Cool Towns and Deep Ski Culture With Heaps of Snow

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Whitewater Ski Resort | Kari Medig

Cool Ski Towns


Pack your comfiest mountain clothes and your powder boards for a deep dive into the cool ski towns of BC’s Kootenay Rockies, where frequent snow days, easygoing mountain culture, and great eats are a way of life.

RED Mountain (nearly 4,000 skiable acres) is located in the Monashees, a few minutes from the town of Rossland. One hour away, Whitewater (1,200 skiable acres) lies in the Selkirks, not far uphill from lakefront Nelson. To the southeast, Fernie (2,500+ skiable acres) scallops across a subrange of the Rockies just seven minutes from its historic downtown.

Each mountain offers a satisfying playlist of BC’s skiing’s greatest hits: Abundant powder, fall-line terrain, well-spaced trees, rolling groomers, slim crowds, and lovely views. Each community is as rich in colourful, historic architecture as it is in chefs, brewers, artisans, and entrepreneurs. Expect great eats, friendly people, and good times.

Go Deeper: Ski RED, Whitewater, and Fernie in One Trip

  • Airport: Canadian Rockies International Airport (YXC) in Cranbrook, or Spokane International (GEG) in Washington State
  • First Stop: RED
  • Second Stop: Whitewater, in Nelson
  • Bonus: Add a guided ski-touring experience onto your Whitewater adventure. Book a few weeks in advance.
  • Third Stop: Fernie
  • Bonus: Add single or multi-day wilderness snowcat skiing onto your adventure at any of these three destinations. For destination cat-ski lodges, book as far as one year ahead.
  • Total Driving: From YXC: 758 km / 470 mi (~9 total hours). From GEG: 1005 km / 625 mi (~12 total hours).


RED Mountain Resort delivers 3,850 acres of pristine skiing and riding, placing it in Top 10 “terrain territory” in North America. Here, you’ll find fresh turns you don’t have to fight for, 300 inches of annual snowfall, epic vertical (2,919ft/890m), wide-open groomers, 360-degree descents, IKON Pass access, and some of the best tree runs in BC.

Photo: Kari Medig


It’s all about snow at Whitewater. This Kootenay mountain hideaway—set along the Powder Highway near the city of Nelson—has some of the deepest, driest powder around. More than 12 metres (40 feet) of snow falls on average over 623 vertical metres (2,044 vertical feet). Uncrowded slopes, family-friendly groomers, remarkable steeps, top-of-the-line tree-skiing, and endless backcountry are all found at this resort, which maintains a local ski-hill vibe.

Photo: Kari Medig


Serious powderhounds make the trek to the southeastern corner of BC to ski at Fernie Alpine Resort. Nearly nine metres (30 feet) of snow blankets this resort each year, ranking it among the snowiest ski destinations in Canada. A must? Ride up the Polar Peak chairlift to one the highest peaks in the Lizard Range, and carve the steep and deep from 1,082 metres (3,550 feet).

Photo: Dave Heath


Boasting more acres than California, Washington State, and Oregon combined—with most of it mountainous—BC is better than your average ski destination. But we don’t like to brag. Come and ski for yourself, and discover our adventurous spirit and big-mountain talents.

Explore BC's Ski Map