British Columbia is the home of adventure. Peppered with soaring mountain ranges, rugged beaches and cosmopolitan cities on the edge of the wilderness, it’s a dream destination for thrill seekers and nature lovers alike. It’s one of the greatest places to ski in North America, with guaranteed snowfall, sharp runs and balmy weather against a backdrop of immense natural beauty.
Challenge yourself to a white-knuckle ride down Revelstoke’s longest vertical, or weave in and out of the trees in the champagne-powdered backcountry. There is kayaking, hiking and rock climbing, as well as wildlife that’s rarely spotted anywhere else. The snow ghosts—trees draped in snow and ice—in Okanagan Valley’s Big White are an unmissable photo opportunity. So, where to start?
If you’re going for the slopes, BC’s peaks offer some incredible high-octane experiences, from skiing down breathtaking verticals to snowmobiling and catskiing. Try the latter out in Fernie – an Alpine-like resort with a vintage American charm. It’s a chance to escape the crowds and explore slopes that are otherwise out of reach in an up-and-coming spot – renowned for its dry Rockies powder and hilly glades for off-piste running.
Heli-skiing lets you roam even further. Take a flight to discover Revelstoke—Canada’s untrampled ‘deep powder capital’, which is blanketed with up to 60 feet of snowfall every year. This resort is a must for adventurous skiers, as everything is on an enormous scale. Around forty-eight per cent of the terrain is advanced, with steep groomers and North America’s longest vertical – 1,713m. Make a special trip unforgettable with a stay at the luxurious Chalet Bighorn, which has its own private helipad, spa and personal chef.
A huge advantage of a trip to BC is the fact that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one destination. A single circular road connects eight resorts in an area known as the Powder Highway, so you can mix and match where you ski.
Kicking Horse makes a great day trip from Panorama, at the northeast tip of the region. While deep-ridged Panorama is a welcoming spot for families with its uncrowded slopes and accessible layout, Kicking Horse has the legendary double black diamond chutes and bowls for adrenaline chasers and more seasoned skiers.
BC’s mountain ranges offer dining with a difference. The region is famous for its hot smoked salmon, Okanagan peaches, salty lamb and Russian-inspired borscht. As well this unrivalled local produce and fresh catches, foodie encounters here are utterly unique.
Whisk the group up to dizzying heights in Kicking Horse, for the views as well as the food, at the Eagle’s Eye for a Canadian feast at 2,300m, or in postcard-perfect SilverStar, take the family for a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh along the trails to the Wild Horseman’s Cabin for a buffet in cosy surroundings.
There’s so much to see when you’re touring BC. Put together a city and ski tour to suit you, with a stop in Vancouver as an add-on to Whistler or Sun Peaks.
Vancouver is a city perched in the wilds, surrounded by magnificent views on all sides. Indulge in what we consider to be one of Canada’s best dining scenes, which encompasses everything from farm-to-table meals to Asian fusion; catch edgy theatre at the city’s newest venues; or venture just beyond the city limits for mountain biking, trail running and rainforest hikes. Just an hour and a half’s drive north, Whistler is one of the world’s most iconic ski resorts. It has a distinctly European atmosphere and a lively après-ski scene, a pedestrianised centre with a laid-back cafe culture and boutique shopping, as well as over 8000 acres of pistes that cater to skiers of all abilities. For a quieter experience, head to Sun Peaks, further afield at the heart of the province. This lesser-known resort offers gently rolling terrain, a ski-in ski-out village and dedicated ski schools, so it’s ideal for families learning the ropes on the slopes.