Everyone starts somewhere. Even the most expert of skiers had a first experience on the piste. When it comes to looking at the best ski destinations one of the prime considerations is the make-up of the party. The destination an expert might pick is likely to be different from one that beginners or a family of varying ability might select. What is certain is that the Western part of Canada is where skiers are heading in huge numbers.
Seasonal snow is guaranteed and there are a number of resorts geared towards skiers of all ages. Canada has avalanche control and that has added to the safety and enjoyment of visitors to this wonderful scenic area. Calgary and Vancouver Airports serve the region well. British Columbia is the dominant province with two notable exceptions.
Few who have been there will forget the scenic drive and views of Banff (Alberta). It’s not a big town but there is plenty of accommodation because it hosts people through summer as well as winter. When it comes to value, few can better Banff. The other place in Alberta that should be seriously considered is Lake Louise also in the Banff National Park. Anyone wanting to ski and enjoy the best possible scenery should go no further than Lake Louise.
Fernie in British Columbia lays claim to be the best destination for an expert. There are several steep runs sheltered by trees with snowfalls often averaging 9 metres. Even first time visitors who are expert skiers need to know where they are going but after they have learnt…. In contrast Sun Peaks is excellent for beginners. It is a fairly small and recent village but with more land than any Canadian resort except Whistler. There are three peaks with nursery slopes close to the lifts and the centre of the village. There are some intermediate slopes as well so those travelling with a novice will not be too frustrated.
Mentioning Whistler, there is little argument that it is the best all-round destination in Canada. There are two mountains that link to form the largest ski area in North America. It means that visitors have plenty of variety and as a result return time and again. Nursery slopes are good and experts find plenty to challenge them as well. No one can get bored in Whistler, day or night.
One charming destination worth a mention is Silver Star built in the 1980s to replicate a 19th Century mining village. There is a good mix of runs and the ski school has an excellent reputation. Finally probably the best place for families is a place called Panorama. No traffic, a skating rink and several water features; hot pool, sauna, water slides and swimming pools, free for those staying at one of the resort hotels.
Canada attracts many transatlantic visitors and rightly so. Any group of skiers will include people of differing abilities and there is plenty of choice to research before settling on a particular destination.