[R229R, Marmot Basin] and [R448R, Sunshine Village] both aim to open for the season Nov. 11. Canadian Rockies skiers and riders are itching to hit the slopes, but those at Marmot Basin are more than anxious to hop on a new lift.

Snow first blanketed Sunshine Village in early October. "It looks beautiful up there," said Sunshine's Doug Firby. "It's a signal to skiers and riders to get ready for the season."

Snowstorms brought a boon of natural snow to the higher elevations of Banff and Jasper National Parks in late October. Grooming machines were packing the slopes before October ended to make a base in the high traffic areas.

Sunshine, which has one of the longest skiing and snowboarding seasons in the Rockies, aims to operate this winter Nov. 11 through to May 24. The resort also anticipates opening the new wing of the Sunshine Mountain Lodge just in time for the holiday season.

Marmot Basin also plans to open Nov. 11. The resort's new Canadian Rockies Express will speed up the ride to the top. "This is the best thing Marmot's ever done, full speed to the top of mountain, and no more lift lines," Marmot's Brian Rode told OnTheSnow.com. "I figure I can get over 50 thousand vertical in a day now."

More information. Or call Sunshine, 877-542-2633, or Marmot Basin, 780-852-3816.