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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Big White
Country: British Columbia, Canada
Domain: n/a
Author: RobW
Date: 6th-11th Feb
Our holiday: 2 adults - experienced skiers, and 3yo child.
Website : http://www.bigwhite.com/
Basics : An hour east of Kelowna (nearest airport) in the Okanagan valley. We flew into Vancouver and drove up (takes about 5 hours). Also driveable from Seattle (about 7 hours from Seatac).
Lift system : Four detachable quads (main lifts), a double and a triple (both quite old) and two new doubles serving the terrain park and cliff area. Also another quad and newish gondola serving the village.
The terrain : Groomed is mostly intermediate terrain. Masses of tree skiing available from the easy 'Enchanted Forest' to some tight and/or steep runs all over. Open bowl skiing (some very steep) in the Cliff area and off Falcon chair. SunRype bowl off Gem Lake lift is superb.
The snow : Despite the recent warm weather, plenty of snow depth (average for the time of year) and just about everything open, although no Snow Ghosts (trees plastered in snow) this year.
Off-piste : Only off-piste in the European sense is East Peak. Lots of opportunity for trees and fair amount of ungroomed open bowl skiing means fresh snow can be found days after a snowfall (which means almost always!).
The resort : Modern apartment blocks and some hotels. Quite a lot of very nice new developments (apartments and chalets). Some older properties. Kids well catered for at Kids Centre in the middle of the village. Daycare takes them from 18 months, and they can start skiing at 3 or sometimes younger.
Food : Snowshoe Sams is very popular pub/restaurant (kids in upstairs restaurant only). Beano's (village center mall) good for coffee/sandwiches/soup. Chinese Laundry has excellent buffet many nights. In evenings generally necessary to book a table in most places, esp at weekends.
Accommodation : We stayed at the Inn at Big White. Rooms spacious and well equipped although you clearly aren't expected to us the kitchen area for much more than just breakfast.
Costs: Lift ticket CA$60+tax/day (about £30). Discount for multidays. Coffee $2/£1 (usually free refills). Lunch $10/£5. Dinner $20-$30/£10-£15.
If you are organised and plan ahead, consider getting a Season Pass the summer before your trip: if you are skiing here (or at Silver Star, owned by the same people) for 2 weeks or more it cheaper to buy a season pass before september, than pay per day, and you also get good discounts on resort-owned accomodation.
Conclusion: We must like it. This was about our 10th visit.
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