Deep Steep Tree Skiing in Canada
Andy, Luke and I headed back to Canada this winter in search of one thing - powder. Mission accomplished.
Our careful planning took us to three incredible resorts: Revelstoke in BC, the home of heli-skiing and some of the deepest snow in Canada, followed by Big White and Sun Peaks in the Okanagan, where you’ll find Canada’s driest snow. Here's what we found...
Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Revelstoke offers the perfect place to find your ski legs and get them ready for the thigh burning assault of heli-skiing. Reve has the highest vertical in North America, offering 15km top to bottom runs to re-hone your skills, so you can make the most of playing in the deep powder.
Selkirk Tangiers Heli-Skiing
Revelstoke really is the birth place of modern day heli-skiing and Selkirk Tangiers is one of the first operators here. The heli-ski area was here long before the resort developed, a lot the terrain was formerly used purely for heli drops.
Our day with Selkirk Tangiers included a 90 minute safety briefing after which we had the know-how to find the abominable snowman (a.k.a Luke Dorking) and take on some of the half a million acre tenure. We soon found ourselves on top of a wind-swept ridge in dubious weather conditions and limited visibility, but this all added to the excitement. Within minutes we were riding a steep gully in super-dry, thigh deep BC powder and at that point any trepidation you may have about heli-skiing melts away.
Giving our legs a much needed break, we headed off early the next day to Sun Peaks where the terrain is a little more forgiving. We arrived to already seriously impressive conditions - it was chucking it down with snow. We spent several hours riding in it whilst watching the snow get deeper and deeper around us; and tomorrow’s forecast couldn't have been any more perfect: Bluebird.
We started off the day with a short boot hike through the glades of Mid Mountain on Mt. Tod. It opens out into a powder bowl before connecting to 7 Mile Road. From there you head back up the Burfield Chair to go and ski the impressive alpine on offer.
Another short hike after lunch took us into Gil’s, where we experienced some of the best turns of the trip so far. Not bad considering what we were doing just two days before!
Sun Peaks is one of the few places where you can actually ski into the village, grab a bite to eat and a beer and ski back out again. It was here that our friends from Canmore joined us for their first family ski holiday outside of Banff National Park. Just five years old, Ily considered this the most fun she’s ever had on skis, a testament to the diversity of the terrain that Sun Peaks can offer!
Our final destination on this powder fest was Big White. It didn’t disappoint. The resort boasts an impressive 750cm of snowfall per year but was well above this average by the time we arrived.
Spending the first day on the Snow Ghost Express, it was very apparent that the terrain here was truly outstanding, again a huge surprise as Big White markets itself as one of the great family destinations. Again, the snow was hammering down and again we were due another bluebird for our final day.
In preparation for the pow day awaiting we retired to our ski-in ski-out condo complete with private hot tub and reminisced about the six days we were lucky enough to have had so far. How could we top this?
Our last day was spent entirely on the Black Forest Express, enjoying the deserted tree skiing in Easter Chutes and the open powder runs on Cougar Alley and Whisky Jack. After eight laps and in need of refreshment we stopped briefly at the brand new Black Forest Day Lodge, sipped a coffee and wholeheartedly agreed that this was the best day’s riding of our lives.
A 10 night ski safari to Revelstoke, Sun Peaks and Big White starts FROM £1355pp, based on 4 adults travelling, including three nights in Revelstoke, four nights in Sun Peaks and three nights in Big White, flights and SUV hire. Add on heli-skiing from £475pp based on a minimum of four people. Request a quotation or call Andy or Luke on 01273 224 060 for more information.
Snowboarder/Skier: Five ski seasons: La Plagne, Les Deux Alpes, Kitzbuhel, Serre Chevalier, Courchevel, and all the UK organisation in between before joining Ski Safari in 2008.