Higher Education: The Lonesome, Crowded West

Benji Ritchie in the B.C. backcountry. Photo: Scott Serfas
Benji Ritchie in the B.C. backcountry. Photo: Scott Serfas

University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia

UBC ranks in the world’s Top 40 Universities on numerous academic lists, but its proximity to one of the world’s best resorts (Whistler/Blackcomb) and bounty of backcountry shredding make it nearly number one on our list. UBC is famed for its film school, but it’s a giant institution offering studies in just about every discipline. The campus sits in prime real estate, flanked by water and claiming the furthermost point of Vancouver’s western peninsula. You’ll find mountains Grouse and Seymour minutes from the glassy downtown. Both offer night riding and parks with beautiful views of Vancouver’s waterways. A quick journey north dumps you off at North America’s largest resort, Whistler/Blackcomb. For the backcountry minded, the numerous trailheads leading into the B.C. backcountry from Squamish to Pemberton are nothing short of epic. Now pack your bags and pray for sun.

Nearest resort(s): Cypress Mountain (15 miles), Grouse Mountain (16 miles), Mount Seymour (20 miles), Mount Baker (56 miles), Whistler/Blackcomb (83 miles)

Website: ubc.ca

Snowboard club/team: UBC Ski & Board