Kelsey saves her biggest praise for the way the mountain is laid out: “It’s still the truest ski-in/ski-out resort I know,” she says.
The resort is home to Canada’s second-largest lifting system with the capacity to move nearly 29,000 skiers and snowboarders up the mountain every hour. Translation? Less time in the lift lines and more time enjoying all that the resort has to offer, including the Okanagan-friendly wine lists at mountain restaurants such as 6 Degrees Bistro, The BullWheel, Globe, and Kettle Valley Steakhouse (all recommended by Kelsey).
Stan’s Big White memories revolve around a couple of life-altering visits—winning a Nor Am Ski Cross, and getting married in the daylodge. “Actually,” corrects Kelsey, “we got married outside and had the reception in the daylodge.” What Stan does seem to remember correctly is the mountain’s family friendliness and “huge amount of beginner and intermediate terrain.”
Credit the original developers with that foresight, which, it turns out, include Kelsey’s grandfather, Cliff Serwa. He cleared the road to the mountain, then started the actual resort with his partner and good friend, Doug Mervin. During the town’s annual Kelowna-to-Big White bike ride (L’Alpe de Grand Blanc), the couple has had a chance to hear some of her grandfather’s stories about the resort’s history. “Some of them are pretty funny,” enthuses Stan. “Like, if they ran into a big rock they’d just go to the hardware store, buy some dynamite, drill holes in the rock, and blow it up.”
Like many BC ski areas, Big White got its start from do-it-yourselfers with a passion for sliding on snow—a vibe that has survived the test of time.