Fun off the slopes
Travel Although British Columbia is known as the mecca for ski and snowboarding in Canada, there are countless exhilarating experiences to be had around and off the slopes.
To fully experience the outdoors at B.C. resorts, one is not limited to conquering a mountain strapped to a board or skis. Far from it. From marching through the snow strapping in snowshoes to shopping for one-of-a-kind treasures, there isn’t a lack of adventures to be discovered and enjoyed. Here’s a list of just some of the things that you can do while visiting one of B.C.’s many winter resorts.
You don’t need a pair of skis or a snowboard to cruise down a mountain at high speeds. Tubing will take you from top to bottom just as fast — if not faster. It’s a fun and invigorating way to hit the slopes with no skills or training required! Most resorts have special tubing and tobogganing hills, and it’s an activity suitable for all ages. Just be sure to hang on real tight — it’s a quick, and sometimes bumpy, ride. Resorts with tubing: Whistler, Silverstar, Sun Peaks, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Revelstoke.
Here’s an outdoor activity that gets the heart rate up, while allowing you to truly be one with the wilderness. You can choose to explore the mountain on (strapped-in) foot or take a tour. At Kimberley Alpine Resort, for example, a tour guide will take you, via lift, to the top of the mountain, provide you with snacks and warm drinks, and give you a history of how Kimberley came to be. Snowshoeing trails at most resorts are marked for difficulty. Resorts with snowshoeing: Big White, Silverstar, Sun Peaks, Fernie, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Kimberley.
Cross-country skiing — sometimes referred to as Nordic — has long been a favourite winter activity for outdoor enthusiasts. Glide through miles of outdoor trails, which range in skill level, and bask in the calm quiet of the outdoors. There’s no better way to get around in the winter. Resorts with cross-country: Silverstar, Sun Peaks, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Revelstoke, Kimberley.
“To fully experience the outdoors at B.C. resorts, one is not limited to conquering a mountain strapped to a board or skis.”
Many resorts offer snowmobile tours, which give visitors a chance to blast across frozen lakes, through open meadows and up and around snowy trails. Some resorts offer special snowmobile exertions, like Sun Peaks’ wiener roast, which takes you on a nighttime ride, complete with a campfire cookout. Resorts with snowmobiling: Sun Peaks, Whistler, Big White, Sun Peaks, Fernie, Panorama.
A huge part of winter resort culture is socializing, whether it’s a après-ski drink or a multi-course meal. Many B.C. resorts are also home to world-class restaurants, like Whistler’s Araxi, with its the internationally awarded wine, or Whitewater’s WH20, which was named number 2 on Ski Magazine’s Top 10 Best Ski Resort Cafeterias. Fernie’s The Griz Bar was voted the #1 apres bar by Ski Canada Magazine readers. You’ll also be privy to some one-of-a-kind views from many of the resort’s dining establishments. Don’t forget to order fondue – a winter time must.
Resort towns don’t just offer up shops full of ski equipment and winter jackets. From international retail chains to one-of-a-kind artisan crafts, B.C. ski resorts are the perfect place to find what you’re looking for. Take a glass art class at Saffire in the Panorama Village, or go with something more familiar, like the Gap in Whistler Village. One thing is for certain — you won’t walk away empty handed.
Go for a ride
Get to know the story of a mountain and the resort by taking a guided tour around it, whether by bus or by dog sled. Many resorts offer tours of the area, which give visitors a unique opportunity to really uncover the terrain. Some resorts like Silverstar, offer visitors a unique way to discover the area — by a horse drawn sleigh rides. Revelstoke and Sun Peaks takes it up a notch, with paragliding and dog sled rides — not done at the same time, of course. So while the slopes offer you a special view from high above, remember there’s more to uncover from a totally different angle. Resorts with sleigh rides: Whistler, Silverstar, Big White.