Pin It
Favorite

Winter Sports 2001 - Canada 

by Mike Corrigan


Inland Northwest winter sports enthusiasts take two different paths to vacation bliss during the annual frosty, dark time. One features endless rounds of golf in the warm Mexican sun. The other is characterized by several thousand vertical feet of unmolested powder. If you find yourself a seeker on this second path, you couldn't be better positioned to enjoy one of the region's best vacation values. That's right, I'm talking Canada -- specifically, skiing Canada. With many a prime mountain resort within a mere handful of hours from your Spokane/Coeur d'Alene base, and an exchange rate overwhelmingly favorable to Yanks (the current rate is $1.60 Canadian for every American dollar -- where else can you hand over a $20 for two beers and get more than that back in change?), a snowy escape to the Great White North should be practically a no-brainer.


And lucky for you, southeastern British Columbia harbors some of the best runs in North America. Close to home are the small-resort-but-large-terrain areas of Red Mountain in Rossland, B.C., and Whitewater in Nelson, B.C. Both have well-deserved reputations as true skiers' mountains, rippling with rugged charm and plenty of secluded, challenging runs. Whitewater has the added benefit of being located near the wonderfully eclectic community of Nelson, a historical and cultural jewel. Also in the area is Kimberly, where intermediate runs, ample family-friendly amenities (in the lodge as well as in the quaint, Bavarian-themed town of Kimberly itself) make it a popular destination for sporting and non-sporting types alike.


To the west, in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley, is a cluster of snow-topped peaks lightly tamed for easy accessibility. Silver Star in Vernon, Apex in Penticton and Big White in Kelowna are all blessed with plenty of light, dry snow and sunshine. All three also sport big, fat resorts and enough runs to satisfy and challenge everyone from beginners to thrill-seeking experts.


To the northeast, Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta, harbor three downhill areas (Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay), notable for vast expanses of terrain, great amenities, exciting nightlife and European flair. Lake Louise, in particular, radiates an international light, drawing Brits and Europeans turned off by the crowds, attitudes and insane costs associated with the fancy Swiss resorts.


Nestled in the southeast corner of B.C., Fernie Snow Valley is known for its affordability, easily accessed, challenging runs and "oh my gawd" amounts of snow (an average of 350 inches, or 29 feet, annually). Add to that spectacular alpine vistas featuring the sawtooth ranges of the Canadian Rockies, and you've got one of the most-- if not the most beautiful and user-friendly ski areas on the continent.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Game Changer
  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • In Contempt
  • In Contempt

    A Spokane judge rules that the mental health system has willfully failed to follow evaluation deadlines
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Never Again
  • Never Again

    Washington state lawmakers push reforms after last July's murder-suicide; plus, Spokane's police ombudsman is leaving
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Campbell House Holidays

Campbell House Holidays @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 4

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mike Corrigan

  • Lights, Camera, Skate
  • Lights, Camera, Skate

    Two local artists have transformed their love of skateboarding into a new variety show on Community Television.
    • Dec 14, 2011
  • Time Travelers
  • Time Travelers

    For some local store owners, finding intriguing merchandise isn’t just business, it’s an obsession.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    A raucous good time from Thee Oh Sees. Plus, vintage horror and a Berlin filmmaker to check out.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation