Whistler, B.C., Canada Nov. 15--On Saturday, Whistler/Blackcomb opened for the 1999-2000 season with the "Let it Snow Enduro." This off-beat contest pitted 24 skiers in a test of will for a season pass as well as for the bragging rights of being the first on the mountain on opening day, with the next person being 100 chairs behind.
The 24 contestants stood in line, buckled into their skiboots, at Blackcomb's Wizard Lift for twenty-four hours straight, with the Christmas song, "Let it Snow" playing the entire time.
The winner was to have been the last one standing, but despite a sub-zero evening, 20 stalwart skiers still stood in the lift line at 8:00 am on Sat. A Whistler/Blackcomb trivia contest then cut the group down to two last survivors.
These two were then tested on their knowledge of the song, "Let It Snow," which had been playing throughout the night. After two rounds of questions, Whistler/Blackcomb resident, Dave Paul, skied away with the season pass and three friends joined him for the first chair of the season.
"It was the most incredibly fun contest we have ever had here at Whistler/Blackcomb," reported Whistler/Blackcomb Public Relations Manager, Susan Darch. "We couldn't believe the enthusiasm and that there were still 20 people left after 24 hours."
The resort opened with six lifts giving access to the entire mid-mountain, consisting of 22 groomers and 10-17 ungroomed trails spreading over 500 acres of terrain.
"We normally open with only a few runs on man-made snow," continued Darch. "This year we were helped out by some natural snow that allowed us to open our entire mid-mountain to start off what looks to be another great year."
Blackcomb Mountain reports a 31-inch mid-mountain base with five lifts running during the week and six lifts during the weekend serving over 30 trails. They expect to open more terrain as the snow falls.
Early-season ticket prices for Blackcomb are $26 for adults (ages 19-64), $22 for youths (ages 13-18) and seniors (ages 65 and over), and $14 for children (ages 7-12).
Blackcomb's sister resort, Whistler Mountain, expects to open on Nov. 24.