Canada: now top of the transat­lantic ski stakes

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - FRONT PAGE -

Brag­ging rights Once the pre­serve of heli-skiers, Kick­ing Horse’s 2,800 acres are now open to all, thanks to a long gon­dola built in 2000. It ac­cesses two high, pow­der-filled bowls, with scores of ways down for ex­perts, in­clud­ing couloirs and trees. Ad­ven­tur­ous in­ter­me­di­ates can also have a fine time learn­ing to play in pow­der and cruis­ing long blue runs.

Kick­ing Horse is also home to Canada’s best moun­tain restaurant, Ea­gle’s Eye, with great food, ser­vice and views. Where to stay Join a Tele­graph tour with Ed­die the Ea­gle and Kick­ing Horse Pow­der Tours (0117 230 5135; kick­inghorse­pow­der­tours.com) March 10-17 2018. As well as hit­ting the slopes with the Ea­gle, prices from £3,295 in­clude B&B at a choice of lodges at the re­sort base, lift pass, two hosted din­ners, snow­mo­bile evening and a year’s sub­scrip­tion to The Tele­graph Ski and Snow­board mag­a­zine. Best for… Ac­tive fam­i­lies Panorama’s re­sort vil­lage is largely car-free, and has lots of ac­com­mo­da­tion with direct ac­cess to the snow, based around a skat­ing rink and out­door leisure com­plex with swim­ming pools in Up­per Vil­lage.

The moun­tain has 2,847 acres of var­ied ter­rain, and a 1,220m ver­ti­cal, one of the big­gest in North Amer­ica. The Wee Was­cals cen­tre looks af­ter chil­dren aged 18 months to five years, and a com­bi­na­tion of child care and ski school is avail­able for those aged three and up­wards. Where to stay The spa­cious Up­per Vil­lage Con­dos give free ac­cess to the out­door pools. From £1,028 with Crys­tal (020 8610 3123; crys­tal­ski.co.uk). Best for… Pound­ing the pow­der Un­til 2007-08, Revel­stoke was a small hill served by one short lift, but a gon­dola and two fast chair­lifts trans­formed it into a re­sort with the big­gest ver­ti­cal in North Amer­ica (1,713m) and 3,000 acres of chal­leng­ing ter­rain. The re­sort vil­lage is small, but Revel­stoke town, five min­utes’ drive away, has a fair choice of restau­rants and bars.

Rev gets huge amounts of snow – around 12m a year. To make the most of won­der­ful tree glades and a big open bowl, in­vest in a half or full-day’s guid­ing with the ski school. Where to stay The Sut­ton Place Ho­tel has wellap­pointed condo-style suites at the foot of the slopes. From £1,048 with Fron­tier Ski (020 8776 8709; fron­tier­ski.co.uk). Best for… Ad­ven­tur­ous ex­perts Fernie has long held cult sta­tus among ex­perts be­cause of its abun­dant snow­fall (9m on av­er­age) and steep, un­groomed ter­rain among trees. To make the most of the 2,500 acres, it’s best to book guid­ing – many runs are dif­fi­cult to find. There are also great snow­cat op­er­a­tions nearby.

The re­sort vil­lage is con­ve­nient but small, with few eat­ing and drink­ing op­tions. Fernie town, a couple of miles away, has a bet­ter selec­tion. Where to stay The ski-in/ski-out Fernie Slope­side Lodge ho­tel has two in­door hot tubs. From £939 with In­g­hams (01483 345634; in­g­hams.co.uk). Charm­ing Cana­dian re­sorts in­clude Sil­ver Star, above, a vil­lage that re­sem­bles a 19th-cen­tury min­ing community; the pic­turesque re­sort of Banff, left

For the most spec­tac­u­lar views, book a lake-view room at the Fair­mont Chateau Lake Louise. From £2,220 with Alpine An­swers (020 7801 1080; alpinean­swers.co.uk). Best for… A charm­ing vil­lage The core of this cute re­sort was built in the Eight­ies to re­sem­ble a 19th­cen­tury min­ing vil­lage – a tiny traf­fic-free square is lined with Vic­to­rian-style build­ings.

The 3,282 acres of slopes suit all stan­dards, with easy green runs, in­ter­me­di­ate cruis­ing on well­groomed trails, and a net­work of black runs plung­ing through the trees. Where to stay The lux­ury Snow­bird Lodge con­dos

Ski-in/ski-out Vir­tu­ally all ho­tels and apart­ments in this mod­ern re­sort are ski-in/ski-out. The main lifts start be­low vil­lage level, and even the main street is a ski run. The com­bi­na­tion of abun­dant snow with lots of trees for shel­ter makes it a great place to learn pow­der. Where to stay Stone­bridge Lodge is made up of spa­cious, stylish apart­ments, most with pri­vate out­door hot tubs. From £975 with Ski Sa­fari (01273 224060; skisa­fari.com). Best for… Learn­ing the ropes Although Canada is a long way to go to as a be­gin­ner, Sun Peaks is a great place to start. It has 4,200 acres of ter­rain on three moun­tains – Mount Mor­risey, Sun­dance and Mount Tod – and the nurs­ery slopes are right by the vil­lage cen­tre. The ski school runs half- or full-day be­gin­ner pack­ages from C$74 (£43,), in­clud­ing equip­ment hire and lift pass as well as lessons. Where to stay The Sun Peaks Grand is at the foot of the slopes, with out­door pool and hot tubs. From £855 with Crys­tal (020 8610 3123; crys­tal.co.uk). Best for… All-round ap­peal The two linked moun­tains of Whistler and Black­comb add up to the big­gest ski area in North Amer­ica (8,171 acres). It’s an ex­cel­lent choice for in­ter­me­di­ates who like to rack up miles, and pro­gress­ing be­gin­ners can en­joy top-to-bot­tom easy runs. For ex­perts, there are nu­mer­ous high, open bowls. The re­sort vil­lage is big and busy, with a lively après scene and a wide range of shops. Where to stay At the foot of the Black­comb slopes, the ski-in/ski-out Fair­mont Chateau of­fers clas­sic el­e­gance and ameni­ties, in­clud­ing an out­door heated pool. From £1,226 with Fron­tier (020 8776 8709; fron­tier-ski.co.uk).

Canada boasts great slopes for skiers and snow­board­ers on and off piste

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