Canada is one of the world’s best destinations for skiing and snowboarding, with a huge range of resorts to suit every budget, and runs to suit every skill level. There’s everything from the isolation and adrenaline-rush of heli-skiing, to the thrills, spills and fun for the whole family at some of the biggest resorts in the world. Here are some of the top places to enjoy a Canadian alpine adventure.
Whistler Blackcomb – experience the world’s most exhilarating ski-lift, nearly half a kilometre high
Whistler Blackcomb is one of the top ski resorts in not only Canada, but the world – more than two million annual visitors can’t be wrong! Conveniently located just two hours from Vancouver, the neighbouring mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb are home to dozens of accommodation options, from budget digs to luxury five star hotels. There’s just as much variety on the ski runs too, which cater for everyone from absolute beginners to daring jumps of Olympic standard. If you dare, travel between the summits of each mountain on the Peak to Peak, a ski lift suspended more than 450 metres in the air. Enjoy the staggering views of the alpine wonderland below on the 11 minute, 4.5 kilometre journey, with the hundreds of skiers and snowboarders just a tiny colourful blur below.
Big White – great ‘big’ fun for the whole family, but beware the snow ghosts!
Big White resort offers the ultimate in convenience, with most hotels providing ski-in and ski-out facilities, so you can make the most of your time on the slopes. Big White is a great option for families, with most runs suitable for beginner to intermediate skiers, and a well-run ski school with a great program for kids. The entertainment program is also excellent, with something for everyone, with activities including snowmobiling, ice skating, ice hockey, and dog sledding. However, beware of the Big White ‘snow ghosts’ – huge snow covered trees, often mistaken for something more eerie due to the occasional visibility problems around the mountains.
Mont Tremblant – tired of going down the slopes, try an uphill adventure
Located in Quebec province, Tremblant offers something a little different for skiers, with a distinctly European feel, complete with many French patisseries and cafes lining the cobblestone streets of the quiet village. If you’re impatient, you’ll enjoy the distinct lack of lines at Mont Tremblant, with the state-of-the-art lift system able to handle nearly 30,000 skiers every hour. The skiing itself is also top-notch, with the widest variety of mountain runs in Eastern Canada. However, if you do exhaust all your options going down the slopes, why not try going up? Tremblant ski resort specialises in ice climbing courses, where you’ll be scaling the cliff face like an expert mountaineer in no time!
Lake Louise – quaint village, quiet castles and quality skiing
If you’re looking for some incredible scenery whilst on your skiing holiday, look no further than stunning Lake Louise. Nestled amongst the Canadian Rockies, the slopes form a deep valley over the lake, with waters an amazing clear blue in summer, and frozen over for perfect ice hockey playing conditions in winter. Although the ski resort is second only to Whistler in terms of size, the village of Lake Louise itself is quiet, with many skiers commuting from nearby Banff. However, if you’re after a really special place to stay that’s fit for a king or queen, stay in town at the Lake’s very own castle, the Chateau Lake Louise.
The Monashees – Dare to drop down the deepest downhill descents in the world
The region of British Colombia can well and truly lay claim to being the ultimate global heli-skiing capital, with an estimated 90% of the world’s heli-skiing taking place here. As a result, there are numerous resorts to choose from, but for advanced thrill-seekers looking for a challenge, the Monashees is the place to go. Regarded as the premium ‘deep and steep’ ski destination in the world, a trip to the Monashees guarantees descents totalling more than 30,000 metres over a week long adventure, as well as an average annual snowfall of more than 20 metres. Up here, you’ll feel as though you have the mountains all to yourself, with the rugged mountain terrain feeling a million miles from the crowds of the slopes many metres below.
Start planning your skiing holiday with your local, personal travel manager. Visit http://www.travelmanagers.com.au/ptm-search/