Tucked in the interior of the Canadian province of British Columbia along the aptly named "Powder Highway" is a cluster of little-known ski resorts that are home to some of the best skiing on Earth. This stretch of the Kootenay Rockies is renowned for its light, fluffy "champagne" powder snow, and most ski areas here receive over 10 metres of snow annually. These ski resorts, which lie well off the beaten track far from Whistler or Banff, see only the most diehard skiers and snowboarders every winter. Forget about raucous nightclubs and fancy mountain restaurants... here, it's all about the skiing.
Fernie gets some of the most snow in Canada, receiving an average of 11m of powder every year. The ski area is spread out over five bowls and has everything from gladed runs to steep chutes. Fernie has a tendency to leave many of its slopes ungroomed, but unlike in the Alps, there is no shortage of beginner-friendly ungroomed pistes. This is the chance for anybody and everybody to test their powder skiing skills. Fernie is just a 3-hour drive from Calgary Airport; don't forget to stop in at downtown Fernie down the road to experience the authentic style of a former mining town.© Fernie Alpine Resort
Kimberley Alpine Resort's big claim to fame is that it's the sunniest ski resort in BC. If you're homesick for Europe, this might be your ideal destination. The town of Kimberley went through a phase a few decades ago where it styled itself the "Bavarian Town of the Rockies" and the remnants of this pseudo-German architecture are still there today. At Kimberley you'll have the chance to ski North America's longest floodlit night slope. The entire ski area lies below the treeline, making for a very pretty holiday.
Friendly Panorama Mountain Resort is beloved by families for its laid-back atmosphere, sunny weather and enormous hot pools right next to the slopes. It's one of the only ski resorts on this list to have the village located right at the bottom of the slopes. Panorama recently opened up a bowl that was previously only accessible for heli-skiing - something for powder lovers to sink their teeth into! Shuttles buses run from Calgary Airport during ski season; the journey takes around three-and-a-half hours.© Panorama Mountain Resort
Kicking Horse still very much belongs to the locals, with a down-to-earth vibe that is lacking in many ski resorts. You won't find top-of-the-line amenities here, but if you've come to ski, you're in the right place. Higher than some of its neighbours, Kicking Horse is full of impressive steep 'n deep chutes, and true powder hounds can spend days exploring the terrain at this epic Canadian ski resort. Off the slopes, there is a small but lively après-ski scene as well as the chance to dine at the Eagle's Eye Restaurant, highest restaurant in the country. There is a shuttle bus that makes it possible to take a day trip to Kicking Horse from Banff.© Kicking Horse Resort
The tiny ski resort of Whitewater boasts a whopping 12m of annual snowfall, and it's been rated top ten powder in the world by the Lonely Planet. But the Canadian ski resort hasn't let this get to its head. Whitewater has retained a local feel and offers something for every level of skier, from easy groomed pistes to spectacular gladed skiing and steep off-piste lines.
One of the largest ski areas in Canada, Red Mountain Resort has 120km of slopes best-suited to advanced and expert skiers - although this is a great resort for intermediates looking to take their skills to the next level. Red Mountain made headlines a few years ago for its determination to stay independent in the modern world of ski resort conglomerates. The ski area managed to raise enough money through a crowdfunding campaign to resist being bought out by a larger corporation. This dedication to the local community also shows in the lack of chain restaurants and accommodation.© Red Mountain Resort
How can you not love a ski resort that has the name "stoke" right in it? Clocking in at 1712m, Revelstoke boasts the biggest vertical drop in North America and gets over 10m of snow annually. Revelstoke and skiing go way back and in fact, the town holds the Canadian record for the most snow: a whopping 24 metres in one year! This ski resort is definitely geared towards intermediate and expert skiers, with the vast majority of slopes presenting a healthy challenge.
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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