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For a fourth time in the last 16 days, Michael J. Ballingall has delivered the news that no one wanted to hear.
Opening day of the 2023-24 ski season at Big White has been pushed back yet again.
This time, there is no new target date for the ski hill to open for the winter and it’s truly a “play it by ear” situation.
“What was supposed to be snow fell as rain last night at Big White Ski Resort,” said Ballingall. “Unfortunately this unseasonable weather has now pushed back opening day until we receive another 20-25 centimetres of snow.”
Instead of choosing a new date for opening day, the resort is now on 24-hour standby and will open with 24 hours notice as soon as the snow conditions allow it.
Ballingall said the outdoor operations team has been working hard in the alpine to push what snow is available into key areas so the hill can be opened with minimum snowfalls of 20-25 cm.
He noted that the current snow base is 50 cm, as the mountain lost 4 cm of base on Tuesday, but the forecast is looking up.
Not only is it snowing in the village right now, but colder weather and snow are both in the forecast over the coming days.
When asked about the latest Big White has ever opened for the winter season, Ballingall said he believes it was Dec. 8 a few years ago.
“We’re getting close,” he added, with Dec. 8 coming up on Friday.
At this point, it doesn’t look promising for the ski hill to open by the weekend and there’s a good chance that a new record for the latest opening day is set this year.