Resort Guide 2013-2014: British Columbia
Words: Gerhard Gross
There’s a reason why most of the major film crews spend some, if not all of their season in BC. From Whistler’s average annual snowfall of 469 inches to Revelstoke’s ridiculous 720 inches in the Interior, there’s almost always pow to be found somewhere. Nine major mountain ranges crisscross the province creating a mix of terrain from steep to rolling that makes for some of the best and most diverse riding in the world. When it comes to choosing where to go in BC it’s really a matter of what you want to ride and the après/party scene you’re looking for. Whistler’s got the terrain and the nightlife (some people move there for a season of world-class partying, not the world-class riding) but any of the eight resorts along the Interior’s Powder Highway have that laid-back BC vibe, mellow lift lines, and plenty of stashes to be found days after the last snowfall.
Okay, we’ve established that for many people, from pros to powder hounds, BC is basically Mecca. Now some cons. The sun. Don’t expect to see it much between the start of the season and March. Hopefully that’s because it’s snowing a lot, but there can be periods of a week or more where the clouds cling to the mountains and just piss everyone off. If you’re lucky that means there’s an inversion and it’s perfectly sunny up top so it’s always worth checking the mountain web cams but many times you’ll be riding in flat light and fog. Do yourself a favor and bring lenses for all light conditions.
The roads. Following the 2010 Olympics, the drive to Whistler is pretty cruisey compared to what you’ll find in the Interior or anywhere farther north. Those highways are narrow, twisting, and often covered with slush or snow. Be prepared for closures too. Throw in a bunch of oncoming big rigs and the driving alone is enough to get your blood pumping before you even strap in.
Yes, traveling in the winter can be a bitch but so what, it’s all part of the trip. In BC, what you’ll find when you get to the lifts should be well worth the pilgrimage.
Find a full list of all 37 of BC’s resorts at hellobc.com.
Check out the next page for our top three freeriding resorts in British Columbia