British-Columbia -

Panorama

Peak Performance

By Marilyn Griffiths, special contributor and Robert Choquette, Co-founder and former Editor of Skier Magazine

We pulled into Panorama Mountain Village, near Invermere, after an easy three-and-a-half hour highway drive from Calgary’s airport. The sun had just set when we checked in at our slopeside condo in the upper village. Here, all lodges and townhomes feature full kitchens and fireplaces. But, rather than settle in, we headed out for drinks and dinner at Monticola, a casual Italian bar and eatery steps from the lifts. If you go, make sure you ask the bartender for an Italian Gun Fight, his own delicious concoction.

Panorama is one of those resorts where life is simple. With its well-appointed compact pedestrian village, you really don’t need a car. There’s a good mix of restaurants, pubs and cafés for you to choose from. And, of course, the free access to the amazing slopeside hot pools—which is precisely what we took advantage of after dinner. Nothing like a relaxing soak under a starry mountain sky.

The next morning, we were treated to kneedeep powder under perfect blue skies thanks to an abundant overnight snowfall. Panorama resort features huge verticals, extensive groomed terrain, excellent learning slopes and, yes, spectacular scenery. But, what our guide Jason had in store for us was a drop into Taynton Bowl, Panorama’s natural backcountry terrain, accessed by traversing a ridge road at the very top of the mountain. Now reachable by chairlift, this former heliskiing terrain is avalanche-controlled and patrolled. Jason took us down a local favourite named Donny B’s. Was my comfort zone challenged? You bet! Steep chutes, bumps, deep powder, trees. It took us about an hour to negotiate the descent, but we all arrived back at the village in one piece.

On this particular day, we booked an early dinner at Elkhorn Cabin, high on Panorama’s slopes. It’s a cozy log cabin, with two large communal tables, a tiny bar and panoramic views. We sat and sipped our drinks as the sun disappeared and the sky turned deep red over the distant peaks. The menu here is Swiss inspired, with an abundance of raclette and fondue. By the time our dinner was over, the night sky was dotted with bright stars.

Everyone was issued a headlamp before we followed Ray, our host and now our guide. “We’ll go slow. Stay in single file, one behind the other. No passing.” We carefully snaked down to the top of Discovery chair, where we surrendered our headlamps and joined Panorama’s night skiing crowd enjoying the traditionally illuminated slopes above the village.



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Text from 2015-2016 ski magazine

Just IMAGINE...

By Chloé Patenaude, Special Contributor

After breakfast at the condo, just throw on your skis and, before you know it, you’ll be at the lift. And the best part of all is… no line-ups! Just Panorama’s warm, friendly staff waiting to greet you with a cheery “Good morning!” The summit brings you to 7,792 feet where the view is simply astounding. The surrounding landscape provides breathtaking 360-degree views definitely worthy of a PANORA-mic picture!

Before embarking on that first descent, you can warm up or energize with a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate at Summit Hut. That is, unless you’d rather come back for lunch and enjoy one of their famous Smokies! No matter when you’re ready for that first run… I guarantee you’re in for a real treat. 4,000 feet of incredible vertical! Expert skiers might want to explore Taynton Bowl (terrain that used to be exclusively reserved for rk heliski) while less daring types can enjoy a smooth groomer or gently weave through the glades. Panorama boasts incredibly vast terrain that is perfectly adapted to everyone’s needs.

By the time you’re ready to take a break, you’re bound to only be halfway down your first run— as you take in the spectacular surroundings, you’ll get the impression that you have the mountain to yourself! That feeling of solitude stems partly from the fact that Panorama is much less crowded than other centres located closer to big urban centres. Even after a huge snowfall, you’re sure to be able to lay down the first tracks more than once in the same week—and even the same day!

After a quick break halfway down, you’ll be ready to continue on your merry way, gently cruising on wide open groomers or shaking things up by hitting the off-piste areas. One thing is certain, as the day wears on, you are sure to appreciate how easy it is to take a quick break thanks to the ski-in/ski-out facilities. As fabulous as the skiing is, however, Panorama is truly so much more than just a great ski resort. It’s a charming little town replete with boutiques, a variety of restaurants, pubs, cafés as well as a massage centre, daycare and ski school. Oh, and let’s not forget the thermal pools which we guarantee you are going to love! There are endless activities to choose from and there is always something going on in this wonderful and very familyfriendly resort.

When the sun sets, it’s time to head off for an ice-cold beer at the T-Bar. Or, if you are the more adventurous type and in the mood for something truly unique, you can head to the summit to enjoy an après-ski cheese fondue and then make your way back down, headlamp lighting the way, for a final, adrenaline-pumping run! …discover Panorama with me!

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Ski stations Accommodations Snow Conditions
TEMPERATURE (CELSIUS)
Month Min. Max.
January -12 -3
February -8 1
March -3 7
April 1 13
May 4 18
June 8 22
July 11 26
August 10 25
September 5 19
October 1 12
November -4 2
December -10 -2

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