Big White beck­ons for Masters’ Weeks in 2017

Alpine News - - Overseas - BY YVETTE CAR­DOZO

MASTERS’ Weeks at Big White Ski Re­sort in Kelowna, BC have ex­ploded in pop­u­lar­ity. So much so that ad­di­tional dates have been added for the up­com­ing win­ter sea­son. Writer Yvette Car­dozo vis­ited Canada’s Big White and dis­cov­ered that it is the ideal play­ground for all ages and abil­i­ties in­clud­ing Masters’ skiers. Here’s what she had to say; Big White. How per­fect. The re­sort is in­ter­me­di­ate/ad­vanced and also a be­gin­ner’s heaven. Yes, it’s called Big White for a rea­son, but some­how, the way the runs flow make sense and easy to grasp in just a day or two.

Be­yond all that snow, Big White is fam­i­lies ski­ing to­gether, it’s lo­cals com­ing up for one-day clin­ics and semi-per­ma­nent res­i­dents liv­ing in lodges, gath­er­ing in the com­mon rooms for im­promptu jam ses­sions or trekking down­hill to Happy Val­ley for bingo night. It’s fam­ily bar­be­cue nights and a dozen non-ski op­tions rang­ing from an ice climb­ing tower to ice skating, sleigh rides and snow­mo­bil­ing.

Some 20 years ago when I vis­ited Big White there were just a cou­ple of ho­tels down the road. Now there are 17,000 pil­lows, ev­ery one of them ac­ces­si­ble on skis. Big White is, to­day, Canada’s largest fully ski in/ ski out re­sort.

And on to the ski­ing. First up I joined Masters’ Mon­days, a pro­gram at Big White set up for folks over 50. How nice to ski with peo­ple who un­der­stand age­ing joints. I spent the morn­ing in a class learn­ing to ‘keep my ta-tas’ over my knees and thanks to that cen­tre­ing of my bal­ance, was able to go on to steeper and deeper ter­rain.

Masters Ski Week has been a high­light of the Big White cal­en­dar for sev­eral years, so pop­u­lar in fact that there will be two weeks in 2017, from Jan­uary 30 to Fe­bru­ary 3 and Fe­bru­ary 27 to March 3. They like to wel­come Masters’ skiers from all over the world, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia. The event is highly so­cial and de­signed for pas­sion­ate skiers over the age of 50.

Di­rec­tor of Snow Sports Josh Fos­ter says it’s a fan­tas­tic week par­tic­u­larly for vis­it­ing Masters’ skiers and board­ers to meet other like-minded snow en­thu­si­asts in a re­laxed, friendly at­mos­phere.

As well as the com­pe­ti­tion, which is all about friendly ri­valry, there is wine tast­ing, apres high tea, sleigh rides and seminars. There’s also a Masters’ ski camp in the lead-up, pro­vid­ing group lessons for peo­ple to hone their skills.

The ski sea­son at Big White runs late Novem­ber to mid April and the re­sort has daily shut­tles from the Kelowna air­port. The moun­tain is above all a fam­ily friendly re­sort, fea­tur­ing 118 runs and 16 lifts spread across five bowls, just un­der 2800 ski­able acres and a ver­ti­cal drop of 2550 feet. Big White. How per­fect! De­tails for book­ing your Masters’ Week va­ca­tion can be found here http://www. big­white.com.

PHOTOS: Big White Ski Re­sort

STEEP AND DEEP: The largest ski re­sort in Canada, Big White has plenty of ski­able lines for all lev­els. MASTERS: Big White is wel­com­ing masters skiers in 2017.

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