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SKI BC

SKI B.C.

SKI BCRandallAnthony CommunicationsComment

The routine is the same at ski resorts around the world – when the chairlifts and gondolas shut down at the end of the ski day, it marks the beginning of après-ski, that time when people gather to swap stories about their day on the slopes or use the opportunity to sample other cold-season activities.  

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The Powder Highway: The ultimate road trip for snow seekers

SKI BCRandallAnthony CommunicationsComment

his route is special for more than the skiing as locals share insights and communities welcome visitors to their winter wonderland

It’s more than the skiing that makes a B.C. ski road trip unforgettable.

In the 1996-97 ski season, Angie Abdou’s boyfriend took a year off from university in Ontario to spend a winter at Fernie Alpine Resort in eastern British Columbia. In the spring, Ms. Abdou came out to visit. She planned to stay for a week, but never left.

Your best skiing may be one lesson away

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Ski lessons are not just for beginners. Even when Nancy Greene Raine dominated the World Cup ski race circuit in the late 1960s, winning gold and silver Olympic medals in 1968, coaches dissected her every turn. After she retired, as equipment changed and technique evolved, Ms. Greene Raine kept on learning and refining her skiing. It’s one of the things that makes skiing a lifelong sport – there’s always room for improvement. “It’s OK to ski your own way, but if you’re getting tired or falling all the time, it’s time to take a lesson,” says Ms. Greene Raine. “If your technique doesn’t keep up with the equipment, you’re going to be working harder than you have to.”

The family that skis together creates memories together

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At 53, Gord Martin had lost a little pop in his skiing. It was still fun to hit the slopes, but it lacked the excitement he remembered from ski trips with his parents, or even teaching his own son and daughter to turn. That all changed two years ago when he helped introduce his grandson to the sport.“It was pretty cool having my son, myself and my grandson on the chairlift together,” he remembers. “When you watch someone else experiencing something for the first time, you can put yourself in their place and feel the excitement and energy.”

British Columbia Ski resorts - Diversity

SKI BCNancy SeizComment
 Blake Jorgenson

Blake Jorgenson

After 42 years on skis and more than 30 making turns for a living, Mike Douglas has laid tracks in more places than just about anyone else. As a mogul skier in the ’90s, he competed across Europe and North America. Skiing in movies, he travelled to more exotic locations. And now as a ski filmmaker, he continues to chase flakes around the world.

But when Mike thinks about the best place to ski, his mind always returns home to British Columbia. “The number one reason? It’s the most consistent place when it comes to snow,” he says. “But that wouldn’t matter if it wasn’t for the number two reason – the vastness and diversity of the mountains and terrain.”


When I’m travelling and I tell someone I’m from B.C. they always say it’s their fantasy to ski here.
— Mike Douglas is a Whistler resident and filmmaker

More than five mountain ranges dominate the province. Each has its own weather, snowfall, geography and character. Starting in the west is the Coast Range. “The mountains are huge and they get lots of snow,” says Douglas.

“Whistler Blackcomb is the biggest resort and has the most varied terrain,” says Douglas, a Whistler resident for 23 years. “You have everything from glaciers to high alpine bowls, open groomers to burned forests.”

Next up is the Monashee Mountains. These rounded, interior snow peaks are home to Sun Peaks Resort, SilverStar Mountain Resort and Big White Ski Resort. Sunnier than the Coast Range, the Okanangan ski hills boast about light powder, tree skiing and family-friendly ambience. “They have a great vibe,” says Douglas, who spends Christmas at SilverStar with his family. “You can turn the kids loose, tell them you’ll see them at lunch, and not worry about them. But there’s still plenty of fun terrain to keep me interested.”

Move a little further east and the mountains rise up again, this time into the Selkirks. The most consistent snow makes the interior powder belt the heart of the helicopter and snowcat industry, and where you’ll find Revelstoke Mountain Resort, home to the longest vertical drop in North America. “I’ve never met a skier who got bored at Revy,” says Douglas. “You will get tired though; it’s steep and long.”

The Purcell Mountains own diversity. Near the U.S. border is Kimberley Alpine Resort, possibly B.C.’s sunniest ski hill. Its Bavarian-themed village, forested slopes and family-friendly size mimics the feel of the Okanagan resorts. An hour north, Panorama Mountain Resort feels like Colorado: dry snow, wicked groomers, a refined feel and long, long runs. And then there’s Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. “It’s raw, wild, a skier’s mountain,” says Douglas. “Every run is long, and there are all these little zones of terrain to explore.”

The final mountain range, before B.C. gives way to Alberta, is the Rocky Mountains. A quirk of geography lands Fernie Alpine Resort way more snow than the rest of the range. Full of gullies, ridges, bowls and chutes, the nine metres of fluff gives the alpine bowls and forested runs a playful feel.

From immaculate groomers to deep snow, huge terrain to thigh-crushing vertical, variety is what sets B.C. apart from everywhere else, says Douglas. “When I’m travelling and I tell someone I’m from B.C., they always say it’s their fantasy to ski here,” he says. “I can’t argue with them. It is a fantasy.”


 David McColm

David McColm

Whistler Blackcomb

Slopes for skiers of all levels

Whistler Blackcomb is two side-by-side mountains totalling 8,171 acres of skiable terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, more than 200 marked runs, five terrain parks and one mile of vertical.
Link that terrain with 37 lifts, including the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, and you have an unrivalled ski and snowboard experience and a destination that tops every skier and snowboarder’s must-do list.

And while Whistler Blackcomb is a true skier and snowboarder’s dream come true, the huge, wide-open and varied terrain of these mountains is ideal for skiers of all levels including families, children and those who are new to the sport.

Whistler Blackcomb has dedicated Family Zones and Learning Areas on both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains to ensure every level of skier and rider has the best experience possible. For those looking to take their skiing and snowboarding experience to the next level, Whistler Heli-Skiing offers access to 432,000 acres of big mountain terrain that includes 173 glaciers and 475 runs. Whistler Heli-Skiing offers a variety of packages for everyone, from strong intermediates to seasoned experts.

whistlerblackcomb.com

 

After winning the World Cup Men’s Downhill, what’s left to do for Rob Boyd on the slopes?

SKI BCRandallAnthony CommunicationsComment

With the possible exception of recent Canadian Olympic gold medalists Maelle Ricker, Ashley McIvor and Alexandre Bilodeau, few skiers have experienced the kind of euphoria that Whistler’s Rob Boyd did on a historic day in 1989, when he took a full-throttle approach at a course set in his own backyard and won what is still Canada’s only World Cup Men’s Downhill victory on home turf.

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Enhancing the mountain experience

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Ski lessons with a qualified instructor can help visitors to British Columbia make the most of their annual ski trip. Lessons are obviously important for those just starting out, but they can also be enormously beneficial to intermediate and advanced skiers, says Jonathan Mosley, chair of the board of directors of the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) in British Columbia.

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