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Marmot Basin aiming for Nov. 16 opening

Skiers pay heed: Marmot Basin is now looking to the first day of schussing on the slopes next week.
Work on the new knob quad chair should be complete sometime in December. | Supplied photo

Originally, management at the ski resort planned for the 2023/24 downhill ski season to start this week. With not enough natural snow and temperatures still too mild for its snowmakers to be successful, they decided that a modest delay was required until conditions would be just right.

The new targeted opening date is Nov. 16, said Brian Rode, vice president at the ski hill.

"Mother Nature wasn't that kind to us. We weren't able to make what we typically would make for snow to get to the lower parts open. We haven't seen much natural snow. Just with a little bit of cooperation there with the temperatures, we're optimistic that we could get open on the 16th."

Snowmaking was well underway for the first week of the month and brief periods of cold temperatures were promising. The thermometer level climbed back up, however, making it too warm to keep the snow guns running full-time.

"As soon as the mercury drops, snowmaking will resume around the clock," read Marmot's announcement on its website and social media Monday afternoon.

One week isn't so bad, Rode said, expressing his and every other skier's understanding that good things come to those who wait.

The Marmot Escape Card is back to offer half-price lift tickets (and a multitude of other perks) for only $99. Discounted lift tickets will also be available at the mountain on opening day and will be priced depending on the amount of terrain open.

Rode added that work on the new knob quad chair is progressing well and looks to be complete in December. The base of the new equipment will be approximately 100 metres lower than the current base, making it accessible from the Eagle Ridge chair.

It will also peak more than 100 metres above the previous height. The new level at an elevation of 2,518 metres will take guests higher on the mountain than ever before, offering access to the ski hill's newly opened Marmot Cirque terrain.

Rode said all of this should make it worth the extra week of anticipation.

"We have a long season ahead of us. We're open until end of April/early May. There's lots to look forward to."

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