Your Insider Guide to Skiing British Columbia

​SilverStar Mountain Resort is located high above British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, its progressive terrain perfect for every level of skier

British Columbia is home to some of the world’s best ski resorts. Its mountain ranges outrank many others in terms of snowfall, and Canada’s westernmost province is blessed with plenty of fresh powder days and one of the longest ski seasons in North America.

From off-the-radar haunts like Revelstoke to the more well-known Whistler, every resort has its own individual appeal, and our expert insider knowledge ensures you book a ski holiday that is tailor-made for you.

If you are hoping to ski the celebrated powder highway (our team is able to create multi-destination ski safaris), enjoy the mountain culture of a true Canadian village, or if this is your first foray onto the ski scene, British Columbia should be on your travel wishlist.

Our insider guide covers the best of BC for beginners, experts, and families, and of course, where better to begin than the province’s legendary circuit, the Powder Highway, a veritable rite of passage for skiers, with one of the eight resorts on the route holding the title of ‘Champagne Powder Capital of Canada.’

EARLY BOOKING OFFER! Book a multi-resort holiday in British Columbia before 31 August and benefit from our “Free Fuel For You Or The Car” offer. If you are travelling by car we will give you a free tank of fuel so you can return the car empty,​ PLUS up to three additional drivers in addition to the main driver. If by transfer we will give you a credit to refuel yourself at breakfast: £165 credit limit per booking. Subject to availability. T&Cs apply.

British Columbia’s Legendary Powder Highway

Described as an adventure-filled highway-to-heaven, British Columbia’s Powder Highway, which encompasses 7.2 million acres and runs in a 630-mile loop through the Kootenay Rockies, is blessed with annual helpings of deep fluffy snow, stash-laden runs, and, courtesy of Revelstoke, the most vertical in North America.

Eight resorts line the route, and Frontier Ski features six of the best, including Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberley, Red Mountain, Panorama, and Revelstoke.

Everyone from beginners through advanced skiers is welcome to take their pick from the mountains on this legendary circuit, with each resort offering excellent stand-alone ski holidays. Better still, use our expert first-hand knowledge of this legendary terrain and combine two or more resorts on a ski safari, as we can help you arrange SUV car hire in and out of Calgary.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort: Home to the tallest ski mountain in North America, Revelstoke is an expert skier and snowboarder’s paradise and the only resort in the world offering lift, cat, heli, and backcountry skiing from one village.

Fernie Alpine Resort: Fernie’s history dates back to 1879—before the first lifts arrived—and the ski resort is still offering up the same local Canadian charm. You’ll find diverse terrain here, including a dedicated beginner area, wide blue runs, and even challenging black and double black runs, with 30% of the terrain expert-rated.

A pair downhill skiing through snowy trees at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (c) Destination BC/Reuben Krabbe

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort: Known as the “Champagne Powder Capital of Canada,” Kicking Horse is a mecca for expert skiers. Its black runs, which are known to be steep and extremely challenging, cover 45% of its 2,800 acres, and its double black diamond runs make up 15%.

Kimberley Alpine Resort: A favourite with families, the ski-in/ski-out resort of Kimberley has 80 runs, a fabulous ski school, heaps of small town charm, reliable snowfall, and even night skiing. There’s also a skating rink, snowshoe tours, and kids après-ski activities, and a plus for parents, the beginners-only area is visible from the slope-side hot tubs.

RED Mountain Resort: Described as the “best undiscovered ski resort in North America,” and the oldest resort in Western Canada, RED Mountain offers crowd-free terrain where challenges abound. Its 4,200 acres are a mix of off-piste slopes, steep tree runs, unbelievable glades, and exhilarating cliff drops. And, for only 10 Canadian dollars, you have direct access to in-resort cat skiing.

The first stop on British Columbia’s famous Powder Highway, RED Mountain Resort delivers 4,200 skiable acres of uncrowded slopes, deep powder, and tree skiing

Panorama Mountain Resort: A great value, family-friendly ski-in/ski-out mecca, Panorama is famous for its slope-side hot pools. Over 50% of the runs are suitable for beginners or intermediates, and there is a slow skiing zone. Experts should head for Taynton Bowl, which is easily accessed via the Monster X snowcat.

British Columbia’s Best Family Ski Resorts

British Columbia has your family’s ski holiday covered with its magical mountain backdrops, family-friendly runs, and excellent ski schools—beginner through advanced classes for kids who want to tackle double blacks, learn to jump cliffs, or navigate chutes—offered at Whistler Blackcomb. Our BC resorts also feature plenty of off-piste activities where the kids can hang out, from skating rinks to snowshoe trails and even hot springs.

Our handpicked resorts cater to families in search of a charming village ambience with a local feel, for example, Silver Star, or the trappings of a larger resort complete with more places to play and enjoy the après-ski scene, like Big White, the province’s second-largest ski resort.

Sun Peaks and Kimberley are other great alternatives for those with kids in tow, but in our guide we are going to contrast the well-known resort of Whistler Blackcomb with the boutique resort of Panorama.

​​Boasting designated family ski areas featuring slow signs, fun runs, and plenty of gentle terrain, Whistler Blackcomb comes highly recommended by many parents and the Frontier Ski team. Little ones have the opportunity to test out the learning slopes on Blackcomb with access to Yellow Brick Road Green Run—a slow zone—on the Whistler Magic Chair lift ticket. At only $20 CAD, this saves Mum and Dad the cost of the more expensive lift pass until the kids are ready to level up.

Your children will have have a blast at Whistler Mountain’s Tree Fort and there is also the Magic Castle on Blackcomb Mountain. The Olympic skating rink, the Whistler Snow Zone, and the Great Glass Elevator Candy Shop next to the Treehouse Playground are more fun places to explore, and not forgetting, the free Family Après every Monday and Wednesday at the Whistler Olympic Plaza. Snowman building and tobaggon racing here we come !

A favourite with families, Panorama’s vast variety of terrain and cosy slopeside village makes for the easiest mountain vacation (c) Panorama Mountain Resort

Offering affordable family ski holidays and with the mountains right outside your door, Panorama is a win-win for anyone travelling with children. It is also home to Canada’s largest slopeside hot pools; our top tip is to stay at Panorama Springs Lodge, where they are based.

Over 75% of the runs are beginner and intermediate and the availability of private family lessons means you can level up together. Sun Bowl is filled with moguls and glades that are not too taxing and there are many challenging runs for families of varying abilities. Beginners are well catered for; a discovery zone, two magic carpets, and a slow-speed quad chair allowing first-timers to ease themselves into the sport. We also love the terrain park and the secret treehouse as they all add to this magical Panorama experience.

Learn To Ski In British Columbia

British Columbia features plenty of ski resorts that go all out for beginners, including Whistler, Panorama, Big White, and Sun Peaks. Here we contrast two of the province’s best, so you can get a head start on the slopes.

The second-largest resort in Canada, Sun Peaks, is packed with crowd-free, wide slopes that make it a paradise for beginners, and there are two dedicated ski school areas in addition to a nursery slope for younger skiers.

With beginner-to-advanced runs off every chair and from the top of all three mountains (including Tod Mountain, Sundance Mountain, and Mt. Morrisey), you can also ski together with friends and family on terrain that is suitable for everyone’s abilities. We love the complimentary tours around the mountain by local Sun Hosts, as this is a confidence builder for first-timers who will become more familiar with the resort’s extensive terrain.

In 2022, The Times listed BC’s Big White Ski Resort as the 10th-best resort for beginners in the world. The village is surrounded by a central teaching area, and once first-time skiers have perfected their first curves—via a magic carpet lift—they can progress to easy slopes with a quad chair.

Levelling up is also effortless, as beginners have the option of taking any one of the lifts, each one linked to a novice trail, with all of the resort’s 2,765 acres being hugely accessible to all levels of ability.

You will find green slopes leading out from all of the mountain stations, and with all of the accommodations accessible through easy slopes and paths (Big White is Canada’s largest ski-in, ski-out resort), beginners can get to and from the slopes hassle-free.

Where The Experts Shred BC’s Slopes

British Columbia can certainly lay claim to offering some of the best expert ski opportunities in Canada, and Revelstoke is clearly the outright winner, with RED Mountain coming in a close second. Below is a snapshot of how Revelstoke outshreds its competitors—though we warn you, some skiers never want to leave!

Heli-skier riding down a steep slope near Mica Heli Skiing Lodge (c) Destination BC/Blake Jorgenson

Almost 50% of the terrain at Revelstoke is aimed at experts, and 43% is intermediate. Made to order for the advanced, there is no distinction between black and double-black terrain, and the North Bowl, which is filled with cliffs and steeps, is a major attraction for those who want more of a rush. The resort is home to North America’s longest vertical, at 5,620 feet, and its low-key, off-the-beaten-track status gives it somewhat of a cult-like following.

Revelstoke also goes by the moniker of “heli-skiing capital of the world” and it holds the Canadian record for snowfall at 80 feet. In fact, you can forget needing to find secret powder stashes, with one resident skier remarking, “after spending all day in powder over your knees and having to make fresh tracks inbounds, it’s no wonder people are stringing up secret hammocks in the trees.”

Built up over the course of three decades, at Frontier Ski, you benefit from our unrivalled personal knowledge, as every recommendation is based on first-hand experience. As an ATOL and ABTA-protected tour operator, you can also book with complete confidence.

Call us on 020 8776 8709 or email us at ski@frontier-travel.co.uk to plan your dream ski holiday today. ATOL PROTECTED No 5405 ABTA W3207.