March 26, 2018
Welcome to the Alaska Highway, where you’re more likely to see wildlife than people. Local photographer Ryan Dickie shows us his favourite places to photograph…
By Leah Adams-Chute March 1, 2018 #php comments_number('0 Comment', '1 Comment', '% Comments'); ?> #php echo wpb_get_post_views(get_the_ID()); ?>
Dreaming of your next ski holiday is easy. Planning for it takes a bit more effort. With direct flights to Vancouver, British Columbia from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and London (and connecting flights to Calgary, too) a ski holiday to Canada is closer and easier than you might think. Here are three ways you could spend a 14-day ski safari in British Columbia, Canada to help make those ski dreams a reality.
What do you think of skiing the largest resort in North America, visiting Vancouver—a city perched on the edge of wilderness—and hopping on a train to a small ski village in BC’s Interior? It could be the perfect Canadian ski holiday. Fly into Vancouver, and from there you can shuttle, helicopter, or private charter (among other options) up to Canada’s must-ski destination, Whistler Blackcomb. A few shuttle companies whisk skiers directly from the Vancouver International Airport up to Whistler in just two hours, where 8,000 acres of ski terrain and more than 200 runs await. Once in Whistler, there is no need for a vehicle. Whistler Village is easily navigated on foot with a variety of ski-in/ski-out accommodations and a bus system linking the entire Whistler Valley. It’s easy to spend a week here, even if your legs only last four days. Those rest days are never dull—soak in the outdoor hot pools of the Scandinave Spa, zipline through the rainforest, take a snowmobile tour, or culture crawl through the village.
Once you’ve ticked off Whistler Blackcomb, you can head back to the city of Vancouver and get a dose of urban experiences. Enjoy Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge, dining at world-class restaurants, brewery tours, and more. If more than few days off the slopes is tough, there are three ski resorts—Cypress, Grouse, and Seymour—to get in some turns while you’re in the city.
The final leg of this holiday? Why not hop on an overnight train to Sun Peaks Resort. VIA Rail transports skiers from Vancouver to Kamloops, and from there a 30-minute shuttle will take you directly to Sun Peaks Resort. Not into rail? Direct flights from Vancouver to Kamloops operate every day, and there is a shuttle from the airport to Sun Peaks Resort’s pedestrian-only ski village. Three mountains and a variety of winter activities make Sun Peaks Resort a great ski holiday option.
Keen to explore beyond Whistler Blackcomb? Try some of British Columbia’s other destination ski resorts. Canada’s newest ski resort—Revelstoke Mountain Resort—may be the new kid on the block, but it’s already getting international attention and it’s only a one-hour flight from Vancouver International Airport. Set in the charming mountain town of Revelstoke, this place has some real Canadian culture. Spend a few days here working on your turns, and build up the courage to give one of the most challenging trails on this mountain—Kill The Banker—a run for its money.
After your legs have warmed up, make your way to Big White Ski Resort in BC’s Interior for a whole different experience—champagne powder, a vibrant pedestrian village, and plenty of ski-in/ski-out accommodation options. There is a shuttle service between Revelstoke and the Kelowna International Airport, and from the airport another shuttle can take you directly to Big White Ski Resort. This is another place where a vehicle isn’t necessary. Most of the accommodation is ski-in/ski-out, and the small village has everything you need—cafes, bars, restaurants, and grocery stores. With 188 runs and 15 lifts, Big White has new terrain to explore every day. Dogsledding tours, an ice-climbing tower, outdoor skating, and village fireworks are some great ways to have a true Canadian winter experience. It’s an easy place to spend another week.
For your trip back home, there are flights from Kelowna to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and London, with one quick stop back in Vancouver. You may just want to extend your stay and explore the city.
This one is for the adventure seekers. A winter road trip along BC’s Powder Highway is an iconic Canadian experience. Take a one-stop flight into Calgary from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or London and hire a car for your own Powder Highway adventure. First leg? Travel east towards BC’s Canadian Rockies and head for Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Perched high above BC’s quiet mountain town of Golden, this resort is squished among six of Canada’s most mountainous National Parks. Most of the trails are designated black or double-black runs, which means it’s a good place to push your boundaries and test your skills.
Next stop? Head south to Panorama Mountain Resort, the perfect mid-way break between Kicking Horse and Fernie. Explore 128 acres of newly opened terrain in the resort’s Taynton Bowl, which was former heli-skiing tenure. Surrounded by 10,000-foot peaks, Panorama Mountain Resort offers spectacular views, and all Panorama Lodging guests can access the slopeslide hot pools where you can relax après-ski. A few days here and you’ll be ready to hit the road again.
Keep heading south and you’ll come to the small mountain town of Fernie, tucked in the mountains of southeastern BC. Set against a backdrop of towering slopes, this is one of the most idyllic winter destinations in Canada. With five alpine bowls, legendary deep powder days, tree skiing off ridges, and fall lines that test your skills, Fernie Alpine Resort is truly a skiers paradise.
All skied out? It’s a quick three-hour drive back to Calgary to return your rental vehicle before hopping on a plane home.
Note: This trip is for drivers comfortable with winter conditions and driving through mountain passes. Snow tires are mandatory in winter on certain BC roads. DriveAway Holidays and Canadian Affair are great ways to book car and SUV rentals from Calgary International Airport, with certain suppliers giving you the option to add snow tires and ski racks to the rental.
To start planning your next ski holiday, check out this BC ski map.
Did you know that British Columbia, Canada, has the longest lift-serviced vertical in North America? Or that you can go cat-skiing for $10? Or that…
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