Dust off your gear; the mountains have been hammered with snow over the past week and more is in the forecast.

WHISTLER, BC, Tuesday, November 10, 2009 – The words ‘opening day’ and ‘early,’ much like peanut butter and jelly, always go together so well, which is why Whistler Blackcomb is very pleased to announce that Whistler Mountain will open 12 days early, this Saturday, November 14. Blackcomb Mountain will open on Thursday, November 26.

Mother Nature has certainly been kind with a minimum of 70-100 centimetres of snow accumulating over the past seven days. And, with the cold front moving across the south Coastal Mountains, forecasts indicate another 65 centimetres of snow could fall by opening day. Combine that with the power of an arsenal of over 160 snow guns, and this early season is off to a very white start.

“With all the excitement about the new snow and early opening rumours being spread throughout Whistler Village, among our online communities, and within our mountain staff, this Saturday morning will no doubt be epic,” says Doug MacFarlane, mountain operations manager at Whistler Blackcomb. “Our mountain operations, grooming and snowmaking teams have all been working incredibly hard this week to ensure that we have the best possible snow conditions for not only opening day, but for all season long. We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and Saturday, but we’re up for it, and stoked!”

On Saturday, skiers and riders will be able to head up Whistler Mountain via the Whistler Village Gondola, with Big Red Express, Emerald Express, and Franz’s Chair all open. Guests should note, however, that early season conditions do apply and caution should be exercised at all times with the terrain available best-suited for intermediate to advanced riders and skiers. In addition to that, guests should observe all mountain signage and stay within the operational boundary, which will be marked with “Temporary Boundary” signs during the early season. Whistler Mountain’s hours of operation will be from 8:30am to 3pm daily.

Lift tickets will be available for the early season price of $59 CAD; however, for guests living in Canada or Washington State, consider picking up an EDGE Card, which guarantees the lowest rates on lift tickets all season long. EDGE Cards come loaded with 1, 3, 5, or 10 days of lift access, are valid all season long and are still available at early bird pricing until November 23. For accommodation packages, look no further than our early booking deal, which ends this Sunday, November 15. Book early and save up to 39 per cent on lift ticket and accommodation packages throughout the season, and receive the Best Price Guarantee. If a similar package is offered during the season at a better rate, we will cover the difference.

“There really is no shortage of things to be excited about as we embark on the biggest and best season yet,” says Stuart Rempel, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Whistler Blackcomb. “We’re opening early, the snow is falling, and we’re realizing our five decade-long dream of being the Official Alpine Skiing Venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Plus, our mountains are going to be 90 per cent open during the Olympics, and 100 per cent open before, and afterwards, giving skiers and riders plenty of powdery options to choose from.”

Guest Relations in Whistler Village will be open Wednesday/Thursday from 10am to 6pm, Friday from 10am to 7pm and Saturday/Sunday from 8am to 5pm. Blackcomb Daylodge Guest Relations will also open Friday through Sunday to assist in processing season passes and EDGE Cards. G1 Gondola Rentals (in the Gondola Building), the Salomon Store and the Westin will be open for rentals from 8am Saturday and Sunday. Tuning and storage will be available. Check http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com for all details.

Stay up-to-date on what’s open, mountain conditions, temperatures, snowfall accumulation, forecasts and last minute hotel deals at http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com. Starting today, the Snow Report will be updated daily and can be listened to online or by calling 604-932-4211 in Whistler, 604-687-7507 in Vancouver, or toll-free at 1-800-766-0449.

And, if you’re on Facebook, head to our official Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/whistlerblackcomb or follow us on Twitter: @whistlerblckcmb. Also, if heading up to Whistler this weekend for opening day, check out Cornucopia, Whistler’s renowned food and wine festival at http://www.whistlercornucopia.com.

Consistently ranked as North America's top ski and snowboard resort, Whistler Blackcomb gets ready to welcome the world in 2010 as a host venue for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. With uninterrupted skiing, riding and sightseeing available throughout the winter, season two of the highly acclaimed PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, and the best deals of the season guaranteed before November 15, Whistler Blackcomb continues to raise the level of mountain excitement for its guests. Located a scenic two-hour drive north of Vancouver, Canada up the spectacular, newly-finished Sea to Sky Highway, this resort is home to Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, which boast one vertical mile of incredible skiing and riding. With over 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, 200 trails, and 8,171 acres of skiable terrain, the choices of where and what to ski/ride at Whistler Blackcomb from beginner to advanced terrain are staggering. Joined at the base by a vibrant pedestrian village filled with award-winning après bars, restaurants, patios, cafes, shops, galleries and spas, and surrounded by breathtaking scenery, this four-season resort is spectacular. For more information, visit http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com.

About Intrawest

Intrawest is a leader in the development and management of experiential destination resorts. The Company has interests in a network of resorts at North America’s most popular mountain destinations including Whistler Blackcomb, a host venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world. In addition, Intrawest markets and sells real estate at its resorts in North America and at other third-party locations around the world. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and is a portfolio company owned primarily by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC. For more information, visit http://www.intrawest.com