Ski and snowboard news: Grouse opens; Sun Peaks holds slopeside wine fest; Rusutsu, Japan joins Vail’s Epic Pass

All of this cold weather is good news for skiers and riders

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      Grouse Mountain officially opens for the 2018/19 season today (December 5) at 3:30 p.m.

      All the cold weather we’ve been having lately has meant the snow guns have been firing. Paradise Bowl and the Paradise Jib Park will open with access via the Greenway Chair.

      On Friday (December 7), the mountain will celebrate 25 years of terrain parks with a season-opening event at 6:30 p.m. in Paradise Jib Park.

      Cypress Mountain Resort is also open for downhill skiing, with the Easy Rider lift running daily. Snowmaking is happening on the Eagle Express terrain.

      Mount Seymour promises on its website that it’s opening soon.

      Whistler Blackcomb’s Peak Express is now open, with early-season conditions in effect.

      In other Vail Resort news, Rusutsu Resort in Hokkaido, Japan—renowned for powder and tree skiing—is joining the Epic Pass for the 2019-20 season. That means passholders will have access to 66 mountain resorts in eight countries as of next year.

      Sun Peaks Resort is open for skiing and riding and kicks off winter with its annual Savour the Sun Festival Friday to Sunday (December 7 to 9). The weekend starts with Savour the Sun at Sunburst, a ski-in ski-out, mid-mountain reception on Friday. The party will feature private collection, never released wines presented and poured by the winemakers from Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country alongside food stations, all with sweeping views of the slopes and the valley beyond.

      Savour Bubbles takes place Friday as well, a progressive-style tasting at Masa’s Bar + Grill, focusing on sparkling wines and terroir-expressive varietals from nine Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country winemakers. The Sun Peaks culinary team will pair the wines with international flavours.

      On Saturday, it’s Uncork Your Senses at the Annex. The resort’s newly renovated day lodge will be transformed for an elegant evening of food and wine tastings.