Big White Ski Resort
Resting one day after returning from Whistler-Blackcomb, I dried out all my gear, packed up an hopped on a flight to Kelowna for the start of a winter road trip in interior British Columbia. Our drive took us through the Okanagan Valley, Revelstoke, Golden and then back to Kelowna.
On the car ride to Big White I felt incredibly energetic, fuelled by the taste of snow and mountains at Whistler. Big White is the second largest ski resort in BC. There’s a lot of lifts and trails for all abilities. There were a lot of families and a friendly atmosphere throughout the park. Perhaps it was the abundance of light that gave this “warm” feeling (not to be confused with temperature which was actually around 0 degrees).
Kelowna (K-Town!) is six hour east of Vancouver by bus, but much shorter in good driving conditions with a car. The town is graced with tons of sunlight a year, which was a nice change to the rainy weather I had in Vancouver. I was welcomed into the home of a high school friend who studies at UBC Okanagan.
Throughout my time at Big White I was bouncing up from every fall and tumble. I was challenged by my friends to go much further and faster than I was a Whistler. It was sweet. Despite feeling a little sore I was still brimming with energy at the end of the day ready for the next town and mountain.
|Vertical:||777 m (2550 ft)|
|Skiable Terrain:||1119 ha (2765 ac)|
|Total Number of Runs:||118|
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
A short 2-hour drive from Kelowna lies Revelstoke. The town of Revy would be home-base for the next couple of days. We drove to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort through Rogers Pass. Driving through the heart of Glacier National Park was breathtaking. We left Revelstoke before sunrise, so we were able to catch the sun illuminate faces of mountains.
Although this drive was beautiful, it’s dangerous given the nature of the roads and weather conditions. During the winter months, the mostly two-lane roads can be steep, windy and narrow. Thankfully our bluebird day paved way to clear skies and roads.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is in Golden (fun fact, last time I was here I jumped out of a plane with Ryan!). The views from Golden definitely top those of Big White since the ski resort is surrounded by 6 national parks. There is also a huge average snowfall of 800 cm, making Kicking Horse known as the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada!
Interesting: The day after our day in Golden, the main gondola had a serious maintenance problem. It stopped working and 75 skiers and snowboarders left suspended in the air for hours — until a helicopter could arrive for an airlift rescue. And everyone was safe! Despite the issue this video Gondola Rescue, which shows the entire rescue, is pretty incredible (some serious stunning view!!!)
|Vertical:||1260 m (4133 ft)|
|Skiable Terrain:||1133 ha (2800 ac)|
|Total Number of Runs:||129|
Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Revelstoke Mountain Resort is North America’s greatest vertical at 1,713 meters (5,620 ft). It’s incredible to soar new heights at Revelstoke. The town is a quiet, quaint town with picturesque scenery; located in between the Monashee and Columbia Mountain ranges. The mountain resort also boast some of the sweetest backcountry riding!
We had a hearty meal at Paramjit’s Kitchen at the end of the day. Such a lovely place and a wonderful concept. This restaurant serves Indian and German food. “Wait what?!” were my initial thoughts too. Although it seems like a mixed-matched combination, it works! The owner, after a quick chat, is Indian who was trained in Austria. Hense the neat fusion! Mango curry schnitzel?! Yes please!
Interesting: I was at Revelstoke the same time Chris Burkard visited the mountain. We saw some of the same breathtaking and inspiring views; however, captured much more brilliantly by Chris.
|Vertical:||1713 m (5620 ft)|
|Skiable Terrain:||1263 ha (3121 ac)|
|Total Number of Runs:||65|
After riding three days, I realize that there are limits to what I’m physically able to do. I definitely heard my body telling me ‘enough’ at the end of the third mountain. Each fall took longer to recover and navigating through trees were much more difficult. I challenged myself to ride new terrains and heights and I’m happy that through these experiences I have sparked a sense of riding confidence! I also met a handful of incredible, kind-hearted people who filled the road trip with laughs and stories.
I’ll be back mountains!!!
Helpful overview: Hello BC: Ski/Snowboarding