Canada is one of the world’s best places to snowboard. Excellent resorts cater to all levels, offering a wide range of runs, beautiful back-country options and some challenging snowboard parks. Annual average snowfall is excellent and the exceptional services available make Canada a top destination for anyone that loves the mountains.
There is something for everyone at this famous resort close to Vancouver. Snowboard parks and pipes for freestyle boarders; glaciers and some fantastic back country options for off piste riders and a huge variety of runs for those who like to take a break for a quick hot chocolate! It is busy though and you should keep that in mind if you are heading there during public holidays as lift queues can really slow your day down. On the plus side, where there are people there are also fantastic après ski options, and Whistler knows how to wind down after a hard day on the slopes!
Big White Mountain
This is the second biggest resort in the region after Whistler. It has plenty of great trails, the bulk of which are aimed at intermediate and expert, and lots of deep, dry powder that is perfect for boarders. There are also parks and pipes if you want to practice your tricks. It’s not as popular with the crowds as Whistler, and there is less to do here in terms of après ski, but if you just want some board time on the mountain then Big White has lots of potential.
Right in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, this is the best resort for those heading to Banff. It links in with Sunshine Village and Norquay and you can buy a tri-ski pass that gives you access to a huge variety of slopes. It feels very unspoilt here and heading off piste into the remote wilderness gives a real thrill. Because of the height of the resort there are also some great long runs, which is ideal for those starting out as it offers plenty of time to nail those turns!
A lot of money is being spent on Kimberley to develop a ski and snowboard resort out of an old mining town. Although it seems to be turning into a Bavarian themed village, you can put your faith in the owners as they also run Lake Louise! There are some excellent trails that suit boarders at all levels, with lots of easy and intermediate runs which are ideal for beginners. If you are looking for Canada Holidays that suit families, Kimberly should be a real contender as it has something to offer everyone.
Fernie Alpine Resort
This is another British Columbia resort, but it’s far less crowded than Whistler and even Big White. It has a good selection of runs with access to some great off piste back country. It is particularly known for the high annual snowfall, which is music to a boarder’s ears. There is not much in the way of rail parks, but with well-groomed and un-crowded slopes, this is a good option for families with younger children. Fernie knows this and has put a lot of work into developing a good beginner’s area with some excellent snowboard-schools.
While other resorts are catering to families and beginners, Kicking Horse is doing the opposite. It was originally a heli-ski centre, so it offers plenty of alpine bowls and ridges with some amazing fluffy white snow. This is for serious boarders and when you arrive you can feel that in the air – all the locals are mountain focussed and every shop seems to sell outdoor gear. Many of the best areas can only be reached by trekking, and although the resort map may seem quite small and there are limited lift options, this is the kind of place that you need to get to know and that you will want to conquer!
Ruth is an avid snowboarder and learnt to board in Canada. She truly caught the bug and returns as often as possible to spend time in the mountains.
Photo Credits: Wikipedia