Canada is one of the top winter holiday destinations in the world. It is a paradise for skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and dog sledding and anyone looking for fun in the snow. From December through April, Canada offers wide open and well groomed ski areas with spectacular mountain scenery in the background. Lift queues and crowded slopes are rare. The après ski is also lively with excellent restaurants and bars in every location.
The Canadian Rockies
Banff, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, is one of the most popular because of its long ski season and good powder snow. A shuttle bus service connects the three ski areas including Sunshine, Norquay and Lake Louise. At Lake Louise, skiers can enjoy torchlight decent.
Sunshine has steeps and bumps on Goats Eye Mountain for advanced skiers and Delirium Dive is only for pros. There are gentle slopes on all the mountains for beginners. Sunshine Village and Lake Louise are the best options for intermediate skiers.
Jasper also has the majestic Canadian Rockies as the background for its excellent winter sport facilities. A former frontier town, there are still buildings from as early as 1911. It has a long snow season from late November through to late April. With 84 pistes that range for beginners to experts, there is something for everyone. The Marmot Basin area has sparsely populated slopes and runs with well-maintained tree lines.
In the middle of wilderness, Jasper has elk, deer and moose roaming free. The locals are friendly with welcoming bars and restaurants. It is a good place to try dog sledding or snowmobiling. There are two new chair lifts with a new Paradise High Speed Quad serving the upper parts of the mountain. The learning slopes also have a new chair lift that is a great improvement for beginners. Advanced skiers have large bowls that are powder filled and long bump runs.
The West Coast
The Canadian west coast has the largest ski area in North America. Only 75 miles from Vancouver, Whistler offers a vast array of pistes and almost perfect snow. Whistler was designed by skiers and includes everything needed for a fantastic ski holiday. Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and is consistently ranked the top ski resort in North America. There are over 100 runs that all end at the village where there is great après ski and a vibrant night life.
There are 12 huge high alpine bowls for advanced skiers as well as off-piste challenges. They guarantee snow all season because of their three glaciers. Whistler also offers cross-country skiing, zip trekking, sleigh rides and snowmobiling. The Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are linked by a Peak to Peak Gondola. Whistler Village is a pedestrian-only village with high speed gondolas that take skiers up 1000 metres to the beginning of the slopes. They have it all including gentle beginner slopes, bump runs, wide bowls, clear tree runs and steep chutes and gullies.
The East Coast
Tremblant, in the Laurentian Mountains in southern Quebec, is one of the easiest resorts in North America for visitors from the UK to access. The centre of the resort is traffic free with a large selection of shops, restaurants and bars. It is a short walk to the lifts from most of the accommodation or ski-in and ski-out. There is a dedicated area for beginners, a super steep glade called The Edge and incredible terrain for snowboarders.
Just one and a half hour from Montreal, Tremblant was voted the best eastern North American ski resort by Ski Magazine for 12 consecutive years. The beginner’s slopes are on the south side of the mountain with two magic carpet lifts, and there is terrain under the Flying Mile Express for advanced skiers.
Canada Ski Holidays
Canadian ski resorts offer excellent powder snow for beginners, intermediate and expert skiers with almost no lift queues. They have a variety of accommodation choices with hotels, lodges and self-catering apartments to fit any holiday budget. The food selection is good and offered at reasonable prices, and there is also a wide selection of après ski from gentle luxury to lively good fun.
Skiing is not the only winter sport in most resorts, with many other mountain-based activities available. The excellent snow and well groomed runs with spacious pistes make Canada one of the top ski holiday destinations in the world.