Mountain Creek kicks off 50th anniversary season

| 11 Jan 2016 | 03:21

It wasn’t just another opening of the Mountain Creek Resort; it was the beginning of the 2016 season-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of skiing at the resort.

Although the kickoff of the season is already over four weeks behind last year’s start, it did not dampen the enthusiasm of those who were on the slopes the first day at the Vernon-based resort opening day of its 50th anniversary on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Once again, local die-hard Vernon skiers Buffy and John Whiting were privileged to be on the first chair with ski instructor friends Daniel Bryson and David Blinken symbolically opening the 2016 season by tearing through an “Opening Day 2016” sign held by Mountain Creek spokeswoman Wacky Jackie and one of the lift operators.

The 50th Anniversary of Mountain Creek also is special for the resort’s “official greeter” Bernhard Osen, who visitors recognize because of his colorful outfit, friendly smile and the feather in his hat. It is Osen’s 50th year of affiliation and skiing at the resort.

Early arrivals at the resort on opening day found the lift attendants, including Vernon area locals Ed Noonan, Richard Veen, Assistant Supervisor Kenny Hoyt, Cornelius Schneider and several who had come from Chile and Peru to work as lift attendants, including Manias Snyder, Sophia Herrerra, and Patricio Rojas preparing for the noon opening by cleaning the snow off of the chairs and setting up the lift lines.

Although a little late this ski season a tradition was continued as Buffy Whiting presented the lift attendants with a bag of her homemade Christmas cookies, something she has done for many years to show her appreciation for their work and the fun they provide for so many skiers and riders.

Opening day was limited to skiing on the Sugar Slope but by the end of the week, Mountain Creek was open to the top of the mountain and on the upper and lower Horizon slopes, as well as top-to-bottom skiing at Mountain Creek South.

— Photos courtesy John Whiting