Snow that is, white gold, BC powder.
While Alpine and Nordic skiing, as well as bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events, will be some 125 km north where snow is abundant in the resort town of Whistler, Cypress Mountain, the outdoor Vancouver venue for the 2010 Winter Olympics, is snow challenged.
This is what I see of Seymour Mountain on the North Shore from my rooftop terrace in Port Moody; still not much snow.
They certainly weren’t kidding about being the “Greenest” Games ever! Record temperatures this week are still hovering at 10°C/50°F, and the rain isn’t helping either.
Snow being trucked in from Manning Park, which is about 160 km east of from Vancouver, is being stockpiled at higher elevations on Cypress. As it is needed it is then ploughed down the mountain into position.
The snowboarding (halfpipe, snowboard-cross and the parallel giant slalom) and three skiing (aerials, moguls and skier-cross) events are all scheduled for Cypress Mountain. I have no idea how the athletes are getting in their training runs.
Vancouver is known for milder winters than the rest of Canada and usually gets rain rather than snow; hence the “Wet Coast” nickname. No doubt this is why the Winter Olympics Opening and Closing ceremonies will be the first ever held indoors.
In two previously hosted Olympics, the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, Canada failed to win Gold. There is much anticipation this situation will change at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics; let’s hope it’s not just “white gold”.