Mount Cain slates opening day Saturday

North Island skiers can kick off season on 140-cm snow base; transit bus scheduled to run from Port Hardy, Port McNeill

North Island powder hounds get their long-awaited first crack at their local slope Saturday when Mount Cain Ski Area opens for the 2011-12 season.

The ski lift will fire up at 9:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday and run until 3:30 p.m., and Mount Waddington Transit will have its bus service to the hill with departure from Thunderbird Mall in Port Hardy at 6:40 a.m. and from Pioneer Mall in Port McNeill at 7:29 a.m.

The weather system that brought heavy rains, flooding and landslides to the North Island less than two weeks ago was kind to the ski area, providing a mid-mountain snow base of 140 centimetres.

Mount Cain Ski Area, operated by volunteers of the Mount Cain Alpine Park Society, features two t-bar lifts and a tow rope servicing 21 total runs.

It is a full-service facility, including lodge with diner, ski shop and rentals.

It is open each weekend through the winter season, with extended openings for Christmas break Dec. 17-Jan. 2 and Spring break, Mar. 17-25.

For ticket prices and other info, visit www.mountcain.com