With the first of the major ski resorts in North America planning to open next week, you might be wondering where you can go for some great early season skiing.

To help you find some early season turns we have provided an overview of the opening dates this season and showcase three of our favourite resorts that enjoy great early season conditions.

The first major ski resort to open in the USA is Mammoth in California.  They had their first snow this season in late September and are planning to open next week on 9th November.  At 11,000 feet Mammoth boasts the highest summit of any Californian resort and typically enjoys over 400 inches of snowfall every season.

Last season Mammoth had an unbelievable winter enjoying over 600 inches (51ft) of snow and 270 days of skiing!!  If last season is anything to go by, they’ll be gearing up for another great winter.

The Town of Breckenridge in the winter.  35mm
Breckenridge, Colorado, USA

In Colorado, Breckenridge opens on the 10th of November.  This is one of our favourite Colorado resorts which consistently offers great early (and late season) skiing.  With a base altitude of 9,600ft, and a summit elevation of 12,988ft, the resort enjoys plenty of snow each season, typically receiving over 350 inches.  The resort also has extensive snow making so you are guaranteed some great turns on opening day.

The Breckenridge lift pass also lets you explore neighbouring Keystone which also opens on the same day.  Neighbouring Copper Mountain also opens on the 10th.  Whilst Copper Mountain is not covered on the same lift pass, it is only a short bus ride away and makes for a great day out exploring another fantastic Colorado resort.

In Canada, Lake Louise also opens on the 10th November.   Banff/Lake Louise is a majestic ski region set amidst Banff National Park.  Everywhere you look there are jaw dropping views.  This is a ‘must ski’ resort for all snow-sport enthusiasts.  This is the third largest ski region in Canada and one of the largest in North America.  The area offers  8000 acres of skiable terrain in total across the ski areas of Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay.

At a summit elevation of  8,650ft, Lake Louise typically enjoys plenty of cold dry powder snow every season.  The early season conditions are consistently good at Lake Louise and the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup visits the resort at the end of November every year.  Sunshine Village has a summit elevation of 9000ft and proudly boasts that they have 100% natural snow and longest non-glacial ski season in Canada.

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

The opening dates for the 17/18 ski season in North America are:

9th Nov     Mammoth

9th Nov     Sunshine Village, Banff

10th Nov     Lake Louise

10th Nov     Copper Mountain

10th Nov     Keystone

10th Nov    Breckenridge

15th Nov     Winter Park

17th Nov     Vail

17th Nov     Squaw Valley

17th Nov    Stowe

17th Nov     Park City

17th Nov     Northstar

17th Nov     Heavenly

18th Nov     Sun Peaks

22nd Nov    Steamboat

22nd Nov     Snowbird

22nd Nov     Beaver Creek

23rd Nov     Whistler Blackcomb

23rd Nov     Silver Star

23rd Nov     Big White

23rd Nov     Big Sky

23rd Nov     Aspen Snowmass

25th Nov     Jackson Hole

1st Dec     Fernie

2nd Dec     Revelstoke

2nd Dec     Deer Valley

8th Dec     Kicking Horse

8th Dec     Panorama