Whistler, B.C., November 20, 2003 - Blackcomb Mountain opens this Saturday with what mountain operations are calling the ?best early season conditions in years.? Whistler Blackcomb has received 102 centimetres of new snow in the last week, and snow enthusiasts can hardly contain themselves -- nine lifts, 15 runs, 10 terrain park rails and a full-sized Superpipe will open this weekend.

Mike Douglas pre-season sessioning our new graffiti rail today Nov 20th.

?Conditions were perfect for snowmaking a couple of weeks ago, and we had 150 guns placed all over the mountains,? said Bob DuFour, Whistler Blackcomb Director of Operations. ?Then the storm came, and over 100 centimetres fell on top of what we made. Our operations people have been working hard to get as much terrain open for Saturday as possible, and we can guarantee that the skiing and riding is excellent for the early season.?

For advanced skiers and riders, the Crystal Chair zone will open, ?powder-filled and ungroomed.? The Magic Chair and Magic Carpet will run for new skiers and riders, and runs such as Zig Zag are in great condition for intermediates.

The Whistler Village is also blanketed in white, and the anticipation of Saturday?s opening has put some locals in near hysterics. In an email to Whistler Blackcomb staff, one impassioned local wrote, ?Please let me up the mountain before Saturday. I?m coming unglued here, help.?

Whistler Blackcomb operations would like to remind skiers and riders to stay out of temporarily and permanently closed areas. There may be unmarked hazards on runs that are not open, and the penalty for going in to closed areas is a one-month pass suspension.

For those who need to re-charge between laps, the Rendezvous and Glacier Creek kitchens will be cooking up an array of hot-food. Merlin?s, the Wizard Grill and the Garibaldi Lift Company (aprè³­only) will open their doors for business in the valley. Early season pricing is in effect this weekend, and one-day ticket prices are as follows: $50 for adults, $41 for seniors and youth, and $24 for kids age 12 and under. Hours of operation are 8:30am to 3:00pm.

For more information on opening day and snow conditions please call 1-800-766-0449 or visit us online at http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com. The snowphone report is now being updated daily. Beginning opening day it will be updated 4 times daily (at 6:00am, 7:30am, 11:00am and 3:00pm) and can be reached at 604.932.4211 (locally), 604.687.7507 (Vancouver), and 1.800.766.0449 (toll-free).