Ski Northern BC this Winter
For a dusting of powder and charm.
Just a fifty minute plane ride from Vancouver lies a world-class, winter wonderland heaven in the ski resort towns of Sun Peaks and Revelstoke. If you love snow, this must be your next destination. A recent weekend packed with exhilarating winter recreation convinced me to begin planning my return visit.
This was the scene at dusk that greeted us upon arrival to Sun Peaks, the second largest ski resort in Canada. The chairlift was poised and waiting to whisk us up the mountainside for the weekly Fondue Dinner & Evening Descent (which later earned a spot on my bucket list recommendations). The highlight of the evening soiree was the powdery, five-mile ski down to the base…in the dark! Equipped with headlamp, I could barely see my fellow skiers… I didn’t need to! Eyes shut, I let the soft, swooshing sounds guide me along for a magical and surreal experience.
Broth, cheese and chocolate fondue were served in the winter coziness of a mountain cabin accompanied by a bountiful selection of edibles for dippings: veggies, meat, cheese, bread and fruit were in abundance. Heaping platters were diligently replenished and the wine glasses re-filled. Live guitar and singing were the soundtrack of the evening as a few free spirits took to the dance floor. The evening was positively convivial.
This is ski day #1 at Sun Peaks, a trio of mountains that offers downhill slopes for all levels of skiers. Looking out from Gil’s, an inbound, double-black backcountry run, we felt on top of the world. The view was worth the 15-minute, deep-powder hike it took us to get here.
We met Revelstoke in white out conditions which made our two-hour snowmobiling escapade riveting times two! A Great Canadian Snowmobile Tours guide led us to the top of Frisby Ridge, a smaller mountain dedicated entirely to sledding. Gunning our 2015 Skidoos on the straightaways truly satisfied the need for speed — we were controlling hugely powerful vessels! Upon reaching the top, we took shelter in a log, fire-heated cabin overlooking a frozen lake. For an extended snowmobile vacation, reserve a log cabin at Glacier House Resort, which neighbours the sled rental company.
There is no better feeling than that of sinking into a steaming hot-tub overlooking a mountain vista… all to yourself… after that long day on the slopes. The Sutton Place Hotel, located directly at the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort, has three hot tubs. Guest rooms are impressive with larger suites including wine fridges, dining room tables and the comfiest beds this side of heaven.
To coffee lovers, this might be the most delightful surprise of the trip: La Baguette, a small cafe and market located at the mountain’s base, serve really good coffee. But, not just any good coffee… 49th Parallel, arguably Vancouver’s best. And, the baristas know their stuff. Expect a well-poured drink complete with latte art. Green smoothies with avocado, kale and coconut milk are also on offer.
One of the best features of Revelstoke is the proximity of the ski hill to the apres-ski hotspot, Mackenzie Common Tavern. Getting your hands on a spicy bloody mary or a local micro-brew (try anything from Mt. Begbie Brewery) couldn’t be easier! The rich snack menu (hummus and pillowy-soft flatbread was a winner) is guaranteed to leave your belly full and happy.
A Vogue Magazine article titled, “5 Under-the-Radar Canadian Ski Resorts That Aren’t Whistler,” names Revelstoke’s popular bar, The Village Idiot, as the town’s best apres-ski destinations, describing it as loud, colorful, and fun. I couldn’t agree more! Seats are built with old skis and the menu is extensive, featuring build-your-own stir-fry, pizza and so much more. Complimentary shuttle is available to or from the Village Idiot in the evening.
Skiing & Snowboarding
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