For many British skiers, venturing further than the tried and tested slopes of the European Alps can be a little daunting, especially when the Alpine resorts are so near and familiar. However, these top five Canadian resorts have so much to offer, any keen skier will be glad they made the journey.
The skiing experience in Canada really is something special; ski the snow-filled, pristine pistes during the day, and by night sample true Canadian hospitality. Food and drink abound at the best après ski hotspots, whether you’re looking for laid-back fun or high-end luxury. The season starts a little earlier than the European one too, so if you are itching to hit the slopes, then plan a trip to one of these five resorts.
Known for its awesome powder, high altitude bowls and endless runs, it goes without saying that the skiing at Whistler is spectacular. As the largest ski area in North America, the terrain is of course pretty varied meaning that skiers and boarders of all abilities are catered for. The resort’s superb high-speed lift network whisks skiers up the mountain to over 200 marked trails 12 alpine bowls and 3 glaciers. Combining Alpine charm and Canadian hospitality, the pedestrianised town offers a vibrant nightlife, luxury hotels and easy access to the slopes. We love every single one of the 8171 acres that make up Whistler Blackcomb which is why it made number one on our list!
A mixture of craggy peaks, frozen lakes and tree lined trails, the scenery at Banff is nothing short of spectacular. Set in Canada’s first National Park, Banff town is the hub for three separate resorts; Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mt Norquay that together are known as the tri-area, all included in the tri-area lift pass. Together the three resorts have every sort of piste from piested tree runs to hairy double black diamonds. Although the transfer time from Calgary is short, this resort in the Canadian Rockies feels rural and remote: excellent if you want to get away from it all.
Ideal if you’re travelling to Canada with a family, Panorama has a purpose-built village, which means that you are never far away from the slopes. The excellent childcare facilities make planning your holiday straight-forward, and it’s certainly possible to learn to ski out there if you have true beginners in your party. And if skiing isn’t enough, there are lots of adventure activities available here too, such as dog-sledding, snowshoeing and some of the best heli-skiing around.
A very young resort that is slowly getting larger every year, and excellent if you want something a little exclusive, Kicking Horse is a quaint tree-lined resort that is becoming more luxurious every year. The mountain is steep and deep, perfect for the adventurous skier, with great heli-skiing opportunities, plenty of moguls and enough powder to keep skiers and boarders excited.
With an incredible snow record and steep, rougher slopes available, Fernie is the place to go for a challenging powder skiing experience. That said, the ski school has an amazing reputation, and so all abilities are provided for in this Canadian resort that has comfortable temperatures and a friendly local feel.