From Colorado to BC – the Alpine winter world

We were extolling the virtues of the snow in Colorado the other day, but it’s pretty cool up there in British Columbia too… in fact, they have so many resorts in BC that they are spoilt for choice.

So that video was the top-notch off-piste stuff, but what about the wealth of winter resorts that BC has to offer?

So many and so varied that it would be impossible to mention them all, but remember it was here that they held last year’s Winter Olympics and the winter olympics are not held just anywhere – they have to be in a region where the white stuff is of the best quality and plentiful.

BC has that in mountain loads. One BC site puts it in a nutshell: “Epic snowfalls, huge verticals, expansive backcountry, diverse terrain, spectacular scenery and a mild winter climate provide the backdrop for big mountain skiing at winter resorts and family-friendly ski hills.”

But its Mount Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island that boasts that it is home to Canada’s deepest pile – 11 m of annual snowfall to be exact – that’s 36 ft! It’s setting is also absolutely spectacular with the Pacific Ocean on one side and scenic Strathcona Park on the other. In fact, from the top you can also see the Comox Glacier, Mt. Arrowsmith, the Strait of Georgia and even Mt. Baker on a clear day. 45% of the runs are Black, 35% Intermediate and 20% for Beginners.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort

What’s amazing is that its not very high and yet last season they had the second heaviest recorded snowfall in their history – over 15 metres. The summit is only 1,588m (5,215 ft) but it has a vertical rise of 505m (1,657 ft) on the frontside and  362m (1,187 ft) on the back. The season runs from the 3rd December until the 10th April and the lift capacity takes 12,200 riders per hour!

The Stomping Ground Terrain Park has become one of BC’s best. Over $150,000 has been spent on this fabulous playground. It features jumps, hips, step-ups, rollers, as well as a sumptuous selection of street-style rails and fun boxes. If you like flow and you’re an experienced park rider, then this is the park for you! Although the Stomping Ground is renowned amongst the pros, Mount Washington Alpine Resort also includes a perfect learning park for those looking to get into park riding. Here the rails are shorter and the jumps are smaller which gives riders the opportunity to progress in a fun and safe environment.

As of today the snow base at Mount Washington is 480 cm with a possibility of some snow flurries later today and tonight. I write that with some envy. Here in the south of France our Southern Alps began their season earlier than normal in December with fantastic snow… but there has been nothing since and the schools’ ski-break happens in just 2 weeks. Things are looking gloomy, but there’s still time… we live in hope!

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