COMOX VALLEY, B.C. – The weather cooperated and Mount Washington Alpine Resort was able to open on Saturday, December 15th.

The original December 7th opening was delayed due to a lack of snow.

Resort spokesperson Sheila Rivers said they had a great opening weekend turnout.

“We had lots of people lined up at the lifts really early, one or two hours before we even started spinning for opening day,” she said.

“It was really exciting and a really great atmosphere.”

Rivers said the Hawk and Whiskey Jack chairlifts were open this weekend, as was the Easy Acres area.

She said they’re hoping to get the Sunrise lift spinning as soon as possible, and have it operational by this weekend.

Up until Friday, December 21st, anyone who has never skied or snowboarded before can get free lessons at the resort.

“You get your lift ticket, your rental, and your lesson and it’s all free as long as you’ve never skied or snowboarded before and you’re 13 and over,” Rivers said.

She added that the resort opened up with a snow base of just over 40 centimetres.

As of Tuesday morning, that’s gone up to more than 125 centimetres.

“The storms in town have really fallen as wonderful snow up here,” Rivers said.

“In the past 48 hours, we’ve had 57 centimetres, and in the past 24 hours, we’ve had over 55 centimetres. It’s been very snowy, and we have another system coming through just in time for Christmas.”

Over the holidays, Rivers said the resort would be hosting visits from Santa and Mrs. Clause over the weekends, a Christmas tree lighting, a torch light parade and fireworks display on Boxing Day.

“Of course, as everyone needs to know, if you dress up as an elf on Christmas day, you can ski or ride completely for free…it’s a pretty fun event,” she added.