This is part one in a two-part series exploring the skiing and snowboarding of Northern BC.
I had heard some rumors about Northern British Columbia; rumors of deep snow and uncrowded mountains. Still, I had never made the trip up north to experience all it offers, that is until now. This winter, I was given the chance to go on the ultimate seven day trip ‘up north’ and had the most amazing time. Follow along as I break down the seven day itinerary of our trip to Northern British Columbia below…
Starting from Vancouver, BC, we jumped on a direct one hour and 35 minute flight from Vancouver International Airport to the Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace. Once in Terrace, a quick 30-minute drive from town had us at White Wilderness Heli-skiing. It is surreal how fast you can get out of the city and be amongst the brand-new comforts of the White Wilderness heli-ski lodge, surrounded the beauty of the northern British Columbian mountains. To make things even better, the employees and other guests welcomed us with a drink and a hand before getting settled into our cabins before dinner.
At dinner, all eight guests sat down around a long gorgeous natural wood table and got to know each other over a selection of local craft beers and BC wines. The cuisine is exceptionally good, created with local ingredients and cooked to perfection. During dinner, the head guide, Ken Bibby, gave us an overview of the weather and a realistic prediction for the following day.
After an exciting day exploring the mountains by helicopter, we jumped in the car and headed to into the town of Terrace. After checking into Skeena River House, we met long-time locals, Brad and Kim. They were so welcoming and filled us with knowledge and information about the surrounding area. Brad is quite the ‘local legend’, knowing everything there is to know about skiing and where to go in and around Terrace. One of the recommendation he gave us is the Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse. This brewery is the budding social hub of town featuring a large selection of beer made in-house and an open area to mingle with the locals. Head there and try a variety of ales, lagers and stouts. My favourite beer was the seasonal selection, the ‘Sunshine Saison’, for its fresh and crisp taste.
Day three welcomed 15 centimetres (6 inches) of fresh snow and a yummy signature Skeena River House breakfast. We devoured our meal before starting the beautiful drive up to the local ski resort, Shames Mountain. Shames is notorious for its empty lift lines and touring opportunities; the perfect place for a backcountry enthusiast. We spent the day lapping the upper T-bar, riding through the trees and exploring the diverse terrain of the mountain. It was really fun riding with photographer Callum Snape who had never experienced powder before. The joy on his face alone made the day really exciting and ensured that we were out on the slopes until our legs gave out. After riding, we headed to the lodge for some food and drinks where we rubbed elbows with the original founders of Shames and listen to stories from ‘back in the day’. Some tips from the locals for your first trip to Shames: Bring touring gear, bring avalanche gear and camp in the parking lot at least once in your life.
We continue the rest of our Northern BC powder road trip in part two here. Next up? Cat-skiing in Smithers, and more.
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