Whistler is a popular winter destination in British Columbia, as the small ski town has two mountains within walking distance from the village. However, there are many excellent ski mountains and resorts in Western Canada that can offer skiers an entirely different experience; here are ten other places to ski in British Columbia and Alberta.
1. Big White Ski Resort
Big White is a ski resort located just over 50 kilometres southeast of Kelowna in British Columbia’s Okanagan region. It is the third biggest resort in BC, after Sun Peaks and Whistler-Blackcomb; however, it’s the largest resort for night skiing in Western Canada. The village has a range of accommodations, dining and adventure options and excellent ski in/out convenience. A must-do at Big White is tubing at Mega Snow Coaster, one of the largest tube parks in North America.
Big White Ski Resort, 5315 Big White Road, Kelowna, BC, Canada +1 250 765 3101
2. Lake Louise Ski Resort
Lake Louise Ski Resort is one of three resorts located near Banff, Alberta and is known as the ‘granddaddy’ of ski resorts in Canada. With over 4,000 acres of terrain, 139 runs and nine lifts, skiing in this UNESCO World Heritage Site among the Canadian Rockies is an experience not to be missed.
3. Cypress Mountain
If you want to stay in an urban area but still enjoy a skiing holiday, check out Cypress Mountain. It’s only a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver and is the area’s largest skiing and snowboarding mountain. For the 2010 Winter Olympics, freestyle skiing and snowboarding events were held on Cypress, too. Tackle the mountain during the day and enjoy the city life at night.
Cypress Mountain, 6000 Cypress Bowl Road, Vancouver, BC, Canada +1 604 926 5612
4. Sun Peaks Resort
Located 45 minutes north of Kamloops in central British Columbia, Sun Peaks is a large resort known for its family atmosphere. Visitors can easily ski in and out of the village and 80 percent of the accommodation options, which makes for an easy ski vacation. There are eleven lifts on the mountains to take skiers to 122 different runs, so visitors definitely won’t get bored at this resort.
Sun Peaks Resort, 1280 Alpine Road, Sun Peaks, BC, Canada +1 250 578 7222
5. Sunshine Village
Along with Lake Louise Ski Resort and Norquay, Sunshine Village is the final piece of Banff’s SkiBig3 puzzle; it’s located 15 minutes outside of Banff and is in the middle of the pack. Sunshine Village is larger than Norquay and has a steep terrain with plenty of snow (some say the best snow in the Rockies). Ski Canada magazine even awarded the mountain the best view from the best off-piste run for Delirium Dive — just don’t get too distracted!
Sunshine Village, 1 Sunshine Access Road, Banff, AB, Canada, +1 403 705 4000
6. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Many people say that skiing and snowboarding at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort can feel like being kicked by a horse. 60 percent of the mountain’s tracks are for advanced skiers and some slopes used to only be accessible to heliskiers; it has the fourth largest vertical drop in North America, too. When you are finished being kicked by the mountains, you can relax in the town of Golden, which is right on the Alberta border.
7. Silver Star Mountain Resort
Although you go to Silver Star Mountain Resort for the skiing, stay for the charm of its village. It was built in the 1980s to resemble a colourful 19th-century mining village. One side of the Victorian-style village opens right onto the slopes too – it doesn’t get any more convenient than that. There’s also a natural ice rink, tubing, snowshoeing, winter mountain biking and more waiting for you at Silver Star Mountain Resort.
8. Whitewater Ski Resort
Whitewater Ski Resort is located a 15-minute drive from Nelson in southeastern B.C. With only 20 percent of runs for beginners and an annual snowfall average of 12 metres (39 feet), this is a resort targeted toward intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Although there is no resort on the mountain, Nelson is known as B.C.’s heritage capital and has plenty of inexpensive accommodation options to choose from.
Whitewater Ski Resort, 1 Whitewater Road, Nelson, BC, Canada +1 250 354 4944
9. Fernie Alpine Resort
Another resort that is known for its powder skiing and high annual snowfall, Fernie Alpine Resort is also geared toward advanced skiers and snowboarders. There are five large bowls at Fernie and 2,504 acres of fun. The mountain overlooks the small mining town of Fernie, which was named the ‘Coolest Town in North America’ by Rolling Stone.
10. Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Revelstoke is a relatively new resort, as up until the 2007/08 season it was just a hill for locals with only one lift. Now, it’s home to the biggest vertical drop in North America at 1,713 metres (5620 feet) and its longest run is an incredible 15.2 kilometres (9.4 miles). It has also been referred to as the world’s heliskiing capital. The mountain is still undergoing expansions, but when those are complete people believe Revelstoke will be one the world’s top skiing destinations.