The Whitewater Silver King chair lift.

The Whitewater Silver King chair lift.

Plenty of snow as Whitewater opens for season

The 40th anniversary of Whitewater Ski Resort is shaping up to be a snowy one.

The 40th anniversary of Whitewater Ski Resort is shaping up to be a snowy one.

Whitewater, which opens Saturday, has already far surpassed last year’s conditions. The mountain has seen 273 centimetres of snow as of Thursday morning compared to 169 cm in November, 2014.

Kirk Jensen, general manager of Whitewater, has been working at the resort for 23 years. He said he can’t wait to see people on the mountain. “It’s going to be a fantastic year and it’s fantastic conditions right now,” he said. “It’s going to be an amazing opening.”

Organizers have plenty of events planned to celebrate the anniversary of the ski hill, which opened Dec. 26, 1975.

It starts Saturday and Sunday with 25 per cent off tickets before the resort closes until the 12th for staff training.

The resort is selling an anniversary calendar at its retail stores and is planning a launch party for a video that document’s Whitewater’s history.

Whitewater will also host its first annual community day on Jan. 8, which will feature $10 tickets for skiers and snowboarders from the Slocan Valley, Nelson-Kootenay Lake region and the Salmo-Ymir region. All proceeds will be split between the Nelson Cares Society and Avalanche Awareness Beyond the Boundaries.

Another celebration with live music and competitions is planned for Jan. 15.

The settled snow pack at Whitewater is 126 cm. Unofficial Networks, a website that tracks snowfall, listed Whitewater fifth overall among North American ski resorts for total fallen snow as of Tuesday. Whitewater was surpassed in Canada only by Kicking Horse (281 cm) and Revelstoke (325 cm).

Alyeska, Alaska, boasts the most snow with 327 cm.