Big White

There's an alpine snow base of 82 cm at Big White, and 45 cm at the village, at Big White Ski Resort, which opens on Friday.

This winter’s ski season at Big White starts on Friday.

The resort east of Kelowna will open with three lifts - Lara’s Gondola, and the Plaza and Bullet chairlifts - in operation. Five runs will be accessible and skiers should expect early-season conditions.

“Conditions are very good up top, but the message is, stay on the runs that are groomed,” resort vice-president Michael J. Ballingall said Thursday.

Closed runs will be taped off. Based on the weather forecast, it’s not expected that more of Big White will open until at least next week.

Traditionally, Big White aims for an opening coincident with U.S. Thanksgiving, if conditions allow.

“It’s really good for us to get people on the snow before the crowds get here, so we always want to open on a weekday if we can,” Ballingall said.

“You get people on the snow for the first time, and you literally track-pack it. Humans can do a much better job than the grooming machines can and then, once you get the machines back on it, it makes for the best product,” he said.

The alpine snow base is 82 cm, and it’s 45 cm at the village.