Canada: now top of the transatlantic ski stakes
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