It is big, as it is one of the largest ski areas in Canada, and it is white – always, which is why it is the place to go for great powder. Hence, its slogan “It's the snow“ is...
- Elevated between 1,508 m and 2,319 m, the Ski Resort is among the 10 highest elevated Ski Resorts in Canada. The vertical drop from summit to base is 811 m. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in Canada is 349 m. Most runs are therefore relatively long.
- Big White Ski Resort is among the 10 best rated Ski Resorts in Canada.
- Season starts on 22 Nov and ends on 22 Apr (151 days). Average season duration in Canada is 166 days.
- During the season (from 22 Nov till 22 Apr) the average snow depth at Big White Ski Resort is 240 cm. Snow coverage is usually best during March, offering an average base depth of 285 cm. Therefore Big White Ski Resort is among the 10 ski Resorts with best snow conditions in Canada.
- Big White Ski Resort features 57 sunny days on average per season. The average for all ski Resorts in Canada is 52 sunny days. December is the sunniest month with an average of 19 sunny days. This makes the ski resort one of the 15 sunniest in Canada.
- Offering 1,117 ha of slopes and terrain, Big White Ski Resort is among the 15 largest Ski Resorts in Canada.
The Ski Resort
The ski resort is one of the most snow-sure resorts in Canada as well as the second most popular resort in British Columbia. A total of 7355 acres keep you busy for days and leave enough room to explore. The summit has a height of 7606 feet and allows beautiful views of the snowy surroundings.
A paradise for every skier
118 runs are free to your disposal and those are ranging from beginner runs for real ski novices to runs of extreme difficulty. Those skiers who have already gained some knowledge will appreciate the fact that more than half of the runs are designated to intermediate skills. Big White takes its expert skiing seriously with 22 percent dedicated to expert trails and 6 percent of the trails being extremely difficult. In case it is your first time seeing powder, you are free to hit 18 percent of skiing trails available.
Starting from the Village Center you can grab the Bullet Express and you will drop into a handful of blues. Easter Gully, Spruce Trail and International are especially recommendable to start off your day as an intermediate skier. If you consider starting from the Ridge Day Logde, you can take either Snow Ghost Express or Ridge Rocket Express. Those give you a ride to a tons of blues like Paradise, Perfection, Speculation, and Kangaroo. The Black Forest Express near The Cliff brings you up to some great blue runs and also amazing beginner trails which are only a stone´s throw away.
Beginners should head to the Alpine T-Bar which is located at the peak of the mountain. Here, you will find greens in abundance. Ski newbies should also look out for Lara´s Gondola and Plaza Chair. Those give you a great choice of easier runs. The Beginner area is also right there and the Magic Carpets add an extra fun factor.
The Cliff Chair, also operating at the peak, features only black terrain and is therefore perfect for expert skiers. Off the Snow Ghost Express you can hit the Dragon´s Tongue which is perfect for tree skiing lovers.
Powder Chair boasts a good mixture of all ability levels, same goes for the Falcon Chair. The Gem Lake Express is the longest lift in the resort and even separates in a Lower and in an Upper Gem line lift. The base station is right next to the Westridge Warming Hut. Up here, head towards the Sun Rype Bowl to access outstanding blue downhills and some black tree skiing trails. Heading in the other direction gives you direct access to a huge amount of challenging blacks and some scattered blues like the Blue Sapphire.
Snow Safety & Snowmaking
On Mountain Dining
With numerous on-mountain restaurants, cafes, delis, pubs and nightclubs, there is no shortage of places to relax or refill your energy level - actually, you’re spoiled with choices. Enjoy luxurious lunches or just sit for a drink to warm your soul.
The Happy Valley Cafeteria is best known for their wraps, burgers, salads, and indulging deserts. Pay it a visit for a fast, yet fulfilling meal and hot and cold beverages. The Moonlight Bistro, located at the Gem Lake convinces with fresh baked goods, homemade soups and yummy sandwiches. The Bean Scene coffee bar serves coffee specialties, teas, hot chocolate, and delicious home made food for a quick pick-me-up during a long day on the slopes. Everything, even the bread, is prepared fresh in the bakery. Some vegan options are also available.
The Black Diamond Bar & Grill with its splendid panorama of the Monashee Mountains and the excellent food is a favorite among locals and visitors. You should come here if you are either craving a perfect steak or seafood. Conveniently located in Chateau Big White, you definitely have to schedule a stop here.
If you are craving baked goods like cinnamon buns, muffins and fresh baked sweet & savory dishes, Frosted Snowflake will hit your spot. Sk8ers Bistro, located downstairs in the Happy Valley Day Lodge, serves ice cream desserts, yummy Belgium waffles, delicious hot and fresh pizza by the slice, grilled paninis and warm beverages.
Globe Cafe & Tapas Bar is the place to enjoy fast healthy breakfasts, a delicious lunch, come for après ski or meet for dinner enjoying the extensive menu of globally inspired mouth-watering tapas dishes for the whole family. Located in Base of the Ridge Rocket, the Ridge Rocket Cafe also serves hearty breakfasts, homemade soups, baked goods as well as burgers, fries and hot dogs.
There are of course plenty of must-ski runs for everyone, depending on the skiing experience of the individual. The longest run is 4.5 miles long: Around the World Route runs from the top of the T-Bar to the bottom of Gem Lake.
Most Difficult Runs
Besides Heliskiing, Night Skiing, and Nordic Skiing, there is tons of stuff to do at Big White, even if you are not into skiing and riding. The 60 foot ice tower does not only look impressive but is even more fun to climb up. Located in Happy Valley Adventure Park you can get the help of trained constructers and make it to a fun family activity!
The Family Channel Mega Snow Coaster Tube Park is for all those who are in need of speed. Also located in the Happy Valley Adventure Park you can decide between five perfectly groomed runs. It´s even open at night time for some fun tubing sessions after a skiing day. Organized Snowmobile Tours are great for discovering the beauty of Big White. You can choose between tours that are one to four hours long. Even kids under 12 can participate and experience the thrill of snowmobiling on a track built just for them. Ice Skating also is a huge blast, especially on the beautiful outdoor rinks that the resort has to offer. On top, it is also a cheap option to keep everyone in the family happy.
You’d rather make the thrilling experience of mushing through Big White's backcountry? Then dog sledding is your activity of choice. Horse drawn sleigh rides and snowshoe tours, which are definitely fun for everyone, are also available. Choose a guided tour or rent your own snowshoes and enjoy the outdoors at your own pace.
If you need well-deserved relaxation after an exhausting day you can check out one of the two spas in town. The Beyond Wrapture Spa and the Elevation Village Spa have everything a wellness lover could ask for. Be their guest to elevate your mind, body, and spirit.
Après-Ski and Nightlife
Nightlife is full on in Big White. The bars and nightclubs give you enough choices. Moose Lounge is definitely worth checking out. It is opened from 11am every morning and offers daily drink specials as well as an appetizer menu for après ski. Moreover, it offers live entertainment every afternoon.
Snowshoe Sam´s was recently voted #1 Ski Bar by a Canadian Magazine and of course there are plenty of reasons for it! Not only it convinces with a neat pub atmosphere, meals, and beer, there´s also never a shortage of DJ's and live bands.
When it comes to mountain nightlife, the Sessions Taphouse & Grill nails it by bringing in artists you won’t see anywhere else on the mountain as well as Dj’s and bands from the biggest festivals.
Dining and Restaurants
Foodies will be more than satisfied in the Big White Ski Resort. The Kettle Valley Steakhouse & Wine Bar mainly serves fine Okanagan cuisine. It´s located in the Happy Valley Day Lodge at the bottom of Lara´s gondola. Here you can probably get the best Angus beef and seafood in town. Just keep in mind that its better to make a reservation since it fills up quickly at dinner time.
Another hotspot is the Globe Cafe & Tapas Bar. They include seasonings and dishes from cultures and countries around the globe in their cuisine. You can come here any time of the day and you can even find a great breakfast on the menu. The 6° Bistro is also a top address when it comes to local wines and fine dining.
Big White Ski Resort is 35 miles South East of Kelowna, the largest city in the Okanagan Valley. From Kelowna, where you also find an International Airport, follow Highway 33 for 20 miles until you just have to follow the signage to Big White.