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Ski News from British Columbia: Anniversaries, Innovations and Adventure of Olympic Proportions

by | Nov 20, 2015 | Press Releases

In British Columbia, 10 snow-capped ranges and 13 top-notch ski resorts — many boasting quaint villages and celebrated après-ski adventures — offer the ideal incentive to embrace another season of snow. British Columbia also has a lot to offer this year with brand new experiences to try and one big celebration.

• Whistler Blackcomb Celebrates Half a Century
• Sun Peaks Resort Unveils New Trails, Launches Innovative Programmes
• Ski Like an Olympian — or at Least with One — at Big White Ski Resort
• Explore Double Diamond Powder, Minus the Helicopter, at Panorama Mountain Resort
• Revelstoke Mountain Resort Amps up the Adrenalin
• Whitewater Ski Resort Honours Tradition, Revels in the “Coldsmoke”

Whistler Blackcomb Celebrates Half a Century: For 50 years BC’s twin mountains have reigned as one of the continent’s biggest and best-loved ski resorts, an accomplishment that, ultimately, must be celebrated. Cocktails and canapés will accompany live music on 12 December 2015 during the 50th Anniversary Party, hosted by free-skiing pioneer Mike Douglas. Skiers and boarders will kick up their boots, too, thanks to a steady stream of yearly upgrades, including last season’s new Whistler Gondola cabins and the previous year’s instalment of high-speed chairlifts on both mountains. These additions are capped by a multi-million-dollar summer investment in Rendezvous Lodge, a refurbishment that increases capacity, improves functionality and even offers customised menu choices to fuel the fire, including ramen and rice bowls, burritos and tacos, and a burger bar with all the fixings. whistlerblackcomb.com/50

Sun Peaks Resort Unveils New Trails, Launches Innovative Programmes: At 1,728 hectares (4,270 acres), Sun Peaks Resort, near Kamloops, ranks as Canada’s second largest ski area — an invigorating mix of diverse terrain that spans three mountains and envelops a charming alpine village. Here, growth is ever-present: trail expansion continues this season to complement the more than 202 hectares (500 acres) of backcountry development introduced last year. Also in the works, the resort is set to unveil new trail enhancements on Mount Morrisey; an expert area dubbed the “Laundromat,” this landscape is the future site of the West Morrisey Chairlift. Enthusiasts eager to explore some of the resort’s newest terrain can sign on for innovative Exclusive Full-Day Private Tours, guided by top Sun Peaks instructors. Not quite there yet? New offerings from the Sun Peaks Sports School are designed specifically to build confidence for teens 13 to 18 years of age: All Mountain Programmes stick to powder-filled glades while Terrain Park Programmes aim to tweak tricks best suited for the park. In addition, the newly expanded, and wildly popular, Ski Sisters programme encourages women to move at their own pace, hone their skill and shred with like-minded ladies. sunpeaksresort.com

Ski Like an Olympian — or at Least with One — at Big White Ski Resort: Southeast of Kelowna, Big White Ski Resort has long been home base for big-time family fun. As Canada’s largest ski-in, ski-out resort village, Big White boasts 118 designated trails, 15 lifts and the TELUS Park skier/boarder course, all on 618 hectares (1,525 acres) of scenic alpine and glorious glades. That’s a lot of ground to cover, and one challenge happily met when adventurers sign on for the new Big White Ski with an Olympian programme. The resort’s own Kelsey Serwa — whose accomplishments include a silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, an X-Games gold medal and 16 World Cup podium finishes — leads the pack, offering tips and tricks sure to up every adventurer’s game. Serwa spent her early days skiing these very slopes, which ultimately means that the long-time Canadian ski cross team member knows where best to take keeners, whether it be fast-paced track or tucked-away powder stashes. bigwhite.com

Explore Double Diamond Powder, Minus the Helicopter, at Panorama Mountain Resort: While Panorama has solidified its reputation as a family-friendly destination, there’s much more in store for skiers and boarders of all stripes at the resort, situated along BC’s famed Powder Highway. Indeed, lovers of the steep and deep have long known that Taynton Bowl’s backcountry-style powder packs a punch, with sought-after stashes that, once upon a time, could only be reached by helicopter. Not so today, thanks to a quad chairlift that showcases 304 hectares (750 acres) and 1,225 vertical metres (4,019 feet) of double diamond powder. The best part: enthusiasts can still feel like they’re carving tracks amid the outer limits, courtesy of recent, extensive glading on the Heli High, Heli Face, Kinbasket and Ktunaxa trails. Bonus: the area is routinely patrolled, so skiers and boarders won’t require guides or special backcountry equipment. Still wanna fly? Team up with Panorama partner rk heliski and take flight from the base of the resort to explore 1,500 square kilometres (579 square miles) of wintry landscape in the mighty Purcell Mountains. PanoramaResort.com

Revelstoke Mountain Resort Amps up the Adrenalin: Set between the Selkirk and the Monashee Mountain ranges, Revelstoke Mountain Resort offers plenty to tempt serious powderhounds: at 1,712 metres (5,620 feet) this granite monolith features the most vertical in North America alongside 1,263 hectares (3,121 acres) of vast and varied terrain. And this season, the resort will unveil a 4.4-hectare (11-acre) terrain park, set beneath the Stoke Chair — a new playground that boasts more than 20 jib features and a full range of kick-up-your-boots jumps. Also new this year: skiers and boarders eager to strike a pose can download the resort’s Paparazzi Pass. As the first ski resort in the country to offer this feature, Revelstoke has strategically positioned HD cameras throughout the resort; once adventurers download the app, communication will be sent to their cell phones to record the action for online viewing. For those who desire even more photo ops, Revelstoke’s novel tandem paragliding flights are sure to do the trick. Picture this: thrill-seekers will hit the heights, clipped into their skis, while the crew at Revelstoke Paragliding guides the way. revelstokemountainresort.com

Whitewater Ski Resort Honours Tradition, Revels in the “Coldsmoke”: Another favoured stop along BC’s prolific Powder Highway, Whitewater Ski Resort, north of the charmingly quirky city of Nelson, is a haven for those with a true passion for powder. Here, they don’t just celebrate the season of snow — they revel in it. And with the resort marking its 40th anniversary this year, adventurers are sure to sample their share of thrills in super-chill fashion, thanks to 479 skiable hectares (1,184 acres) and 632 vertical metres (2,044 vertical feet) of uncrowded slopes. Another reason to add Whitewater to the roster this season: the Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest marks its 10th year, February 19-21, 2016. The festival, considered to be the ultimate celebration of Kootenay culture, is set to showcase more than 30 clinics from industry professionals, including Alison Gannett and Eric Pehota, alongside a variety of competitions and enthusiastic evening socials. skiwhitewater.com

For more information on Skiing in BC, visit Skiittobelieveit.com or Destination British Columbia, visit www.hellobc.com