Mountain closed to preserve snow

WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Vancouver Olympic organizers are closing Cypress Mountain early to preserve the snow for the games that begin in 30 days.

The organizing committee says the site for snowboarding and freestyle skiing on Vancouver's North Shore is being closed to the public immediately to protect the condition of the courses following several days of rain and warm weather.

The decision to close the mountain two and a half weeks earlier than planned will allow organizers to begin last-minute preparations that weren't slated to begin until Feb. 1.

Warming tents, fencing, signs and banners will be set up, and snowmaking will resume as soon as the temperature drops.

The Olympic flame will be lit at the opening ceremonies on Feb. 12.