British-Columbia -

Big White

The very best of the Okanagan

By Robert Choquette, Co-founder and former Editor of Skier Magazine and Marilyn Griffiths, Special Contributor

It was quite cold when we left our home back east to make our way across the country. So, of course, the mild breeze that greeted us as we stepped out of the plane in Kelowna was a welcome surprise! Big White resort, above the Okanagan Valley, is about an hour away from Kelowna. This glorious region enjoys a microclimate favouring abundant snowfall— generally over seven metres per year—and is renown for its light, dry powder.

Night skiing was in full swing when we arrived at the resort at the end of the afternoon. Adults, kids, skiers and boarders were enthusiastically tearing up the illuminated slopes. No one seemed ready to wrap things up for the day—or maybe they were all just latecomers like us.

Like most accommodations in Big White, our condo was located slopeside. And, although we had our own kitchen to cook in, we opted for an evening out that first night. Big White has always been family-oriented, and the majority of restaurants in town are clearly a reflection of that. The Kettle Valley Steakhouse & Wine Bar proved to be the perfect choice for us. The salmon—paired with a lovely Okanagan wine—was simply exquisite.

If you’re new to Big White, you should definitely take the free guided tour offered by the resort’s customer service. It’s the perfect way to familiarize yourself with the ski area’s different sectors and get a few tips on how best to make your way around the mountain. Even though the tour skipped over the expert areas, we still had the chance to ski a series of perfectly groomed runs with varying fall lines.

Fresh back from our tour, we headed right for The Cliff, at the very top of the resort. The trees in this sector, better known as snow ghosts, are completely covered with snow and ice, giving them the appearance of eerie-looking figures. Big White has such a fabulous array of runs to choose from, and a ski area that is interesting to explore. Tree-lined groomers weave above and around the village while the backcountry sector is mostly concentrated on the back side of the mountain. As splendid as the skiing is at Big White, there are also lots of other outdoor activities for you to choose from: skating, sledding, snowshoeing, ice climbing, dog sledding, etc.

Of course, after a long day on the slopes, you may just want to kick back for a little après-ski enjoyment at Snowshoe Sam’s. Whatever you choose, you are sure to enjoy!

 



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Big White, British Columbia

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February 3, 2018 to February 10, 2018


$ 2 595 1 995 / pers.
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Big White, British Columbia

Accompanied by

March 17, 2018 to March 24, 2018


$ 2 395 1 795 1 795 / pers.
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Text from 2015-2016 ski magazine

simply unforgettable

By ALEXIS DE GHELDERE, Outdoor Travel Journalist

At a faraway glance, you might not quite understand why this mountain is called Big White—but, I guarantee that once you get up close and personal, it will become abundantly clear where the name comes from! What a joy to discover this huge mountain and its vast round summit located above the tree line. The pure white as far (and as high) as the eye can see is no doubt the inspiration for Big White’s name. A choice of three lifts– the Falcon Chair, the Cliff Chair and the Alpine T-Bar—will take you to the top of this colossal almost-mythical giant that opens up to the horizon.

No matter which of the lifts you choose, you will be treated to jaw-dropping views on the way down. Having skied dozens of mountains around the globe, I thought I had seen it all—but, clearly, I was wrong. The landscape at Big White was unlike anything I had ever laid eyes on before—it’s somewhat reminiscent of the Valley of the Ghosts at Monts-Valin, only on a much bigger scale! At Big White, a huge army of ghosts stands guard over endless square kilometres of the mammoth summit.

You’ll be absolutely blown away by the surroundings, especially as you ski through the giant phantoms, each one uniquely sculpted by the winds and precipitation. To get a better view of these superb figures, I let loose at the top of the Falcon Chair as I made my way along the ridge above the Grizzly run. My telemark skis made gliding along the flat terrain a breeze, allowing me to drift off into quiet contemplation as I weaved in and out of the great ghosts. It’s an experience I will never forget. Although I was the most impressed by the awesome snow ghosts, there is lots more to Big White than these cool phantoms. For starters, half the terrain here is considered intermediate. Plus, there are incredibly well organized supersonic lifts that will get you up to the smaller summit lifts in no time flat.

To the delight of glade lovers, there is backcountry terrain aplenty from one end of the mountain to the other. Big White also boasts one of the biggest, most highly renowned ski schools around. And, the crowning glory is the impressive slopeside village, with its hundreds of ski-in/ski-out condo buildings, countless restaurants and bars. With everything it has to offer, it’s no wonder Big White is one of the most popular Western Canadian family destinations, second in line only to Whistler-Blackcomb.

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Photo of Charles Castonguay
Charles Castonguay
Représentant à destination – On-site representative

L’an dernier, lorsque ma conjointe m’a demandé d’aller passer un mois dans l’Ouest canadien, j’étais loin de me douter qu’elle allait réitérer sa demande un an plus tard, mais cette fois-ci pour un séjour de trois mois! C’est donc à Big White que nous avons décidé de skier. Ce fut alors un coup de foudre et, sans hésiter, nous avons décidé de déménager pour de bon dans cette région. J’y apprécie la qualité de la neige, le grand domaine skiable et la variété des pistes, sans oublier l’accès facile à la station, à partir de l’aéroport de Kelowna. Le village, dont la majorité des unités d’hébergement a un accès direct aux pistes, n’est pas non plus un détail à négliger…

 Étant membre de l’Alliance des moniteurs de ski du Canada depuis 35 ans et passionné de voyage, j’ai skié la majorité des stations de l’Ouest canadien et américain. Je suis également un adepte de la randonnée alpine, en plus d’avoir été guide-animateur à Tremblant. J’ai aussi à mon actif la traversée du glacier d’Aletsch et le parcours de la haute route Chamonix-Zermatt. Alors, vous aurez compris qu’avec moi, vous serez entre bonnes mains!

 Ainsi, il me fera plaisir de vous accueillir et de vous conseiller afin de vous faire découvrir cette destination qui gagne toujours en popularité.

Ski stations Accommodations Snow Conditions
TEMPERATURE (CELSIUS)
Month Min. Max.
January -9 -1
February -7 3
March -3 9
April 1 15
May 4 20
June 8 24
July 10 27
August 9 27
September 5 21
October 1 13
November -3 5
December -7 1

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