Family Snowboard Trip in British Columbia
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Oct 11, 2013 10:01 AM Last Post By: littlechilds
Oct 5, 2013 5:56 PM
Family Snowboard Trip in British ColumbiaWe're a family of four from Nova Scotia - kids are ages 11 and 9, and we're planning a month long snowboarding trip in British Columbia in January 2014. We will be visiting Fernie, Big White and Whistler as some of our top picks, but we're looking for advise on other mountains that would be recommended. We're all intermediate - advanced level.
Also looking for advice on budget accommodations and if there's deals for passes that can be purchased in advance. I know that some passes can be purchased in advance for all RCR resorts for example.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Oct 6, 2013 3:36 PM
1Revelstoke and Kicking Horse should be on your list, both of which are advanced hills. Red Mountain and Whitewater are lesser-known hills, but generally get great reviews. Silver Star has some good intermediate terrain and similar conditions to Big White, but there are some flat stretches so not ideal for boarders. If you're willing to dip down into the US, Mount Baker and Whitefish offer some good terrain.
Costco in Calgary sells discounted passes to some mountains. Not sure about other Costcos. If you google around you'll also find a number of sites selling slightly discounted passes.
Good luck finding budget accommodation for a family. A few places I've stayed at in recent years and would recommend to most people:
Fernie - Best Western Plus (hotel, in town, short drive to hill)
Revelstoke - Best Western Plus (hotel, in town, short drive to hill)
Kimberley - Northstar Mountain Village (condo, ski-in/out)
Kelowna makes a good base for visiting Big White, Silver Star, and the other nearby hills. Lots of choices there.
Oct 7, 2013 1:37 PM
2I agree with the above.
I've skiied them all...Revy would be at the top of that list!
Kickinghorse's lift system is not ideal, but the hill itself is big and should be included with Revy (just 1.5 hrs from Revy)!....you'd be lucky to do more then 7 runs in a day...great leg burners from top too bottom!
In the Okanagan valley, the most underrated hill is Apex...small but cozy and quiet.....great place for a family.
Ideally, if I had the time you had (man I wish), Id drive from Calgary, stay in Banff and ski one or 2 days in Lake Louise, from there, its 40 minutes to Golden. The next morning, I'd ski Kickinghore, followed by at least 2 more days in Revelstoke. Then I'd dip down into the Okanagan, ski Big White (though this hill is quite intermediate), Apex, and Red. I'd then swing over to Whister for 3+ days. This is just me though.
just to add...Costco has many deals on some great hills like Tch7 mentioned....including Whiefish (I just bought it lol...$100 for 2 days skiing), Lake Louise, Revy, Fernie, and several more.
Oct 9, 2013 11:55 AM
3Since moving to BC, my husband made it his mission to ski every place in the province and nearby in Alberta.
Our boys went with him for many of the trips, they would do a loop on March breaks going to three or four places. They ski, however. Sons snowboarded for awhile and went back to skis.
They have liked many places, but I think that Red Mountain is one of the favourites and definitely more affordable than Whistler. Maybe Fernie was the least favourite, but I'd have to check on that. While my hubby has skiied Whistler, it is not a place that he would pick to return to and I think with kids with you, you may agree.
Everyone loves Kicking Horse and Revy, so definitely stop there. Big White, near where we live, is great for families and the snow is always good. News today was that they got 10 cm last night. January is low season and there are deals on accomodation/passes during that month, but they are announced later. I believe that Big White has a hostel and so does Red Mountain. Slightly discounted lift tickets are sold in grocery stores, aimed at locals, but if visitors know about them there is no restriction.
Do you know about the grade4/5 snow pass? Your 9 year old will be eligible for this.
Oct 9, 2013 3:19 PM
4my family has been going to fernie for years. it is a favorite with adults and kids. very family friendly resort. whistler is going to be the most expensive place. the problem that COULD occur with trying to go to many places is the weather. if a storm comes in, you could be delayed travelling from place to place and could impact you since you'd need to book your accommodations in advance. if you stayed in the fernie area, you could rent a place for a week and ski fernie, big white and apex.
Oct 9, 2013 5:39 PM
Oct 9, 2013 7:58 PM
Oct 10, 2013 9:45 AM
7I'd put Sun Peaks over Big White and Silver Star. Family oriented, you can get cheaper passes through Costco and it's called Sun Peaks for a reason - It's usually sunny. We used to go to Big White and Silver Star every winter holiday but have switched to Sun Peaks recently and haven't looked back.
Whistler is great but it's very expensive. It has runs for all skill levels. Depends how much you're willing to spend. You can get cheaper tickets at 711.
From what I've heard, although Revy is a great mountain, it has a lot more advanced terrain so you may want to look into that.
Oct 10, 2013 10:18 AM
8Thing about Sun Peaks is...its hard to hit a powder day...snow pack can be an issue. Its like Panorama....good family hill, but snow pack is hit and miss. I was one and done there. Same goes for Norquay, Fairmont, Marmot....these are at the bottom of my list based on snow and challanging terrain.
Yes, Whistler/Blackcomb is a mega hill...ranked in the top ten in the world....and yes, its expensive and always busy....but its like this for a reason. The stores are fun to check out, the glacier region can be amazing, the amount of terrain is endless, they have slopestye parks for all levels if your into that sort of thing. Its not in my top 3, but it would be a must for a first timer in the area with time!
Oct 10, 2013 7:45 PM
9Thanks for all the great advice everyone. Good to know that pass deals can be found in Costco and that January is slow season so other discounted deals are possible. We just learned about the Grade 4 / 5 Snowpass program - so we'll definately be taking advantage of that.
Any advise on the best way to travel between resorts in the interior? I assume that renting a SUV might be the best for flexibility - but would bus transit be an option to consider as well? Are there transit companies that operate between the various resorts? What do you think would be cheaper?
Currently we're thinking about starting in Vancouver in early January and then making our way through the interior of B.C. to end in Calgary. We have friends that we might be able to stay with in Pemberton, Revelstoke, Fernie and Calgary - so might only need to find accommodation in-between those locations.
Oct 10, 2013 9:13 PM
Oct 10, 2013 9:42 PM
11Great list of possible places you might stay with friends!
One thing you could do, is take the Greyhound bus to Kelowna from Vancouver, and then get the Big White bus up to the resort. This bus only goes on Friday, Sat and Sundays, leaving early morning.
Then you could rent the car from Kelowna to go on to your other destinations. You could see if that would work better than renting from the start in Vancouver.
Keep in mind that snow tires are the law on many highways in BC. Rental cars do not usually have snow tires and you need to make special enquiries regarding the tires. This may or may not be easier to get accomplished in the interior, I'm not sure. I just know that I've read about a lot of people's problems in getting adequate tires when renting.
Driving the highways in BC in the winter is a different experience and I always pray for a clear day when I have to head over the mountains to Vancouver, starting in early October and right up til June. (drove through a snowstorm on the May long weekend one year). The Coquihalla and the Connector get a lot of snow and fog.
Oct 11, 2013 8:59 AM
Oct 11, 2013 10:01 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$264.28 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$189.18 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$239.54 per night