An image taken from the Alpine Camera on Mount Washington on the afternoon of Dec. 13.

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

Delayed by more than a week from its original schedule, Mount Washington Alpine Resort has announced it’s officially opening for the season on Dec. 15.

The Whiskey Jack chair will whisk skiers and boarders three-quarters of the way up the mountain to — hopefully — three open runs including the blue that leads to the alpine lodge. The beginner area, Easy Acres, will be fully open. The tube park will also be ready on opening day.

“We’re waiting on snow for the rest of it, but we’re anticipating on being able to open more front-side terrain after a few systems hit us — which feels like it’s happening right now,” marketing manager Sheila Rivers said.

READ MORE: Mount Washington opening day delayed

Days before the original opening day of Dec. 7, the resort had only seen 10 cm of snow at the top of their runs. A minimum of three feet is usually required to open. By Dec. 14, the eve of the new opening day, there was 40 cm at the base after an overnight snowfall of 15 cm. And more snow is expected over the weekend.

“It’s hard to gauge, but we’re certainly expecting it to be busy,” Rivers said.

Visitors will be the first to try the resort’s new RFID technology for their gates and ticketing. The hands-free lift access — like tapping a debit card, Rivers said — eliminates ticket scanning and allows visitors to load up their tickets online. No more ticket lines required.

For the second year in a row, the resort is also offering their free Discovery Days packages. For people who have never skied or snowboarded before, anyone 13 years old and up can take advantage of their free lesson packages including free rentals and lift tickets.

Last year, the first Discovery Days drew 1,000 people to the mountain and converted 400 of them into season pass holders (the equivalent of at least 10 days of resort snow activities).

Discovery Days will be held from Dec. 15 to 21 for those who pre-register online at mountwashington.ca.

READ MORE: RFID access comes to Mt. Washington


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