Due to early-season snowpack, several British Columbia resorts opened last weekend just to get avid skiers and riders on the hill early. This weekend, they launch full-on winter schedules, operating seven days per week.

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort ran lifts for early bonus skiing last weekend. The resort launches daily operations Dec. 9, with about 75 percent of the mountain’s terrain available for skiing and riding. Five out of six lifts will be running, and pending snow conditions, more terrain may be added to the mix.

“We are going to be in great shape for this weekend with more than 75 open runs,” Spokesperson Jordan Petrovics said. “We are also anticipating opening Feuz Bowl.”

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A mix of sun and clouds greeted skiers on opening day last weekend at Kicking Horse. Photo Courtesy of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

Panorama Mountain Village has been running one lift to access six runs since Monday. But on Friday, Dec. 9, the resort will bust open more lifts and terrain for the official opening day. All frontside runs will be open with the Summit Quad, Mile One Quad, Champagne Express, Toby Chair, beginner carpets and the Silver Platter in operation. The Village Gondola will also operate to connect the Upper and Lower Village.

“Tree runs will likely be where the best snow is,” Spokesperson Jamie Hurschler said. “The Extreme Dream Zone will be almost entirely open… as will be parts of Taynton Bowl.”

Some runs will feature natural snow, while groomers such as World Cup Way and Skyline will sport buffed machine-made snow. Hurschler recommends that skiers and riders check the interactive trail map, grooming report and snow report in the morning for the full list of open runs.

Panorama Mountain Village

Panorama Mountain plans to open most of the Extreme Dream Zone Dec. 9. Photo by Kyle Lane/Flickr.

Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson opened for a sneak preview last weekend with Summit and Silver King lifts running. A deep snowpack even allowed skiers and riders to hop on Joker Line to Catch Basin.   

“We had one of the strongest openings in years in every respect,” Spokesperson Anne Pigeon said. “The conditions were excellent, including some areas that we traditionally don’t open until later in the month.”

Whitewater’s official opening happens tomorrow, Dec. 9, when daily operations commence for the season. All lifts will run, including the Glory Chair.

Kimberley Alpine Resort is doing a second preview weekend Dec. 10-11. With the addition of the Tamarack Chair and Owl T-bar running this weekend, Kimberley will have all of its lifts operating. The resort’s official season opening will be Dec. 16, when lifts start turning daily for skiing and snowboarding.

Check each resort's snow conditions here.