Opening day has been a moving target, but Wednesday was finally the day skiers and snowboarders have been waiting for. The Okanagan’s two largest ski hills opened for the downhill season.
Some hitting the slopes at SilverStar and Big White were so excited for the start of another season they had trouble sleeping the night before or woke up hours early.
“We were dead excited. We woke up at 6:40 a.m. just to get on. Little did we know that the lifts open at 8:45 a.m. We were just dead excited,” said one Big White visitor.
Conditions weren’t ideal. Some reported low visibility and others encountered sticks or rocks that weren’t quite covered by snow. But those out enjoying the slopes were still enthusiastic about the first runs of the year.
Both hills had hoped to open last week but didn’t get the snow they needed and both mountains only had a fraction of their runs open on Wednesday, with 26 runs open at SilverStar and six at Big White.
“We do need a lot more snow to open up many more parts of the mountain, but this has been our biggest midweek opening in our history, well over a thousand skiers and snowboarders,” said Big White spokesperson Michael Ballingall.
Silver Star is bullish about attendance as well.
Read More: Banff’s Sunshine Village 1st Canadian ski resort to open for 2016-2017 season.
“Our bookings are up and our international bookings are up,” said Erik Kalacis, director of sales and marketing for SilverStar.
Apex Mountain Resort near Penticton is currently set to open on December 10.