"This is the earliest we have seen conditions like this and so to take advantage of this gift, we are going to move the planned opening day up to November 14," said Jamie Tattersfield, Mountain Operations Manager at Sun Peaks. "We aim to open as many lifts and runs as possible."
The Sun Peaks Slopes Department has been working diligently to pack all of the fresh snow down, and snow making efforts are continuing to build up the base on OSV, where the Austrian National Ski Team will be training next month. Mountain Operations says the snow making will likely move to the Terrain and Tube Parks in the next couple of weeks. The final decision on what lifts and runs will be open will made on Monday, November 9.
In Alberta, Banff's local slopes at Mount Norquay have already opened, last Saturday October 31st, the first in the west of the country,
"It's great to be skiing in October," said Dan Markham, of Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine. "It was a really fun way to celebrate Halloween. We're excited to be open already, and there'll be more terrain available this weekend."
Lake Louise Ski Area aims to be the next to open, this Friday November 6, with preparations well underway to again host the first, and Canada's only, stop on the World Cup circuit. The Men's races will take place on November 28 to 29, and the Women's races on December 4 to 6.
Calgary's closest ski area and the Olympic venue in 1988, Nakiska is due to open on Saturday, including its new quad. In preparation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Nakiska Ski Area will host race teams in-training from all over the world including the Canadian squad. The famous Mapmaker run at Nakiska will be the workout platform for Croatia's Men, France's, Switzerland's and Monaco's Men's and Women's teams, Germany's, Norway's, Italy's, Croatia's and Slovenia's Men's teams and Sweden's lonely Women's team...
Sunshine Village will tentatively open on Wednesday next week, November 11, with the newly renovated Sunshine Mountain Lodge opening 30 new eco-luxurious rooms shortly after. The multimillion dollar wing replacement has not only added luxury to the Lodge, but also lowered the resort's carbon footprint.
Marmot Basin to the north also plans to open on Wednesday November 11th, the earliest opening date ever for the ski area located in Jasper National Park. Six lifts will be open on the first day of the season including the Eagle Express Quad Chair, Paradise Triple Chair, School House T-bar, Eagle Ridge Chairlift, the Magic Carpet and the new Canadian Rockies Express.
A combination of natural and manmade snow has given the area a solid base with good snow coverage throughout the mountain. Marmot Basin will open with 38 runs on the 11th with more runs expected to open soon thereafter. The runs will include terrain in the lower area, upper mountain and the Eagle Ridge area.
With above average snow coverage Marmot Basin will open the new Canadian Rockies Express, the longest high speed quad chairlift in the Canadian Rockies. From the ski area base, the Canadian Rockies Express travels 2.3 km (1.5 miles), whisking skiers and boarders 596 vertical metres (1,955 ft) up to the mountain top in less than eight minutes. The lift is the largest chairlift development in North America this season.