Snow welcomed visitors to Whistler Mountain Saturday, the first day of the 2013 season.

Parts of the ski and snowboard destination have opened two weeks earlier than predicted.

Staff say that cool temperatures, intensive snowmaking and help from natural snowfall are to thank for the unexpected, early opening.

Five lifts are running on Whistler Mountain, and visitors can get to the mountain from the Whistler Village Gondola or the Creekside Gondola.