Opening day in Whistler is a pretty big deal. The climax of months of anticipation as eager skiers and snowboarders watch the snowline slowly creep down the mountain towards the village.
For many, being the first to sample the untouched snow is an absolute must, for themselves, for bragging rights, and for the love of the sport. If you’re wanting to be one of the first up there then you need to be ready – Whistler Blackcomb are known to move the official opening day forwards should conditions allow!
If you’re not familiar with the rituals of opening day, we have put together a guide to get you through it:
Prepare your gear
As we said, the mountain can be opened at a moments notice, so it is important that all your gear is tuned and ready well in advance.
That being said, with early season snow coverage it is always advisable to use your old equipment (commonly known as rock-skis/boards) just in case it gets damaged by exposed rocks.
If you want to be first up the mountain on opening day then you have to be in the lift queues extra early – and by early we mean it! Think 6am early! (and you can guarantee someone will have beaten you to it).
But if first tracks on opening day aren’t your thing, don’t worry too much and just head up at a reasonable time!
Follow the signs
You always want to pay attention to the signs on the mountain, but during early season it is even more important. Due to reduced snow coverage there are lots of exposed rocks and creeks, so stay on the marked trails and do not head down closed runs, no matter how tempting they look.
The end of the ski day marks the start of the après, and opening day is no different. With all the excitement in the air, the atmosphere will be fantastic wherever you go, so head to your favourite bar and enjoy a well earned drink and some food!
Wait it out
If early starts and exposed rocks aren’t your thing you can always just wait a week or two until there is more snow coverage and more runs open. But, beware of FOMO as you know that everyone else is up there enjoying the new snow and a new season!