As the 2008/09 season opened in Whistler on Wednesday, ski resort operators in the Okanagan and other parts of British Columbia were being hampered by a lack of snow.

With a base of just 27 centimetres, Silver Star Mountain near Vernon has postponed its planned alpine opening, slated for Thursday, and Big White, near Kelowna, is also waiting for more of the white stuff.

But Apex Mountain in Penticton is slated to open Saturday while Sun Peaks near Kamloops has been open on a limited basis since last Saturday.

Whistler Mountain opens and the adjacent Blackcomb Mountain opens tomorrow.

Vancouver's North Shore mountains have just a dusting of snow and have yet to announce opening dates while Manning Park and several southeastern Interior resorts hope to begin their seasons in early December.

Meanwhile, on opening day at Whistler, five of the 20 lifts were available to skiers, who must take either a lift or a gondola to get back to base from groomed ski runs above the 6,000 foot level.

When the adjacent Blackcomb Mountain opens Thursday, six of the 17 lifts will be available to skiers.

In the hopes that the weakening loonie will attract skiing enthusiasts from the United States, operator Intrawest has single day tickets for sale at $55 (not including tax).

Up until Dec. 15, Intrawest is offering two-night lodging packages that come with a 2-day lift pass and a price tag of $100 per person per night.

For more information on accommodation deals in Whistler click here or phone 1-888-403-4727.

With a report from The Canadian Press