain to open soon with the snowfall expected this weekend.