WHISTLER, BC, Nov. 15 – While most of North America is experiencing an unseasonably warm November, Whistler/Blackcomb, North America’s No. 1 Ski Resort, is open with the most natural snow on the continent. This Canadian twin-mountain resort already has almost three feet of snow at mid-mountain (80 centimetres) and an impressive five feet (150 centimetres) at the summit.

Whistler/Blackcomb’s winter ski season started a week early when Blackcomb Mountain opened on Saturday, November 13. Thousands of enthusiastic skiers showed up to make their first turns of the season on the 40+ mid-mountain runs. “Blackcomb usually opens early with a few open ski runs, but this year with all the natural snow we opened a quarter of the mountain on the very first day,” said David Perry, Vice President of Marketing & Sales. “We have had excellent early season snowfall, just as the forecasters predicted.”

Recently, the US National Weather Service forecasted above average snowfall for the Pacific Northwest as the La Nina weather phenomenon hangs on. This is good news for Whistler skiers as last winter’s La Nina brought 55-ft of snow to the resort, setting a 25-year snowfall record.

Perry said the exceptional ski and snowboard experience offered by Whistler/Blackcomb is also great value, expecially for guests visiting from the U.S. and overseas. “With the American dollar, you pay a third less for everything from your latte to your lift tickets to your lodging, `’ he said. Currently, $1 US is worth $1.41 Canadian.

Many excellent accommodation packages are available now through the holiday season. Attractively priced three and four-day “WinterStart Get-away” packages are available from $219 US ($309 CDN). Intrawest Vacations’ five-night “Christmas at Whistler” packages are also available contact Resort Reservations Whistler at 1-888-284-9999 or online at www.whistler-blackcomb.com.

>From December 3-12, Whistler/Blackcomb hosts HSBC Whistler WinterStart festival. This 10-day family festival celebrating the start of winter features five World Cup Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding events, Wintertainment Outdoor Concert Series, snowsport film premieres, Super Demo Days and the Coca-Cola Christmas Square.