2010/2011 Ski season has come to BC’s interior and here’s a little information about what we consider to be the top 3 ski hills in that area.
Well the white stuff has once again arrived in beautiful B.C. That means all the skiers and snowboarders can store their water skis and skateboards and head to the hills for some awesome downhill fun! This year the weather reports tell us it’s going to be a cold one so make sure and bundle up. Let’s take a look at three of our favourite mountains which are now open and ready.
Big White; about 45 minutes’ drive from the Accent Inn Kelowna hotel East/southeast of Kelowna from Hwy 97 via Hwy 33 and Big White Road. Their average snowfall is approx. 750 cm (24.5 ft). They have 16 lifts including 2 for Tubing! The summit is 2,319 m (7,606 ft) with 777 m (2,550 ft) of vertical drop. Cross country fans are not disappointed with 25 km (15.5 miles) of incredible Nordic trails groomed with state of the art grooming equipment for both skate and classic technique. Along with a multitude of additional winter activities, Big White is offers a new Ice Climbing Tower.
Our next stop takes us to Silver Star. A little over an hours drive from Kelowna, people seem to fall in love with Silver Star’s fairy tale Village. If you like history you will love the villages’ nineteenth century architecture modeled after the BC mining town era. The real “ski” history of the area begins in 1940 when Silver Star park was established and 1946 when the very first rope tow was built allowing skiers to play all day for only 50 cents! They get over 700 cm (23 ft) of snow annually and have 7 lifts plus two more for tubing. The top is at 1,915 m (6,280 ft.) with a Vertical Drop of 760 m (2,500 ft.). Their Cross Country access is quite extensive with 60 km (37 miles) of trails groomed and track set daily with state of the art grooming equipment. 4 km lit track for night skiing. Optional lift-access to upper trails. Two fully certified biathlon ranges. NEW! Nordic tickets now also valid to Sovereign Lakes, totalling over 100km (60 miles) of trails!
Our last stop (or first if your reverse) is Sun Peaks. It’s only a 45 minute drive from the Accent Inn Kamloops hotel via Highway 5 North, exiting at Tod Mountain Road by Heffley Creek. Sun peaks boast some of the best snow anywhere. The BC Interior is known throughout the world for its light, dry, ‘easy-to-ski’ powder. Be here on a powder day to discover what the true definition of ‘blower’ means. Why is the snow so good? Thanks to their geographic location in the BC Interior, Sun Peaks is protected from the mild, coastal weather caused by the Coast Mountains. Prevailing storms come from the Pacific Ocean and rise and cool as they pass over the Coast Mountains before reaching Sun Peaks. Sun Peaks has a reputation for reliable snow conditions that has been proven over 40 years of operations. The elevations at the summit is 2,152m (7,060′) with vertical skiable of 882m (2,894′) – Figure taken from the base to the top of the Burfield Chairlift. The have 7 lifts and one run that is 5 miles (8kms) long! A full cross country day is possible on the 30.8km of groomed and trackset 14.3km of backcountry trails.
Accent Inns offers ski packages at both our Kamloops hotel and Kelowna hotel with specials if you book nights at both. Stay and enjoy the nightlife that the towns have to offer and if you like this author you’ll really enjoy the nice hot tub at each location after a full days skiing. One of my favourite trips of all time was when I drove from our Vancouver Airport hotel to Kamloops and skied Sun Peaks the first day. After a great night at the Accent Inn Kamloops my partner and I drove onto ski Silverstar. After a great day on the slopes we headed onto Kelowna and stayed at the Accent Inn there. The 3rd day we drove up to Big White and had an awesome day skiing in powder up to our knees. 3 mountains in 3 days and each offer a different experience. Whether you are a skier or snowboarder, it’s time to visit the BC interior for some incredible winter adventures.