BY ETIENNE OLDEN
Kelowna, BC – Located about 35 miles (56km) southeast of Kelowna, British Columbia, or about 56 minutes from Kelowna International Airport (YLW), Big White Ski Resort is one of the best Ski Resorts in the Western Canada. It’s the third largest Ski Resort in BC after Whistler-Blackcomb and Sun Peaks and has Western Canada’s Largest Resort Night Skiing Area with 38 acres.
Big White Ski Resort offers over 100+ trails with 16 lifts across 905 acres of groomed runs and 1525 acres of 5 alpine bowls and off-piste glades. And there are plenty of places to stay in the area with 3 Village Hotels, 25 Condo Complexes, 244 Vacation homes, and 1 ski-in/ski-out youth hostel.
How to Get There
There are multiple ways to get to Big White. The best way to get there is flying into Kelowna International Airport (YLW) and taking an airport shuttle to the resort. But if you want to go the more scenic route, fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), rent a car, and drive 5 hours through interior BC to get to the resort. However, during the Winter, Interior BC can get snowed in pretty quickly so the highway may be closed off in some areas. Before heading out there, be sure to pay attention to weather and traffic reports. There are three highways that can eventually get you to Big White from Vancouver, but the detours can add hours to your travel time.
Tips and Tricks
- During cloudy or low visibility days, head to the Black Forest side of the resort. The runs are shorter, but you usually be able have better visibility than other sides of the mountain.
- If you’re planning on riding a bunch of days at Big White and you’re a BC or Alberta Resident, pick up a Biggie Card at a retailer before you go. You can save up to $24 a day by reloading the card.
- One of the most iconic things you can do at the Resort is head to the very top of Falcon Chair and ride amongst the world famous “Snow Ghosts”- ethereal snow caked trees that scatter the summit.
Big White Resort: At a Glance
|Location||Kootenay Boundary, BC|
|Nearest Major City||Kelowna, BC|
|Vertical||811 m (2656 ft)|
|Top Elevation||2319 m (7606 ft)|
|Base Elevation||1508 m (4950 ft)|
|Skiable area||2765 acres (1119 ha)|
|Runs||118 21 – Beginner 64 – Intermediate 26 – Intermediate 7 – Advanced|
|Lift system||16 total 1 gondola 5 high-speed chairs 5 chairs 3 ground/t-bar 2 tubing|
|Lift capacity||28000 skiers/hr|
|Snowfall||75 m/year (295 in.)|
|Snow-making||38 acres (15.3 hectares)|