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Big White Ski Resort has been busy blasting rock this summer in an effort to open the entire mountain at the same time this fall.

Crews have blown up the rock ridge just below the Gem Lake unload station to create the Village Way return trail. The $500,000 project will be “massive” for business, according to Big White senior vice-president Michael J. Ballingall.

“We can open the east side of the mountain between 70 and 100 centimetres of snow,” Ballingall said. “It takes us 150 to 200 to open up the Westridge, because we have to push so much snow on top of this rock in order to cover the whole area.”

The Gem Lake/Westridge side of the resort represents 32 per cent of its skiing area, so the new path will allow it to open earlier and in years when there is a snow deficit. That, in turn, will allow more bookings to take place in early December for those wishing to ski the Gem Lake runs.

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