It’s not a holiday weekend in Canada, but for skiers and riders in British Columbia, it may feel like one. Powder at several of the resorts last weekend amped up the fervor for first runs, and the snow delivered prime conditions.

By this past weekend, [R127R, Cypress Mountain], [R438R, Sun Peaks Resort], [R163R, Grouse Mountain] and [R493R, Whistler Blackcomb] cranked up their lifts. This week, even more British Columbia ski resorts plan to open for the season or a quick preview weekend before their official season launch in early December.

Sun Peaks Opening Day 2011

Powder conditions greeted riders at Sun Peaks on opening day last weekend. Photo by Sam Eagen. Photo Courtesy of Sun Peaks Resort.

At Whistler Blackcomb, Blackcomb Mountain opens for skiing and riding on Nov. 24. The PEAK 2 PEAK chair will operate to carry skiers between Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains.

Grouse Mountain launched its 85th winter season with the Greenway and Peak chairs running for skiing and riding. More terrain will be added as conditions permit. The resort is now operating seven days per week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Other resorts aim to open later this week. [R364R, Silver Star Resort] plans to start up the lifts Nov. 24. From opening day until Dec. 15, lift tickets will be free for those booking lodging at the resort.

[R1341R, Hudson Bay Mountain] is opening Nov. 25 for first runs in Smithers. Opening day features a Sled Tailgate Party at the bottom of every lift with Hot Apple Cider and snacks. The opening weekend celebration continues Nov. 26 in Whisky Jack’s with prizes, drink specials and live music by Kings Crow and the Ladies from Hell.

RMR_Nov14,2011 by Steve Parsons

Good early season conditions this year at Revelstoke prompted the resort to add a preview weekend. Photo by Steve Parsons. Photo Courtesy of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

[R2804R, Revelstoke Mountain Resort] plans to jump the gun a bit from its official opening Dec. 3. Good early-season snow prompted the resort to offer a Sneak Peek Weekend. Two high-speed quads—The Stoke and The Ripper—will run Nov. 26-27. The Revelation Gondola will begin uploading at 8:30 a.m.

The resort is offering a 25 percent discount on lift tickets for the Sneak Peek Weekend for season passholders from Western Canadian resorts. Ski and stay packages for the weekend are available for $99 per person, per night. The ski area plans to close after the Sneak Peek Weekend, but re-open Dec. 3 for daily operations.

[R146R, Fernie Alpine Resort] will also open on Nov. 26-27 for a preview weekend. Three lifts—Elk, Bear and Mighty Moose—will run on the preview weekend with first chairs loading at 9 a.m. Daily operations will begin Dec. 2.

Most of the ski areas will have limited operations, and snow coverage reflects early season conditions. Check on current lift operations at the resorts here: Cypress Mountain, Sun Peaks, Grouse Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb, Silver Star, Hudson Bay, Revelstoke, Fernie.