First Ski Resorts In Canada Open With More to Follow

Lake Louise opens today as Sunshine Village got its season underway on Thursday. Five US resorts are already open as Wolf Creek begins its season. UPDATED

Lake Louise opened today, Friday 4th November.

It claimed a base of 40cm, with 42cm of fresh snow in the last week.

Over the past two weeks, the Canadian Rockies has seen consistent, heavy snowfall.

The recent storms allowed Lake Louise Ski Resort to open the longest run to date in the Canadian Rockies from the top of Glacier Chair.

Lake Louise. Image © Ski Big Three

Lake Louise. Image © Ski Big Three

We’ll bring you a full report on the opening day later.

Lifts started turning in Sunshine Village in Alberta on Thursday 3rd November.

It was a week earlier than planned.

The area has seen 53cm of fresh snow in the last 7 days.

“This is the earliest opening day in my lifetime,” said the Brand & Communications Manager at Sunshine, Kendra Scurfield.

“As we were watching Snowmageddon roll in, and the snow continue to pile up, we decided that it would be possible to open a week early and get our snow cats out on the mountain to open Strawberry Chair.”

The Strawberry Express lift is now open, giving access to limited terrain.

Lift tickets were $68 on opening day and will remain $68 until more runs open.

There is also a small terrain park set up on Strawberry.

Trapper’s, Java Lift, Creeksideearlier and Alpine Grill are  open for food and drinks.

Sunshine Village. Image © Ski Big Three

Sunshine Village. Image © Ski Big Three

Sunshine has seen some good snow in recent weeks.

All Canadian Travel Restrictions Lifted

As of October 1, 2022, all Canadian COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, meaning this winter it’s easier than ever to book a ski trip to the Canadian Rockies.

Border requirements including proof of vaccination, use of the ArriveCAN App, and any testing and quarantine/isolation requirements have ended for all travellers entering Canada whether by land, air or sea.

The resort remains a particular favourite of ours at PlanetSKI.

Sunshine Village, Banff

Sunshine Village, Banff. Image © PlanetSKI.

See this earlier report on a visit for why it appeals to us:

Alex - Delerium Dive, Sunshine Village

Sunshine Village. Image © PlanetSKI.

Sunshine Village will now remain open for skiing and snowboarding until its annual Slush Cup on May 22nd 2023.

We understand other resorts in the area including Mt Norquay and Nakiska are looking at opening soon.

We’ll keep you posted.

Elsewhere in North America resorts in Colorado have been opening.

Wolf Creek in Colorado is the latest to open.


People have been hiking up in Utah as we have reported on PlanetSKI over the past week or so:

In Colorado five resorts are now open.

Loveland opened on Thursday.

The former GB ski racer, Martin Bell, is a regular reader of PlanetSKI and is in Loveland.

The first resort to open outside the state of Colorado is set to be Mammoth Mountain in California.

It is opening some runs on Saturday November 5th.

It has been snowing heavily across northern California.

Here’s a report from Sugar Bowl near Lake Tahoe.

Back in Colorado Winter Park fired up its lifts on Monday 31st October.

Here’s what it looked like on Opening Day of the 2022/23 season.


Keystone opened for skiing and snowboarding on Friday 28th October.

“We are beyond excited to kick off the winter season here at Keystone,” said Chris Sorensen, Vice President and General Manager at Keystone Resort.

“Thanks to our team’s hard work throughout the summer and over the past few months, winter is here, and with plenty to look forward to this season.”

Keystone Ski Resort has opened two more runs since Friday and now has top to bottom skiing for experienced skiers and snowboarders.

From Wednesday morning, Keystone Ski Resort will open Decrum’s Dash and River Run.

Intermediates will now be able to ski directly to the River Run Village instead of downloading from the River Run gondola.

Keystone stresses that there will be no beginner top to bottom terrain.

The first main resort in the USA able to offer some skiing and snowboarding was Arapahoe Basin in Colorado.

We reported on it at the time.

Opening Day. Image © Arapahoe Basin

Opening Day. Image © Arapahoe Basin

More terrain has now opened in A-Basin.

Elsewhere in Colorado Aspen has seen some snow.

Image © Aspen SnowmassKI

Image © Aspen Snowmass

“Winter showed up in late October with a series of cold storms dropping more than two feet of snow at higher elevations over the last several days,” said a statement from Aspen.

“In the last 24 hours, Aspen Snowmass has seen up to 13 inches on some of our mountains, marking the ramp up to the winter ski season.”

Snowmaking starts on 1st November with Aspen Mountain and Snowmass scheduled to open on Thanksgiving Day, 24th November.

Image © Aspen Snowmass

Image © Aspen Snowmass

Over in Utah snow has been falling too.

No resorts are officially open, but people have been walking up and making some powder turns.

Others have been pushing the envelope.

Here’s Miles Clark Drone Video of Skiing Suicide Chute on Mt. Superior, Utah on 28th October 2022.

There have already been some avalanches.

Three human-triggered avalanches were reported:

Mt. Baldy (Near Alta Ski Area’s famous ‘Main Chute’): 8″ deep, 25″ wide.
High Greeley (Inside the Alta Ski Area boundary): skier caught and briefly carried.
Cardiac Ridge: 150′ wide, ran 250′.

All three of these avalanches were triggered on high-elevation North-Northeast aspects.

No one was reported injured or hurt.

The Utah Avalanche Centre is stressing that people heading into the backcountry should follow key points when it comes to early-season conditions:

“It doesn’t matter what you’re doing in the mountains-going for a hike, hunting, trying to ski, board, snowshoe, or firing up the snowmachine: be prepared for avalanches,” said a statement from UAC.

  • Triggering any avalanche regardless of its size can produce serious trauma because of a thin snowpack.
  • Hitting rocks and stumps is a real danger.
  • Don’t end your season early by hitting one of these obstacles

Back in Colorado,  Steamboat Ski Resort says “recent mountain snow coupled with prime snow-making conditions has ski areas optimistic for the upcoming winter season”.

Breckenridge Ski Resort and Vail Ski Resort have announced they will open on November 12th.

 Steamboat Ski resort plans to open November 23rd.

And lets not forget news from one of our regular readers in North America – the former No 1 GB ski racer, Martin Bell.

Further north in Canada it has snowed in the Alberta resorts of Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay.

All received their first significant snowfall of the season, with up to 24 cm (9.5″) recorded at  Sunshine.

This was the first major storm to hit the West, with two more storms expected to hit the Northwest, British Columbia, and Canadian Rockies later this week.

Tentative opening dates for SkiBig3 resorts (weather permitting):

  • Banff Sunshine: Thursday, November 10, 2022
  • Lake Louise Ski Resort: Friday, November 4, 2022
  • Mt. Norquay: Saturday, November 5, 2022

At Sunshine they have been preparing for winter:

Here at PlanetSKI we are keeping a close eye on the snow with resorts opening some slopes and we will be updating across the next few days….

Winter is Coming Folks!

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