12 Ways Non-skiers Can Enjoy BC’s Winter Ski Resorts

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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.

Ice tower at Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna

Ice tower at Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna | Big White Ski Resort

 

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 at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Snowshoeing at Mount Washington Alpine Resort | Mount Washington Alpine Resort/Slipstream Images

 

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.

Or grab a Snowcat or guided snowmobile ride up to Blackcomb Mountain’s 1,800-metre (6,000-foot) high Crystal Hut for a candle-lit fondue dinner in a log lodge.

Dogsledding at Sun Peaks Resort

Dogsledding at Sun Peaks Resort

 

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.

Pond hockey on Green Lake below Whistler Mountain

 

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

POSTED BY: Margo Pfeiff

From: Montréal
Born in Vancouver, Margo Pfeiff lived in British Columbia for 33 years before moving to Montréal, her current perch for travel adventures including at least five trips yearly back to BC to explore and take a much-needed break from long Eastern winters. With a passion for road trips, hiking, biking, skiing and local wines and cuisine, she has visited just about every corner of the province over the years, writing stories and taking photos for publications around the world.

Whistler Blackcomb | Andrew Strain

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