Big White ski resort
About Big White
Popular Canadian ski resort Big White is accurately named – it’s one of North America’s largest ski areas and its reputation for reliable, light powder snow means that it looks, well, very white.
The resort has grown rapidly in recent years and even outshines Whistler in terms of the number of ski-in/ski-out guest accommodation available to visiting skiers and boarders. Although minor roads snake around the resort to allow guest access, the resort’s ethos is largely one of pedestrianisation, and its central road, Main Street, is actually a flat ski run.
On the slopes there’s a great variety of terrain and a large choice of runs, so there’ll be no problem keeping all members of a mixed-ability group happy.
Off the slopes, there’s a lively après-ski scene for those in search of late nights of hedonism, while numerous child-friendly restaurants and hotels mean it’s equally as appealing to families. The resort’s close proximity to the airport at Kelowna, just a short drive away, means Big White is accessible to visitors from across the globe, giving the resort a nice international feel.
Big White is located in the Okanagan Valley, within the Monashee mountain range in central British Columbia, southwest Canada.
On the slopes
British Columbia’s third biggest ski area has a great snow record, with more than 7m (24ft) falling annually. Conditions are therefore normally good throughout the season, from late November through to mid-April.
There’s excellent beginners’ terrain close to the resort centre at Happy Valley with its dedicated lifts; but nearly two thirds of the resort’s ski slopes are graded at intermediate standard, with runs up to 7.2km (4.5 miles) in length.
There’s all kind of intermediate terrain here, from ultra smooth cruisers to gladed runs on thinly wooded slopes. But many come for the powder, which is among the best around. Skiers looking to ski powder for the first time will love Big White’s easy runs, while experienced hands will also have plenty of options.
Experts will enjoy the double black diamond grade terrain of The Cliff bowl, with slope gradients of up to 45%, while the 1km-long (0.6 miles) Parachute Bowl is regarded as having the steepest slopes of all. Black runs can also be found in the Sun Rype Bowl and from the top of the Falcon and Powder chairlifts.
Cross-country skiers can make the most of the 25km (16 miles) of trails starting at the Happy Valley area.