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With late season ski deals done and gone this year, what's an avid skier or snowboarder to look forward to? Early season ski deals, of course. Now that the summer season's ending and alpine sliders and trekkers are cleaning up their gear for snow machines and September storms, ski resorts are gearing up for snowfall and the coming deluge of downhillers with low prices and early season discounts on ski packages. All over North America and Europe, several resorts are offering solid deals on early ski jaunts.

In the United States, you can find a healthy dose of ski deals from www.ski.com (tel. 800/778-8589), a travel service dedicated to American ski outings. According to one of their phone specialists, early skiing out West starts in Breckinridge, Colorado around November 11, 2005. In most other resorts out West like Vail, Snowmass, Aspen or the Utah sites, early season skiing gets going around Thanksgiving. If you want to book now, Ski.com has an early bird special to Snowmass at Aspen from December 1 to December 21, 2005. A five-night stay with quad occupancy, a four-day lift pass and ground transportation from the Aspen airport costs approximately $721 per person. Accommodations are at Crestwood, a condo-center at the base of the mountain with 124 individually owned and tastefully furnished units. Amenities aside, the best thing about Crestwood is its proximity to the chair lifts. You can roll out of bed and click on your skies.

A luxurious but moderately-priced Ski.com early bird special available for just a two week period from December 1 to December 15, 2005 is a six-night stay at the luxurious St. Regis Aspen with a seventh night for free. Also included in this deal that costs $1,180 per person is a 6-day lift ticket, transportation to and from the Aspen Airport and a daily breakfast buffet for each traveler. Keep your eye out at Ski.com for more early specials as they come available and for weather reports indicating an early snow. You must book this deal by December 1, 2005. Check out Ski.com for other early season ski specials and weather report warnings for early snow storms.

If you like the skiing up north down the slopes of our North American neighbor, Canada, www.skican.com (tel. 888/475-4226) has some early season deals as well. Using a search engine after clicking on a ski deal for a week at the gigantic and luxurious Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, a seven-night deal with airfare from most Eastern and Central United States cities came up costing approximately $1,340. The price includes accommodations, airfare, motor coach airport transfers, a five-day lift pass for three different ski areas, tips for housekeeping, the services of a Skican representative and all taxes.

There are also some deals to Skican areas based on early bookings. A seven-day, six-day lift ticket package deal with all transfers to Whistler, one of Canada's most upscale and socialite ski scene, starts at $995 for travel good from April 14 to May 28, 2006. Take advantage of this book early ski late deal for travel good from April 7 to 11, 2005 and pay $1,195. Prices for the Whistler trip reflect air travel out of Toronto but a Skican phone representative can quote you a price from any U.S. departure city. Air travel is through Air Canada. Weekend departures are available for a higher price.

For you European ski lovers, low season deals can be a steal compared to high-season resort prices. Ski Europe (tel. 800/333-5533; www.ski-europe.com) has a special seven-night trip to Bormio, Italy, a medieval village in the Italian Alps with modern ski facilities starting at just $1,198 per person with round-trip airfare to Milan out of New York on a host of well-known carriers including Lufthansa and United. In addition to airfare, the seven-night trip with travel good from January 14 to January 22, 2006 includes accommodations at a three-star hotel, a rental car, and daily breakfast. Lift tickets are not included as you'll probably want to do more than just ski to take advantage of the European countryside. The hotel is a shuttle bus away from the lifts and amenities include a hot tub, sauna and solarium. Expect announcements and prices for other 2006 Ski Europe deals on August 15, 2005. Check the Website or call a phone representative for details.

Check out early winter ski deals on the Frommers.com Winter Sports Message Boards.