SO YOU DON’T SKI!

No prob­lem. There are so many more op­tions non-skiers can en­joy at win­ter re­sorts.

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine - - Table Of Contents - BY JANE STOKES

DON’T BE LEFT OUT, you have clout. Skiers in your life may al­ready be well aware that even in Canada, only a small per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion has a pen­chant for ski­ing, so no sheep­ish ex­pla­na­tions are nec­es­sary. Go along on any moun­tain-bound trip to please the skiers as well as your­self.

In what way, you might ask? Per­haps your per­son­al­ized plan should first iden­tify why it is you don’t or won’t ski. Maybe you never had the op­por­tu­nity to try it, so here’s your chance to take lessons. Just as of­ten, how­ever, bar­ri­ers to down­hill ski­ing and snow­board­ing in­volve fear, doubt, dis­like of windy cold tem­per­a­tures or sim­ply no in­ter­est in run­ning the risk of slip­ping, slid­ing and tum­bling. Be as­sured that you’re in a pretty big club.

While ac­tion-packed hill­sides al­ways give the im­pres­sion ev­ery­one else in the world can ski, in­dus­try data ac­tu­ally in­di­cates that ap­prox­i­mately seven per cent of Cana­di­ans are down­hill skiers, around four per cent cross-coun­try ski, and four per cent are snow­board­ers. So it’s no won­der win­ter re­sorts have fash­ioned them­selves to of­fer so much more than snow sports.

Frosty-air sports are cred­ited, of course, for that glow of well-be­ing among ac­tive par­tic­i­pants, a ful­fill­ment boosted by the at­ten­tive ser­vices and mul­ti­ple ac­tiv­i­ties, din­ing choices, and en­ter­tain­ment in re­sort ho­tels and trendy villages. Of­fi­cial web­sites pro­vide de­tails and guide non-skiers to pages such as Win­ter Ac­tiv­i­ties, Be­yond Ski­ing, or While You Are Here.

B.C.’S COAST MOUN­TAINS

Known for such ma­jes­tic re­sorts as Fernie, Big White, Grouse Moun­tain and Panorama Moun­tain Village, this west coast win­ter won­der­land also de­liv­ers Whistler Black­comb, a thrilling must-do on your ski-trip list. Non-skiers are en­cour­aged at whistlerblack­comb.com to spend time fully dis­cov­er­ing Whistler Village’s restau­rants, bou­tiques and lounges and bars. Af­ter­wards, if you want more of an adrenalin rush, sign up for a he­li­copter tour or for win­ter zip lin­ing. Then add ab­so­lute re­plen­ish­ment by head­ing straight to the Scandinave Spa to re­vi­tal­ize your skin, re­lax those mus­cles and calm your mind. Or check into Nita Lake Lodge’s (ni­ta­lakelodge.com) new Sleep Ther­apy pack­age, which uses chakra and sound heal­ing tech­niques to re­align your body’s rhythms and re­store bal­ance.

AL­BERTA’S ROCKY MOUN­TAINS

Won­der­ment is end­less here and the moun­tains are es­pe­cially be­wil­der­ing at the

Mar­mot Basin in Jasper, in the Sun­shine Village of Banff, and at the Lake Louise Ski Re­sort. The web­site, skilo­uise.com, en­tices you with guided tours for cross-coun­try ski­ing and snow­shoe­ing. For an unforgettable ex­pe­ri­ence deep within the silent, snowy Rock­ies, hop on board the win­ter sight­see­ing gon­dola, a 14-minute, fully en­closed ae­rial lift that takes you through val­leys of soar­ing white peaks, over mam­moth icy glaciers, and al­most dis­ap­pears into the stark im­pos­ing rock face as far as the eye can see. The gon­dola is known to re­turn to base­camp with ut­terly speech­less par­tic­i­pants.

ON­TARIO’S NI­A­GARA ES­CARP­MENT

True ski buffs never let the lack of a real moun­tain get in the way of their sport and in south­ern On­tario they’ve keenly cul­ti­vated dozens of choices on the Ni­a­gara Es­carp­ment and the Oak Ridges Mo­raine. All snow sports are alive and well for in­stance at Dag­mar, Glen Eden, Hock­ley Valley, Hid­den Valley, Mount St. Louis Moon­stone, and win­ter va­ca­tions are par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable at the Blue Moun­tain Re­sort. When brows­ing blue­moun­tain.ca, non-skiers might con­tem­plate ice skat­ing, down­hill tub­ing or the thrill of a slope-side roller­coaster. Af­ter­wards, if you add any mea­sure of hy­drother­apy in the spa, do ex­pect your mood to mel­low for the rest of the day.

QUE­BEC’S LAURENTIANS

As luck would have it, la belle prov­ince con­tains one of the old­est moun­tain ranges on Earth. Ris­ing to 1,166 me­tres, the Laurentians date back no less than a half-bil­lion years, am­ple time, one might say, to per­fect the ser­vices for any skier who fre­quents Mont-trem­blant, Saint-sau­veur, Mont­sainte-anne, Le Re­lais, Le Mas­sif de Charlevoix or the Stone­ham Moun­tain Re­sort. On the ski-stone­ham.com site, pic­ture your­self all aglow from skat­ing, snow­mo­bil­ing, spa treat­ments, or—armed with a pair of (rented) snow­shoes and a Gps-equipped mo­bile de­vice—from the thrill of find­ing all of Stone­ham’s geo­caching trea­sure.

VER­MONT’S GREEN MOUN­TAINS

The sky-high peaks of eastern North Amer­ica con­tinue well south of the Cana­dian bor­der and Ver­mont, like Québec, has cul­ti­vated all of its snow-sport op­por­tu­ni­ties. The Green Moun­tains (of the Ap­palachi­ans) are home to such re­sorts as Killing­ton, Su­gar­bush, Jay Peak and the ever-pop­u­lar Stowe Moun­tain Re­sort. Browse through those web­sites for invit­ing ideas. At stowe.com, for ex­am­ple, en­vi­sion snow­shoe­ing, skat­ing, in­door rock climb­ing, and cross-coun­try ski­ing. Or, re­ju­ve­nate in a dif­fer­ent way with tick­ets to a stage show, day or night, at the Spruce Peak Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter.

COLORADO’S ROCKY MOUN­TAINS

Span­ning 4,800 kilo­me­tres from far north in Bri­tish Columbia to the edge of New Mex­ico, this stop prom­ises an elat­ing Rocky Moun­tain high. Travel to Vail, Breck­en­ridge, Key­stone, Cop­per Moun­tain, Beaver Creek, Tel­luride or to the heart of As­pen Moun­tain in the village of Snow­mass. On as­pen­snow mass.com, pic­ture your­self on ecore­spon­si­ble tours for photography or learn­ing about the wilds of na­ture, fol­lowed, un­doubt­edly, by the wilder As­pen après-ski scene where indulgence is just the start­ing point. Cham­pagne, for in­stance, is never popped later than at lunchtime and, if that sounds too classy to be wild, keep an eye out for how cham­pagne is dis­pensed high on the moun­tain­side by the ar­rival of a snow­cat pulling a pop-up mo­bile bar.

LEFT: Snow­shoe­ing with As­pen Cen­ter for En­vi­ron­men­tal Stud­ies. ACES BOT­TOM: Re­lax­ing at the Scandinave Spa in Whistler. Scandinave Spa, Whistler

ABOVE: Thrill-seek­ers love the Ridge Run­ner Moun­tain Coaster at the Blue Moun­tain Re­sort in On­tario. Marc Landry BE­LOW: Re­lax at Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler’s only lake­side prop­erty and a lead­ing des­ti­na­tion for wellness. Nita Lake Lodge BOT­TOM: En­joy a gon­dola ride at Lake Louise. Lake Louise Ski Re­sort

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