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Incoming winter storm closes several Vancouver area venues
VANCOUVER -- Two local ski hills and a Vancouver park board venue have shut down due to an incoming winter storm that's prompted a wind warning on the heels of heavy rainfall in recent days.
The VanDusen Botanical Garden's Festival of Lights event, which runs until Sunday, will remain closed due to high winds. They're offering customers who pre-bought tickets an exchange for Saturday or Sunday.
Grouse Mountain began the day on standby but announced late morning that in the face of poor weather, “the Skyride, Chalet facilities and all mountaintop activities will be closed for the remainder of the day.”
Mount Seymour has cancelled all lessons and will be closing down completely at 4 p.m. “due to inclement weather.” The mountain's website logged the temperature as 3 C as of 1:25 p.m., after nearly half a metre of snow fell in the past week.
Meanwhile, Cypress Mountain is watching for high winds but says they plan to stay open until 10 p.m. as usual, unless the weather takes a serious turn.
Whistler also faced some closures Friday because of high winds. At around 2 p.m., the resort posted closures notices for the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, Upper Blackcomb Gondola, Franz's Chair, Catskinner Express and Whistler Village Gondola. Other runs – including the 7th Heaven Express, Harmony 6 Express and Crystal Chair were closed earlier in the day because of avalanche danger.
A wind warning from Environment Canada came into effect this morning and remains in place for Metro Vancouver, with officials warning that loose objects tossed by the wind could cause damage and power outages.
Avalanche Canada is sounding the alarm that the same storm system has Sea-to-Sky country at an extreme risk of avalanche, with "very large avalanches are almost certain" in the back country.