It's the best Christmas present imaginable for Vancouver's North Shore ski hills: a big dump of snow, followed by clear and cold days stretching right through the holiday sweet spot between Christmas and New Years. 

Skiers and snowboarders couldn't be happier, and they're proving it in record numbers. 

"It looks like yesterday was our busiest winter season day in history," said Grouse Mountain spokesperson Ainslie Fincham on Tuesday. "And it's looking like this holiday season will be one of the best as well."

The story is the same at Mt Seymour where communications manager Simon Whitehead said it's been all hands on deck for staff with the onslaught of visitors.

"I think we're looking at one of the best Christmases we've ever had," said Whitehead. "There's great snow, great sunshine, everyone wants to come play."

At Cypress Mountain they're reporting a base of 340 centimetres and  "excellent" conditions.

"This is the best start to a season we can remember!" claims their website — a welcome change from last year's dismal season, that saw all the North Shore mountains struggle with low snow levels and warm temperatures.

"The difference a year makes is night and day," said Whitehead. "Last year we opened up our learning area on this day — the 29th of December — and then opened up main chair for a few weeks only in mid-January."

The only downside this year is that the huge number of snow seekers are creating traffic and parking snarls. All three ski hills are asking people to consider taking public transit or shuttle buses.

"Our parking tends to reach capacity between 10 a.m and 11 a.m," said Whitehead. "What I would recommend is getting here early, or maybe come in the afternoon after the lunch time rush."

Cypress, Grouse and Seymour are all open for night skiing until 10 p.m. in the evening.