Crowds come out for early opening at Apex Mountain Resort

Crowds come out to ski

Casey Richardson

Apex Mountain Resort celebrated one of its best opening weekends ever, thanks to four feet of snow welcoming the powder hounds on Friday.

James Shalman, the resort’s general manager, said that even the steep double black diamond runs were perfect powder fields.

“The hills are absolutely fantastic, it’s actually more like mid-winter conditions than early December. Usually, with the amount of snowfall and the quality of snow that we have right now we would see about mid-January, almost the end of January. So we're about a month and a half ahead of schedule,” he said.

Around 2,000 people came out for the earlier-than-planned opening weekend, without any pandemic restrictions.

“I think everyone is just happy to have the singles line back. And it's just the social element of skiing. Skiing is really kind of family-focused, friend-focused, all that kind of stuff, and that's all about skiing with your buds and skiing with your family. All that has come back after COVID, where we tried to separate and distance people and not have that community,” Shalman said.

“All of the events are coming back. We have live bands at the Gun Barrel. We're doing events throughout the Christmas holidays, all of the events that we kind of cancelled during COVID are all back on and we've added a few more.”

The forecast for the whole season looks promising too.

“It's a La Nina year and La Nina means kind of colder and wetter than average year...the biggest snow years that Apex and actually the Pacific Northwest has ever had are during La Nina years.”

Canada Cup selection event competitors are already at the hill for training, coming from Japan, Australia, and across the US and Canada.

Apex is home to a World Cup-level mogul course, on which the athletes will compete Dec.16 to 18.

“It's going to be a very exciting weekend of head-to-head competition, you're gonna see the best mogul skiers that are not at the World Cup are going to be here at Apex.”

Spectators are encouraged to come out to the hill to watch the high-level athlete sporting event at no cost.

“It's actually free to watch if you want to walk out from the village or if you're skiing by,” Shalman said.

The ski hill is fully open seven days a week. Meanwhile, the skating rink, outdoor skating loop, and tubing park will be ready on Dec. 16.

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