Spring Skiing in BC: Festivals, Sunshine, and Patio Time

For fair-weather skiers, spring is the best time to hit the slopes. And who can blame them? It’s hard to argue with sunshine, minimal layers, and patio sessions that don’t involve a fight for the outdoor heater. Spring skiing is right around the corner, and here are a few ways to enjoy it in BC.

Pair Ski Days with Festivals and Events

Enjoy slushy turns in the sun followed by beer festivals, musical performances, ski parties, and professional competitions.

Beer Goggles at RED Mountain Resort: March 17 – 18
More than 10 breweries offer up tasty creations to beer enthusiasts at this ski resort in BC’s Kootenays.

Beer Goggles Fest at RED Mountain Resort. Photo: RED Mountain/Ryan Flett

Beer Goggles at RED Mountain Resort. Photo: RED Mountain Resort/Ryan Flett

High Notes Music Festival at Panorama Mountain Resort: March 17 – 19
The sounds of blues, folk, rock, and pop music will echo through the Rocky Mountains over two days this spring.

Snowbombing at Sun Peaks Resort: April 6 – 10
Four days and four nights of music, parties, and skiing.

World Ski and Snowboard Festival at Whistler Blackcomb: April 7 – 16
Ten days of professional competitions, musical acts, art exhibits, filmmaker showdowns, and non-stop nightlife.

The State of Art at World Ski and Snowboard Festival.

State of Art at World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Photo: Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

Fernival at Fernie Alpine Resort: April 15 – 16 
Don’t miss the 30-year tradition of watching (or participating in) a relay race that includes skiing, biking, paddling, and running.

End of Season Parties, Dummy Downhills, and Slush Cups

Tod Mountain Days at Sun Peaks Resort.

Tod Mountain Days at Sun Peaks Resort. Photo: Tourism Sun Peaks/Kelly Funk

Dummy Downhill at Mount Washington: April 1
Retro Day and Closing Day Deck Party at RED Mountain Resort: April 2
Beach Party Weekend at Whitewater Ski Resort: April 2
Dummy Downhill and Spring Splash at Kimberley Alpine Resort: April 9
Dummy Downhill and Slush Cup at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort: April 15 – 16
Tod Mountain Days at Sun Peaks Resort: April 15 – 17
Super Hero Sun Fest at Panorama Mountain Resort: April 15 – 16
Closing Day at Revelstoke Mountain Resort: April 16

Ski, Golf, Mountain Bike, and Surf in One Weekend

Surfing in Tofino.

Surfing in Tofino. Photo: Nathaniel Atakora Martin

Vancouver Island offers some truly unique experiences in spring. The temperate climate of the Island means it remains cool in the mountains and warm on the coast and in the valleys. This makes it possible to ski, golf, mountain bike, and surf, all in one long weekend. Here’s one way to do it:

Day 1: Ski at Mountain Washington Alpine Resort* in the morning and play a round of golf at Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community in the afternoon.
Day 2: Stop in Cumberland to ride the mountain bike trails before heading to Tofino.
Day 3: Play in the surf and wander the beaches of Pacific Rim National Park all day and dine on seafood all night in Tofino.

*Mount Washington Alpine Resort is open until April 2, 2017.

Soak up the Sun on a Patio

Does sipping on a cold beer, spicy caesar, or glass of champagne on a sunny patio sound like spring skiing heaven to you? If so, here are a few of the classic ski town patios in BC you just can’t miss.

Griz Bar at Fernie Alpine Resort.

Griz Bar at Fernie Alpine Resort. Photo: Fernie Alpine Resort/Mark Eleven Photography

On the Coast
Grab a seat on the the patio at Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC) in Whistler. If you find yourself there on a Sunday, don’t miss the skiers hurling themselves through rings of fire at the Fire and Ice Show. A prime spot to view the event is from the GLC patio. On Vancouver Island, après is best served at Ted’s Bar & Grill at Mount Washington, where lively entertainment carries on until the evening.

In the Thompson Okanagan
Drink flaming Grand Marnier poured down a double-barrel shotgun at The Gunbarrel Saloon at Apex Mountain Resort, or sip on lattes at Bugaboos Bakery Cafe at SilverStar Mountain Resort. Ski right up to the patio of Bottoms Bar & Grill at Sun Peaks Resort, or lounge out at The Woods in the middle of Big White‘s mountain village.

Along the Powder Highway
Enjoy beer and burgers on the massive deck at Revelstoke Mountain Resort‘s Revelation Lodge, or enjoy a drink with the locals at Peaks Grill at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Watch the action unfold from the patio of Coal Oil Johnny’s Pub at Whitewater Ski Resort, or catch DJs spinning on the patio at Rafters Lounge at RED Mountain Resort. Dance in your ski boots on the Kokanee Deck at Fernie Alpine Resort‘s famous Griz Bar, relax on the Montana’s patio in Kimberley Alpine Resort, or take in the mountain views at Panorama Mountain Resort from the Summit Hut.

Here comes the sun. It’s time to hit the slopes.

Opening image: Panorama Mountain Resort. Photo: Zoya Lynch