More mountains kick off season

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

Skiers and snowboarders now have plenty of options if they're planning on heading to the mountains.

Three more major ski areas opened over the weekend and resorts that have been operating for a while continue to open new terrain with more snow than ever.

Fernie, Nakiska and Panorama were among the areas that started their lifts this past weekend.

The anticipated opening of Fernie Alpine Resort was a complete success, according to Paula Worthington at the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.

With more than nine ft. of powder blanketing most of the terrain, Worthington said skiers and boarders had their choice of fresh tracks.

"Basically the whole mountain opened, which was great," said Worthington. "Places like the 1, 2, 3's in Currie Bowl and Cedar Bowl, there was just tons of snow.

"There was a really good vibe out at the resort. They cracked open the lifts 10 minutes early to get things going.

"Overall, things were good. People were really looking forward to the opening and the mountain was in really great shape."

Fernie will be hosting a rail jam Saturday, which is open to the public.

You can register at www.skircr.com.

Nakiska also had a warm reception this past weekend -- literally.

With chinook winds blowing through the skirt of the Canadian Rockies, visitors to Calgary's closest ski area were treated to solid conditions and mild temperatures.

"I got word out of there that they're also in really good shape," said Worthington.

"The runs off Gold chair are really good and the glades are good."

Panorama in Invermere had its best opening in recent years.

According to Kristin Smith, communications co-ordinator at Panorama, there was lots of snow.

"We got to open some of the runs in Taynton Bowl because of the snow. We had a fantastic weekend out here," she said.


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