Copper Mountain Resort, Colorado
DURING TWO OF THE LAST three years, World Cup organizers have moved November races to Copper from resorts nearby, because Copper has early snow when other resorts don't. A summit elevation above 12,000 feet attracts late-fall storms, and extreme cold enables an excellent snow-making program on more than 380 acres. Last year, Copper opened its halfpipe before any other ski area in the country; this year, the resort plans to open portions of the terrain park and make it available to snowboarders and twin-tip hucksters in early November.
COOL DIGS: Condos in the Mill Club ($243 a night for a two-bedroom unit, 888-263-5302) in the expanding new base village at Copper are country-clubby in a palatable way, with lots of leather and polished-granite countertops.
MOUNTAIN STATS: summit, 12,313 feet; vertical drop, 2,601 feet; skiable acres, 2,450; annual snowfall, 280 inches
LIFT TICKET: $31 (2001-2002 early-season price) Contact: 866-656-1540, www.coppercolorado.com
Tremblant Ski Resort, Quebec
IT WASN'T LONG AGO that Tremblant appeared destined for obscurity; then Intrawest, the company that turned Whistler Blackcomb into an elite resort, took over in the early 1990s. The new owners have poured roughly $500 million into Tremblant, turning the base village into a replica of a Paris arrondissement, complete with French restaurants and patisseries. A slew of new, fast lifts, including a gondola as well as six high-speed quads, have raised the hourly uphill lift capacity to more than 26,100 skiers, quickly getting you to lots of wide, groomed cruisers and impressive steeps like Expo. And because Canada celebrates its version of Thanksgiving in October, Tremblant is an uncrowded and reasonably priced choice for a November getaway.
COOL DIGS: Le Lodge de la Montagne's (doubles, $60-$100; 800-461-8711) French dormer windows and Bavarian-style woodwork are the kind of ersatz Euro touches that make close-to-home Quebec seem so far away.
MOUNTAIN STATS: summit, 2,871 feet; vertical drop, 2,132 feet; skiable acres, 610; annual snowfall, 141 inches LIFT TICKET: $37 Contact: 800-461-8711, www.tremblant.ca