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3-2268-Big-White-Skiing
Skiing powder at Big White
(Big White Ski Resort photo)

Big White Ski Resort

Geography

Big White Ski Resort is the highest peak in the Thompson Okanagan Highlands, east of the Coast Mountains and west of the Rockies. 

The resort overlooks the Christian Valley and the Kettle River with the sawtooth mountains of the Monashee Range beyond. It lies 56km/35mi southeast of Kelowna, the largest city in the Okanagan Valley.  

Champagne Powder in Big White

Sheltered from moisture-laden Pacific air by the Coast Mountains, Big White gets an average of 750cm/25ft of snow each year. But this snow is dry and fluffy – the famous champagne powder – completely different from snow at resorts closer to the ocean like Whistler Blackcomb. These conditions have repeatedly won Big White accolades from Ski Canada Magazine and the readers of Condé Nast Traveller have named it the "Best Powder in North America."

Ski Canada has also awarded Big White "Best Tree Skiing" and "Best Glade Skiing." The Englemann spruce and lodgepole pine forest has been carefully thinned to permit skiing and boarding among the trees almost everywhere on the mountain. At higher elevations, individual trees become completely encased in snow, creating the "snow ghosts" that the resort is known for.

Big White Climate

Ski runs generally face south and west, providing maximum light and warmth. In addition, the relatively low base elevation (1,755m/5,758ft) contributes to the comfortable temperatures, averaging -5°C/23°F in winter. The summit elevation is 2,319m/7,606ft.

Skiable snow conditions may come later than some resorts, but the season usually lasts longer into the spring. Low-lying cloud can sometimes cause poor visibility. However, this occurs mainly in December. Through most of the season, Kelowna residents who are fed up with thick valley cloud escape to Big White for a hit of blue sky and sunshine.