Everything about Canada is wonderful; the people, the scenery, the cities and most definitely, the skiing. If you haven’t been then start saving, because Canada really is the bees’ knees.
The biggest resort in North America, Whistler is much more than just a ski resort, it’s a big ticket destination. Two hours from Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb has over 200 runs connected by 37 lifts on two big mountains, with three glaciers and 16 alpine bowls on offer. Forget just going for a few days – you’ll need at least a week if not two. The snow school is at the forefront in teaching kids to ski and snowboard, with incredible facilities.
Stay in Whistler village or at Creekside for ski-in ski-out accommodation, with fantastic restaurants in abundance. The ZipTrek tour is highly recommended and don’t miss the amazing fire and ice show on Sunday nights. There are five terrain parks, a superpipe and a snow cross track, and two magical tree forts to explore. Childcare is available from newborns up. The season runs from mid-November to late April, or even late May. Terrain; 20% beginner (15% Blackcomb), 55% intermediate, 25% advanced (30% Blackcomb).
Warning … Sun Peaks is addictive for families. Its small ski-through village is like something out of a fairytale and its three mountains deliver a big punch of snow fun for skiers and boarders of all levels. The 11 lifts service 122 trails, including 12 gladed areas, with green, blue and black runs waiting at the top of every mountain. Choose the beautiful groomed runs or head through the trees; it’s all stunning.
Sun Peaks is home to Nancy Greene – legend Olympic skier, senator and all round great lady, and you can ski with her. Nancy takes tours around the resort most days. It has terrain parks for all levels, two alpine bowls, and the kids will love the tube runs, ice skating, sleigh rides and dog sled tours. Terrain: 10% beginner, 58% intermediate and 32% advanced.
Situated in the overwhelmingly beautiful Banff National Park in Alberta, Sunshine Village delivers a ray of sunshine to those that do want a bit of skiing with their Banff experience. The resort has 12 lifts servicing 107 runs as well as gladed runs on three mountains, and the season runs from early November to late May.
There are gentle runs for beginners right up to extreme runs that are scary enough to curl hair. The Rogers Terrain Park is huge, with more than 50 features to jump, slide and ride on. Terrain: 20% beginner, 55% intermediate, 25% advanced.
Silver Star Resort shines bright in the ski world in more ways than one. It has won many awards and has a unique Victorian-inspired village that is very colourful, with the rainbow hues a striking contrast to the brilliant white of the snow.
The resort’s focus is on family, with a raft of activities to enjoy when you finish skiing for the day. Go snowtubing, ice skating, try ice hockey, go on a snowmobile tour, indoor rock climbing, enjoy movie nights, family bingo or the fireworks show, all very close to the many ski-in, ski-out accommodation options. There are 115 marked trails, a new beginner terrain park, snowcross course and the Telus terrain park for the more experienced. Terrain: 15% easiest; 40% intermediate, 35% advanced and 10% extreme.
Fernie is a world-class snow destination with uncrowded trails, ski-in, ski-out accommodation and an eclectic vibe. Ten lifts service 142 runs plus five alpine bowls and tree skiing, Fernie has an exceptional beginners’ area, plenty of things to do, including guided geocaching treasure hunts – wow, how high-tech is that? And then of course, keen-eyed kids can see if they can spot some wildlife, including moose, elk or deer! Childcare is available and the season runs from early December to mid-April. Terrain: 30% beginner; 40% intermediate and 30% advanced.