5 Awesome Ski Resorts You’ve Never Heard Of
The crisp mountain air fills our lungs as the chair lift slowly ticks its way to the mountain peak. While some winter escape artists flee to tropical climates to hide from winter’s chill, we not only embrace the frosty conditions, we crave the adventure it brings. Sandy beaches just don’t have a chance when compared to first lines on a fresh powder day.
British Columbia has an endless supply of world-class ski terrain, with steep vertical chutes, infinite backcountry and wide-open glades. Most of the international attention is given to Whistler-Blackcomb and the many ski resorts that line the Powder Highway in the Kootenays, but there are several lesser-known ski resorts in British Columbia that will have you smiling from ear to ear.
Powder King Mountain Resort
Located in the centre of the remote Pine Pass in northern British Columbia, about 200 kilometres north of Prince George, Powder King is host to several important ski events and is the preferred choice of many Canadian freestyle teams to train their athletes. It’s a small mountain with few amenities and only a couple chair lifts, but there are no crowds and more snow than you can handle. If your mission is to shred untouched powder all day, this mountain is calling you.
Located 35 kilometres west of the city of Terrace in the Shames Valley of the Coast Mountain Range, Shames Mountain boasts some of the best backcountry terrain in British Columbia. Known for its endless natural glades and epic tree skiing, Shames offers 28 runs and trails that span over 140 acres, including its longest run that stretches more than four kilometres!
Purden Ski Village
Located 60 kilometres east of Prince George, Purden Ski Village is central British Columbia’s largest ski mountain with over 1, 100 feet of vertical drop and 25 marked runs. Classified as an intermediate mountain, Purden is known for its dry powder, steep tree runs and uncrowded slopes. This alpine village is a skier’s paradise, combining open glades with fast groomers that seem to last forever.
Panorama Mountain Village
With its impressive 4, 000-foot vertical, Panorama Mountain Village has quietly become one of the Canadian Rockies’ premier vacation destinations. It’s ideally situated in the middle of the Fernie, Golden and Banff triangle, making it a great alternative for skiers and snowboarders looking for a less crowded hill that still offers Canadian Rockies snow conditions and a village atmosphere with loads of amenities.
Mount Cain Resort
Located near Schoen Lake Provincial Park on the north end of Vancouver Island, the Mount Cain Ski Area has the highest base elevation of any coastal ski hill in British Columbia, Alaska and Washington State. It’s not a very big mountain, with only 21 marked runs, but its peak elevation is second only to Whistler. What’s more interesting is the fact that the ski hill is only open on the weekends, which means that fresh powder collects all week, producing knee-deep snow and epic ski conditions.