WHISTLER, Canada, January 27, 2005: The recent “Pineapple Express� storm packed a tropical punch like no other, but Whistler Blackcomb remains up and running, with a solid mid-mountain base and temperatures returning to seasonal levels.

“We are open with more than 4,500 acres and over 5,000 vertical feet of terrain available for skiing and riding – still delivering one of the largest ski areas on the continent,� says Doug Forseth, Senior Vice President of Operations at Whistler Blackcomb.

Whistler is emerging from a week of extreme record-setting weather conditions brought on by the “Pineapple Express� storm system originating just north of Hawaii. It brought heavy precipitation and unseasonably warm temperatures to most of British Columbia and Washington State. The four-day period from January 17th to 20th was the heaviest four consecutive days of precipitation Whistler has ever experienced since weather data was first collected in 1931. With higher than normal temperatures, this fell in the form of rain rather than the usual snow. A number of Washington State and Vancouver-area ski resorts closed down as a result of the deluge.

Four centimetres of new snow fell overnight last night on Whistler Blackcomb and the Environment Canada forecast is calling for a cooling trend with continued snowfall on the upper mountains from Thursday onward. The snow base is currently 120 centimetres or 47 inches as measured at mid-mountain (1,650 metres). Currently the snow conditions are spring-like throughout the mid-mountain with the new snow in the alpine delivering winter conditions once again.

“With over 8,000 acres of terrain and a one-mile vertical rise, intense weather systems affect us in extremely different ways from top to bottom,� says Forseth. “We’ve lost some snow at the valley level, but we’ve maintained our ski-outs as a result of extensive early-season snowmaking. The alpine region is also holding up well as we’re seeing fluctuating temperatures bringing new snow. With 130 days left in our season, we’re expecting lots more winter weather ahead.�

Based on the last 3 winter seasons, the average total snowfall in the latter half of the season was 132cm (4.3 feet) in February, 215cm (7 feet) in March, and 88cm (2.9 feet) in April.

For further information on what’s on at Whistler Blackcomb this season, including special accommodation package prices, log on to whistlerblackcomb.com or call 1-866-218-9690.