Grouse Mountain on Vancouver's North Shore can claim bragging rights for the earliest Lower Mainland opening of the new ski season -- but only by hours.

Grouse says its 96 centimetre base and 30 centimetres of new snow means it can open this afternoon at 3 p.m. -- but neighbouring Cypress Mountain opens its lifts for the season, tomorrow.

And Interior mountains aren't far behind...Sun Peaks, just north of Kamloops, says it is on track for first day festivities this Saturday.

Sun Peaks is reporting a 37 centimetre base with two centimetres of new snow since yesterday, while Big White, near Kelowna, has a 41 centimetre base and 23 centimetres of new powder.