Strap the skis to the roof, pack the car with gear, and set out on the open road with these four ski road trips.
BC’s coast welcomes big storms thanks to the Pacific Ocean. This explains why Mount Washington Alpine Resort and Whistler Blackcomb receive an average annual snowfall of 38 feet (11.5 metres) and the slopes overlooking the city of Vancouver—Mt Seymour, Grouse Mountain, and Cypress Mountain—turn into a winter wonderland. Proximity to the storm-serving ocean offers more perks, too. You can ski Mount Washington in the morning and head to Tofino for a surf lesson in the afternoon, or drive up to Whistler along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway, a journey in itself.
Après ski need not be an activity reserved for beer lovers. In BC’s Thompson Okanagan, many wineries are open year round, which means you can pair a day on the slopes with an evening of wine tasting. Better yet, take a rest day and indulge in a leisurely wine tour. SilverStar Mountain Resort is a hop, skip, and a jump to explore wineries of Kelowna and Lake Country, while Big White Ski Resort has tours running every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with Lets Go Wine Tours, offering pick-up and drop-off from the resort. Apex Mountain Resort will offer a new package this year with Hoodoo Adventures that includes skiing, a wine tour, and accommodation. Sun Peaks Resort hosts the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival January 13 – 22, 2017, and Big Reds at Big White is held December 9 – 10, 2016, for wine aficionados who wish to pair ski and BC wine in one setting.
The Powder Highway is the road of skiers’ dreams. Eight resorts, three ski areas, more than 30 heli- and cat-ski operators, almost two dozen backcountry lodges, and quaint mountain towns speckle this loop of resorts in eastern BC. This route may seem daunting, but you can explore its expanse in sections. (You’ll have an excuse to come back.) Here are a few route options along BC’s Powder Highway.
Go High: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Panorama Mountain Resort, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.
Stay Low: RED Mountain Resort, Whitewater Ski Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort, Fernie Alpine Resort
Keep West: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Whitewater Ski Resort, RED Mountain Resort
Try East: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Panorama Mountain, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort, Fernie Alpine Resort
Eager to head for the lesser-known resorts in Northern BC? The lift lines are short, the powder is dry, and the ski culture has some deep roots. If you want to experience authentic ski communities, this is where you’ll find them. Ski with the locals at the community-owned Shames Mountain, ride the literal Trail to Town at Hudson Bay Mountain, or slash some powder in the Northern Rocky Mountains at Powder King Mountain Resort.
BC’s winter road conditions can include snow and ice. Be sure to check DriveBC before heading out on any road trip and be aware of the winter tire and chain regulations across the province from October 1 to March 31.
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