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Two skiers enjoying a laugh at the top of a run at Big White Ski Resort

BC's Spring Ski Season Forecast

March 8, 2023
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Spring is on the horizon, but BC’s skiing experiences are still going strong. Depending on the location, elevation and size of the resort, spring skiing can last into April or as late as mid-May.

“There is no better place to enjoy spring skiing,” says Matt Mosteller (also known as “Powder Matt”), senior vice president, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. “We have all the ingredients you need: goggle tans, good vibes, passion-filled people, big mountains, and a super helping of snow and variety of terrain! Every minute you spend in the mountains here in BC is time well spent.”

Other perks of spring skiing include shorter lines at the lift, and longer and sunnier days spent on the ski hill. Plus, the snow is softer, which means more cushion for novices ascending the hills for the first time. Bonus: the latest spring forecast promises below-normal temperatures for BC – including heavy snow in the alpine regions – throughout March and even April. Hello, extended ski season!

Several ski resorts in BC offer special celebrations in the spring, whether to embrace the warmer weather or to send off the season in style. At Whistler Blackcomb, the Whistler Ski & Snowboard Festival (April 10-16) exudes spring energy with exciting ski and snowboard competitions, including the Saudan Couloir Race Extreme, the steepest ski and snowboard race in the world; and Slush Cup, a costumed race through snow and a slushy ice pond. Slush Cups are particularly popular this season: Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson hosts a closing day Beach Party (April 2 ) featuring a Slush Cup and on-the-snow patio fun, and Sun Peaks Resort, near Kamloops, has a Slush Cup during its season-closing Wonder Weekend (April 8-10).

At Fernie Alpine Resort in Fernie, the annual Fernival (April 15-16) commemorates the resort’s final weekend of skiing and riding with live rock concerts, wacky contests, and silly costumes, as well as the Raging Elk Powder Pedal Paddle Relay Race, where individuals and teams ski, bike, paddle and run to the finish line. RED Mountain Resort in Rossland hosts a Retro Day Deck Party (April 2) fuelled by live bands, cold beers, and local mountain legends. And at Panorama Mountain Resort, Red Bull Slopesoakers (April 8) sends off the season with a splash – a Slopestyle Rail Jam and Pond Skim, where competitors show off their skills on rails suspended over a series of ponds.

Eager to hit the slopes? Keep reading to learn what else there is to look forward to at BC’s ski resorts this spring.

Snowshoeing at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Experience Resort Fun in BC (No Skiing Necessary)

Whether you prefer après over skiing or are travelling with a non-skier, there’s no need to forego the mountain fun. BC’s ski resorts offer plenty of activities for everyone in the clan:

  • At Sun Peaks Resort, hop aboard a Snow Limo to experience the high alpine sans skis. Once you’re buckled into the specially designed sled, a guide will jump on skis behind you and take you along snow-covered trails into the mountain’s winter wonderland. You can also visit Cleavage Axe Co. for a truly Canadian experience – axe throwing! Overseen by a dedicated axe coach, you’ll learn the ropes of this thrilling and competitive sport with the goal of sticking bullseyes. If you prefer mountaintop savasana, Sun Peaks Yoga leads a variety of classes, including Mountain Fit Yoga to maintain strength and flexibility, and Candlelit Yin, which promotes complete body and mind relaxation.
  • Enjoy a romantic ice skate on Brewer’s Pond at SilverStar Mountain Resort, or gather up a group for old-fashioned pond hockey. The natural pond is surrounded by snow-dusted trees and stretches for one hectare (2.5 acres). After ice skating, warm up by the outdoor fire, or sip hot chocolate at the Tube Town Café. You can also visit Tube Town, where a tube lift means soaring down run after run without ever having to carry your tube back to the top. For an even more exciting thrill, treat the kids to a ride on a mini snowmobile, where they can zoom around a designated fenced track.
  • Panorama Mountain Resort offers plenty of off-slope adventure. Hop aboard a fat bike and explore the snowy trails with the aid of super-thick tires. The trails are also used for snowshoeing – an invigorating way to explore the forest surrounding the resort. For a slightly more thrill-inducing experience, try tandem paragliding, where you soar off the top of the mountain and enjoy breathtaking views of the Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges as you float down. And, if relaxation is the name of the game, head to the slopeside pools , including a warm pool and two hot tubs where you can experience muscle-melting bliss.
  • Mount Washington Alpine Resort, located on the edge of Strathcona Provincial Park, is an idyllic destination for snowshoeing . Here, 25 kilometres (16 miles) of trails meander through peaceful old-growth forest. The quiet serenity of the park, surrounded by ice-capped mountains, will do more for your wellbeing than a day at the spa – and, if you’re feeling peckish after your heart-pumping hike, you can pull up a chair to a three-course fondue, including cheese fondue, rosemary-scented hot oil, and melted chocolate.
  • Big White Ski Resort offers dogsledding tours that combine an adrenaline-packed adventure with breathtaking scenery. Candle Creek Kennels teaches you how to mush through the backcountry, after introducing you to the dogs and giving you a full orientation on all things dogsledding. For a gentler journey, book a horse-drawn sleigh ride, where you can cozy up under a blanket and guide through snow-draped forest trails.

Flyin’ Phil’s Hangout at Topping Creek, RED Mountain Resort | Ashley Voykin

Sumptuous Slopeside Feasts

Culinary enthusiasts might be surprised to learn that BC’s ski resorts dish up a cornucopia of mouthwatering delights:

  • RED Mountain Resort in Rossland recently welcomed a new addition to its robust restaurant offerings. Flyin’ Phil’s Hangout at Topping Creek was named for Phil Johnson, who was born in Rossland 80 years ago and has worked for the resort since 1959. Fond of flying his Mueller hang-glider from the top of RED Mountain over the nighttime torchlight parade, Phil is also known for a philanthropic spirit. Flyin’ Phil’s has indoor/outdoor seating for up to 90 guests with views of snowcapped peaks to enhance culinary offerings spanning breakfast through après. The venue also features a locally loved taco food truck built into its structure.
  • Fernie has debuted several new eateries to fuel skiers and snowboarders for long days on the slopes. Chilango is a funky Mexican concept inspired by the owners’ life and adventures in Mexico City. It serves tantalizing fare spanning tacos, aguachile, flautas and more. Bramasole is a restaurant and wine bar that serves delicious après like cheese and charcuterie, as well as heartier fare such as build-your-own pasta. And Funky Goat Pizza combines unexpected flavours into unique and tasty pies – think broccoli cheddar soup on a pizza, elk and pork sausage with maple bourbon blueberries and goat cheese, and dill pickle with bacon, ranch and chipotle.
  • Itching for Italian? New mountainside restaurant D’Argento has opened at SilverStar Mountain Resort near Kelowna . The casual space dishes up made-in-house pasta adorned with classic sauces and locally sourced produce and meat. Pop in for a hearty meal of gnocchi arrabbiata, ravioli, or classic spaghetti and meatballs, along with antipasti, share plates and dessert.
  • Treat your taste buds to a meal in Whistler, which has debuted a trifecta of new culinary offerings. First is fine dining experience Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar , which focuses on elevated Pacific Northwest cuisine, sustainable seafood and locally sourced ingredients. Prepare to linger as you tuck into oysters, seafood towers, share plates and exceptional entrees. For lighter bites, Rockit Coffee Co. offers a robust coffee program paired with a sweet and savoury menu equally suited to a quick pre-ski bite or a lengthy après. Lounge here to soak up a playful retro vibe inspired by the ‘70s and ‘80s, including startling pops of yellow, brass and greenery. Finally, The Den at Nita Lake Lodge serves farm-totable fare, artisan meats and cheeses, and garden-grown herbs and greens with a strong emphasis on plant-based alternatives. The restaurant sits on the glacier-fed Nita Lake, by the foot of Mt. Sproatt, treating guests to soothing surroundings as they dine.
  • Taste the influences of local terroir at Whitewater Ski Resort’s Fresh Tracks Café, whose menu is centred around locally sourced produce. Consistently touted as the best mountain food in North America, the café’s success inspired previous co-owner Shelley Adams to publish the Whitewater Cooks series of cookbooks, as well as a collection of condiments. Bonus: the café is located in Nelson, which has more restaurants per capita than culinary hubs like Vancouver, San Francisco and Manhattan – a tempting excuse to follow your cravings and eat your way through town.
  • Kimberley Alpine Resort in Kimberley has seen a number of new restaurant openings over the past year. Local favourites include Kickturn Coffee Roasters, a small-batch roastery that serves a deliciously decadent cup of java; Bootleg Spirits, a distillery that uses local ingredients to craft its small-batch spirits; and Grist and Mash, a craft brewery with a stocked beer fridge and a rotating selection of brew.

The Slush Cup, part of this year’s World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler | Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

Spring Events to Inspire Your Next BC Ski Holiday

As if longer days, sunny skies, goggle tans, and soft spring snow weren’t enough, here’s an actionpacked roster of mountain events to help you plan the perfect spring ski holiday in BC:

  • As the host of Alpine Skiing, Freestyle and Snowboard events, SilverStar Mountain Resort will welcome over 200 of the 1,800 athletes convening at the BC Winter Games (March 23-26). Spectators can claim a 15 percent discount on all available SilverStar properties during the event.
  • Celebrate Pride mountain-style at Peak Pride, created and produced by Rebellious Unicorns. Their collection of winter pride events, including Sun Peaks Resort (March 30 – April 2) and SilverStar Mountain Resort (March 9- 12), feature an enticing combination of family-friendly activities and high-energy nightlife that’s 100 percent inclusive and designed for the LGBT2Q+ community, allies and friends.
  • Seismic Fest returns to SilverStar Mountain Resort (March 18-19, March 25-26 and April 1-2) with a jam-packed roster of live music, family-friendly activities, skiing and boarding, and opportunities to watch the BC Winter Games.
  • Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna plays host to Altitunes Music Festival, Canada’s Highest Music Festival, from March 31 – April 1. Join in for an epic weekend of live music, skiing and snowboarding, and an array of exciting outdoor activities. This year’s headliners include Felix Cartal and Peach Pit.
  • Say sayonara to winter at the Revy Beer Festival (March 31 – April 1), hosted by Revelstoke Mountain Resort (pairs perfectly with a day of early spring skiing!). After your mountain activities, roll up to the Revelation Lodge to sample a vast selection of craft beers and spirits, backdropped by scenic mountain views and an infectious mountain vibe.
  • Explore the largest daily groomed cross-country network in Canada at the Sovereign2 SilverStar Ski Marathon (April 1-2) at SilverStar Mountain Resort . Taking place along 105 kilometres (65 miles) of scenic Nordic trails, the event features competitors of all abilities rubbing elbows with some of the world’s top athletes in a fun race where everyone who finishes is a winner.
  • In Whistler, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival returns April 10-16, combining spring energy with Whistler’s unique mountain culture for a week of non-stop action on and off the slopes. With ski and snowboard competitions, music, art, photography, filmmaking, and exciting nightlife, plus some of the best skiing and après sessions of the season, it’s not to be missed!