Things To Do
BC’s Coolest Ski Towns
The case for skiing north of the border, written by an American
Just because you don’t ski or snowboard doesn’t mean you can’t immerse yourself in a BC winter. There are at least a dozen ways to play in the snow while your family or buddies hit the slopes.
Actually, you can join them schussing downhill on a Canadian invention, a chauffeur-driven Sno-Limo–a gravity-powered chair-on-skis–pulled by a guide down Big White, Sun Peaks, or overlooking Vancouver on Grouse Mountain.
Tackle a new skill on Big White’s Ice Climbing Tower, an 18-metre (60-foot) glistening four-sided pillar for beginner to advanced routes. Soar above snow-covered rainforest on a Whistler-Blackcomb zipline, or bungee jump over a glacial river. Grab a fat-tire bike and ride through the snow in Fernie and Whitewater Ski Resort, or give your adrenaline a workout by tubing–whizzing down a track on an inner tube–at nearly all BC ski resorts.
For a calmer experience–more chill?–try ice fishing atop one of many frozen mountain lakes surrounding Sun Peaks Resort and try your luck at landing a few hard-fighting, great-tasting wild Rainbow Trout.
Snowshoeing is offered at most ski resorts–on Vancouver Island’s Mount Washington routes are through alpine meadows and impressive old-growth forests. Fondue outings, often using headlamps, are popular on snowshoes treks. On Vancouver’s North Shore, Cypress Mountain serves chocolate and cheese fondues in a heritage lodge with downtown’s lights twinkling below. They also offer guided full moon and music night tours.
Fly along a snowy trail with only the sounds of your rushing sled and panting troupe of huskies while dog sledding amid towering trees along Whistler’s Callaghan Valley. At Kicking Horse Mountain Resort dog-sledding adventures end with a warm drink in front of a fire in a cabin.
Glide through the forest on Apex Mountain Resort’s one-kilometre (0.6-mile) skating loop that is magically lit at night as is their outdoor hockey rink. For a true Canadian experience, skate on one-acre, naturally-frozen Brewer’s Pond in the middle of the forest at Silver Star Mountain Resort.
Snow and sleighs go romantically together when they’re horse-drawn to the sound of hooves clattering and sleigh bells ringing through forests and quaint villages like Sun Peaks. Or cosy up under a blanket with a hot chocolate at Big White for a ride in an old-fashioned sleigh drawn by Clydesdale horses. And what could be better than meeting up with your group for an après-ski sleigh ride under the stars to dinner in a rustic cabin in the woods?
Opening image: Relaxing at Sun Peaks Mountain Resort
Things To Do
From powder to steeps to trees, from on-piste to off-piste to backcountry, the big mountains of BC naturally build better skiers and boarders.
Things To Do
Slopeside sleeps are the pinnacle of ski vacations—and BC has some of the best at Kicking Horse, Kimberley, Sun Peaks, Big White, SilverStar, and Whistler.
From ski deals to fewer people on the slopes, skiing off-season in BC has its perks
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