As snow fell all day on Mount Washington staff were busy preparing for eager skiers and snowboarders. They’ll be lining up first thing tomorrow morning for opening day.

“We’re certainly getting hit with quite the system and we’re looking forward to having a few more over the weekend but the big news is we’re opening tomorrow Dec.15,” said Mount Washington spokesperson Sheila Rivers.

The official base Friday morning was 40 centimetres but it snowed all day on top of that. The Whiskey Jack, the beginner area and Tube Park will be open this weekend, then more terrain will follow depending on snow conditions.

It was all hands on deck Friday preparing for the opening.

“Once the snow starts coming and we actually start getting back into the snowcats everyone gets excited about it,” said snowcat operator Brad Froese.

“Last week I had a brush saw in my hand and now this week, snowcat and a couple of feet of snow happening here.”

The new snow across B.C. and the island mountains has prompted Avalanche Canada to post warnings for many parts of the province including Vancouver Island.

“Winter is finally coming to the island alps and in addition, there’s some weak snow at the bottom of the snowpack that’s going to get loaded really heavily with this new snow.” said avalanche expert Jan Neuspiel.

Rain fell at lower elevations and the level of the Comox Lake reservoir has been rising. B.C. Hydro is warning people to stay away from the Puntledge River as it dumps water from the reservoir.

B.C. Hydro also dealt with numerous power outages Friday. Nanaimo was the hardest hit with 14,000 customers without power at one point. The peak across the island was 19,000 customers.

Dean Stoltz