1 month with the Family - which resort?

Inclder

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Hi All,

My 40th birthday is happening in January 2023.

My little one will be starting preschool that year (at 4.5 years old), so would need to be back in Oz by about 26th Jan.

Would be able to leave Oz about the week before Christmas.

Am thinking that a number of other families may also join us for at least week in Mid - January, so thinking that hiring a load of Chalets could work.

I am looking for the following in a resort for say a month from xmas to late Jan:

- family friendly
- Resort big and steep enough to keep me entertained enough for a month without having to move resorts
- Good beginner and intermediate to let my wife develop from green runs onwards
- Good ski school
- Ski in ski out if possible (mainly for child's sake)
- Nice white xmas if possible
- Bank for buck value-wise

Am thinking Big White v Sun Peaks - what would you choose and why?

Thanks!
 

PG2736

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Whistler. Has something for everyone and lots of things to do on non-skiing days. We have been to lots of the Canadian resorts and always end up back at Whistler. Over that January period they usually get great snow conditions as well.
 

KneeDeep

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Silverstar, good ski school, variety of runs, Silverstar Stays can help you with accommodation. Ski in/out if you select the right place. Some of the descriptions for ski in/out are ambitious.
 
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Lady Penelope

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Another vote for Sun Peaks, where much of the accommodation is ski in/ski out. Good ski school, reasonably priced accommodation, big resort, and great run variety. Someone mentioned Whistler: personally I loved Whistler when we were there two years ago, but the snow can be fickle (ie it can be heavy slush or just rain!). Also very pricey and much of the accomodation is not ski in or ski out, unless you stay over at Blackcomb. Lessons were very good there, though. I also enjoyed Silver Star but it wasn’t as ‘ski in/ski out’ as Sun Peaks, and not as big. Can’t comment on the ski school.
 
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Crystal

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You can't go wrong with Big White or Sun Peaks. Silver Star would also fit the bill but less village eating options if you are looking for that. Oh and don't worry about being back in time for the little one to start preschool.
 

absentskier

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Hi All,

My 40th birthday is happening in January 2023.

My little one will be starting preschool that year (at 4.5 years old), so would need to be back in Oz by about 26th Jan.

Would be able to leave Oz about the week before Christmas.

Am thinking that a number of other families may also join us for at least week in Mid - January, so thinking that hiring a load of Chalets could work.

I am looking for the following in a resort for say a month from xmas to late Jan:

- family friendly
- Resort big and steep enough to keep me entertained enough for a month without having to move resorts
- Good beginner and intermediate to let my wife develop from green runs onwards
- Good ski school
- Ski in ski out if possible (mainly for child's sake)
- Nice white xmas if possible
- Bank for buck value-wise

Am thinking Big White v Sun Peaks - what would you choose and why?

Thanks!
When you say you want a hill that is steep enough for you, what are you actually looking for? A place with lots of genuine steeps? What comparison resorts have you been to with the type of terrain you are after?
 

Inclder

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When you say you want a hill that is steep enough for you, what are you actually looking for? A place with lots of genuine steeps? What comparison resorts have you been to with the type of terrain you are after?

In addition to the usual Aussie and QTown resorts, have done the likes of Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, Zermatt, Tignes, Meribel and quite a few in Japan.

So I guess something like Tignes / Meribel / Zermatt if possible, as those resorts would keep me interested for a month.
 

Inclder

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So it sounds like Sun Peaks, Big White, Silver Star and Whistler all seem to fit the bill. In which case I guess it comes down to a value proposition closer to the time.

Given other families are likley to join us, key decisions will need to be locked in reasonably early, therefore we don't have the benefit of waiting to see how the season is playing out before selecting a resort. In this regard, do any of the mentioned resorts create a bigger risk than the others? Or are all equal in this regard?

Thanks for all the guidance. Plenty to think about between now and then.
 

Roymond

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So it sounds like Sun Peaks, Big White, Silver Star and Whistler all seem to fit the bill. In which case I guess it comes down to a value proposition closer to the time.

Given other families are likley to join us, key decisions will need to be locked in reasonably early, therefore we don't have the benefit of waiting to see how the season is playing out before selecting a resort. In this regard, do any of the mentioned resorts create a bigger risk than the others? Or are all equal in this regard?

Thanks for all the guidance. Plenty to think about between now and then.
Late to the conversation , but here's my 2C....
Sunpeaks for the win...

While it isn't Jackson Hole or Whistler, for a family holiday it can't be beaten.

Given your +1 is beginner /intermediate, Sunpeaks offer a perfect gradation for developing her skills with good transition between the green/blue/black slopes. "Ski Adventures" with Heather Roubilliard is a wonderful program with the best coaching I've had. It's an independent ski school that runs at sun peaks for one week courses.

Big White is excellent, but as @Astro66 has said in the past, we've lost too many days to the fog to go back.

The resort is compact with a good range of bars and more shopping (for ski gear, mainly) than BW or SS (but less than Whistler).

Ski in /ski out is more plentiful than Whistler, and it is much cheaper and less busy.

As far as risks with booking a long way out, im guessing (no evidence) that booking agencies/chalet owners will be much more lenient with cancellations from here on in for obvious reasons. Snow wise, all the BC interior resorts are pretty safe. Whistler less so.

We will be back to SP 2021/2022 with bells on...
 
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absentskier

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So it sounds like Sun Peaks, Big White, Silver Star and Whistler all seem to fit the bill. In which case I guess it comes down to a value proposition closer to the time.

Given other families are likley to join us, key decisions will need to be locked in reasonably early, therefore we don't have the benefit of waiting to see how the season is playing out before selecting a resort. In this regard, do any of the mentioned resorts create a bigger risk than the others? Or are all equal in this regard?

Thanks for all the guidance. Plenty to think about between now and then.
Big White will struggle to hold your attention IMO. Nice easy family place, not high on top end terrain at all. And frankly a bit dull IMO. Haven't been to Sun Peaks, so can't compare.

Whistler and Red (for different reasons) are my favourite resorts that I have visited in Canada.
 
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Scooter

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Don't hold yourself to this constraint. Seriously. Not at that age.

I just thought I would jump on to reiterate this point. Seriously - if you have the option of pushing it back - consider it.

Prior to and including Xmas is still early season so you have issues around that (lower snow base/possibly limited terrain, colder and less daylight etc.) plus that holiday period is SUPER busy plus SUPER expensive so whilst you will be trying to secure a longer booking they are going to sting you big time for that holiday week and even things like flights etc. will be more expensive.

About the only reason I could see to include the Xmas/New Year period in a month long proposed trip would be to specifically experience a white Christmas. Even just a week past New Year (so like 10th Jan - 10th Feb) is gonna make things all round easier and less expensive (and seriously the kid doesn't need to be there for the start of preschool).

Good luck with whatever you go with :thumbs:
 

Crystal

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Big White will struggle to hold your attention IMO. Nice easy family place, not high on top end terrain at all. And frankly a bit dull IMO.
Interesting to hear you say that.... you need to spend a day with me and some local friends...ski the runs between the runs, the hard to find meadows and bowls. :)
 

absentskier

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Interesting to hear you say that.... you need to spend a day with me and some local friends...ski the runs between the runs, the hard to find meadows and bowls. :)
Yeah absolutely, there is some good skiing to be had there. And when it's foggy, it's between the runs where you want to be.
 
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BoofHead

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If you went to either SS or BW you might even consider an overnighter or two at Apex if you were getting bored.
Our first OS trip (20years ago) was 6 weeks in Canada; 1 week at Apex, 3weeks at Big White and 2 weeks at Silver Star. Kids were 3&5 and a BW/SS combined season pass kept costs down. BW/SS season passes probably not a thing now.
 

Sbooker

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If you went to either SS or BW you might even consider an overnighter or two at Apex if you were getting bored.
Our first OS trip (20years ago) was 6 weeks in Canada; 1 week at Apex, 3weeks at Big White and 2 weeks at Silver Star. Kids were 3&5 and a BW/SS combined season pass kept costs down. BW/SS season passes probably not a thing now.
Now Red is on Ikon there's the chance of staying in a relatively small geographical area and getting 7 days at Revelstoke, 7 at Red and 7 at Lake Louise/Sunshine. Sounds like a nice way to spend a month given a day or two between areas and maybe a diversion to Whitewater, Kicking Horse etc for a day here and there.
 
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Skichic2

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Now Red is on Ikon there's the chance of staying in a relatively small geographical area and getting 7 days at Revelstoke, 7 at Red and 7 at Lake Louise/Sunshine. Sounds like a nice way to spend a month given a day or two between areas and maybe a diversion to Whitewater, Kicking Horse etc for a day here and there.
You just described my (hopefully) 2022 trip, but 5 days at each plus 10 at Whistler.
 

Skichic2

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Fancy. Epic and Ikon.:p
Well the Ikon was supposed to be for next year, but I will defer it. And have now put a deposit on Epic for next year. So might as well take advantage. Last trip was epic and MC, similar without Red.
 

Sbooker

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Well the Ikon was supposed to be for next year, but I will defer it. And have now put a deposit on Epic for next year. So might as well take advantage. Last trip was epic and MC, similar without Red.
Sounds great. I expect to have an extended period somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere in 21/22. I'm thinking mid December to the end of March. Canada is a big chance.

Did you get the full Epic so you can get the 7 days at Fernie/Kicking Horse?
 

Skichic2

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Sounds great. I expect to have an extended period somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere in 21/22. I'm thinking mid December to the end of March. Canada is a big chance.

Did you get the full Epic so you can get the 7 days at Fernie/Kicking Horse?
No the Australian Epic.
 

sly_karma

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Value for money loads it up in favour of the Interior Big Three: BW, SS, SP. So much ski in/out accoms so there's a lot of choice. Whistler has the big terrain but the crowds and sheer size make it pretty confronting for first time visitor with family in tow. Those can be overcome but the steep prices remain, especially for ski in/out. Seriously any of the interior three probably have close to or even more ski in/out rooms than WB.

For the needs/wants expressed by the OP I'd select SS for the best combination of challenging terrain for him, green/blue for her and top quality snow school. SS by a bit, but any of the three would make them happy.
 

Kash

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This thread has been fascinating to me. I've ridden heaps of north america, but only Whistler and Big White within Canada. Loved Whistler (but not the prices/crowds), and Big White was good but wouldnt rush back but had always written the idea of Sun Peaks off as being a resort for family skiing only. Checking out the above, looking for affordable ski school for 3 kids and the powderhounds comments it looks amazing. I'll also be considering it now also - especially with 4300 skiable acres.
 
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dawooduck

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Red Mountain for an alternative that will provide some more interesting skiing whilst accommodating the whole family. Also Rossland town 15 mins away for down days.

SP is nice in that PB with a village kind of way, certainly ticks all the boxes if a bit contrived.
 
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Lady Penelope

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Sun Peaks is a large resort with a variety of single and double black diamond runs as well as the cruiser runs plus off-piste. It is a lovely family resort but it has its share of challenging terrain too.
 
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Chalkie

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I have to add my discouragement for Whistler. It is fantastic and I love skiing there and have skied there a lot over the years. But it can get very crowded, is breathtakingly expensive now and unless you're right at the lifts (and paying serious $$$), the logistics with a family getting to and from lifts would be irritating I should think.

I have not yet skied at Sun Peaks (having my first trip this season), but from what everyone says and what I've learned about SP, it strikes me it would fit your needs the best.
 

absentskier

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Red Mountain for an alternative that will provide some more interesting skiing whilst accommodating the whole family. Also Rossland town 15 mins away for down days.

SP is nice in that PB with a village kind of way, certainly ticks all the boxes if a bit contrived.
I think way too many write Red off because they think it won't have enough intermediate terrain. It does IMO. And clearly it is far superior to most of the others at the top end of terrain. And a real town too (albeit very small).
 

BoofHead

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Value for money loads it up in favour of the Interior Big Three: BW, SS, SP. So much ski in/out accoms so there's a lot of choice. Whistler has the big terrain but the crowds and sheer size make it pretty confronting for first time visitor with family in tow. Those can be overcome but the steep prices remain, especially for ski in/out. Seriously any of the interior three probably have close to or even more ski in/out rooms than WB.

For the needs/wants expressed by the OP I'd select SS for the best combination of challenging terrain for him, green/blue for her and top quality snow school. SS by a bit, but any of the three would make them happy.
Ditto. Have been to all 3 a couple of times with youngsters. SS would be my pick as well.
 

Captain Caveman

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First Post back in here in over 10 years. So long so that my old profile has disappeared.

Wanted to also add a few things that may sway your thinking and picking up on the fact you may have multiple families and why in my opinion Sun Peaks would be a slightly better choice over Silver Star and Big White. Taking nothing away for SS and BW as I love them both .
With SP there is such good lift placement with respect to the runs and the village and the fact that most runs flow and funnel back into the main village. With this no matter how large your group is there is less planning needed as to who is skiing with who and at what time etc that you meet. Just stand at the bottom between the 2 main chairs and you will bump into your crew eventually.
This also benefits immensely if there is a large group of kids. The resort is so safe and with a little bit of trust we often let the kids ski by themselves in particular parts of the resort where taking a wrong turn doesn't have them km's away or dropping into double blacks. Strongly recommend a whole bunch of radios.
Your choices are spot on in regards to terrain, steepness, snow quality , lack of crowds , bang for your buck, views,ski in ski out, funky village vibes etc etc . All 3 have differences so possibly don't rule out a road trip and get to see all 3.
 

zac150

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I’ve skied all the resorts recommended and to be honest the one we are planning to head back to is Sunpeaks.

As others have said BW had fog issues for us and whilst the trees were fun I found it a bit meh. It is however basically a club med, no village really just a cluster of shops. But ski school is awesome and the kids amenities like skating etc are very good hence the club med tag.

silver star is the same, as big white albeit it has the best kids amenities of all the resorts, we loved the pond. The skiing however was mixed some great runs on the back side of the hill but front side wasn’t as good.

Whistler is awesome but as has been said before the snow is mixed; when it’s on it’s on but when it’s off it’s boring as bat xxxx. It may also challenge given the diversity of skiers in the group.

Sunpeaks is my winner as you get diversity of skiing a true village feel, decorated for Christmas and great ski schools and programs.

having said all that I wouldn’t rule out driving about, our last trip we had a bit of everything which made things fun. We stayed in a unit in the heart of whistler, ski in ski out in Sunpeaks and in a cute cottage in silver star. This gave everyone a true feeling for ski holidays ( we have done similar before with whistler, big white, lake Louise banff etc).

also look into Vancouver as there are some really fun Christmas things to do like huge light displays in the park and Granville island.
 
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Shouldastayed

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Another option worth considering is Panorama. Its never busy and has great long runs for all abilities. It has some of the best terrain for progression stepping up from super easy greens through to longggg double blacks. Its mostly ski in ski out or only short walks, plus the scenery is as good as any in Canada. If you are there for a month you have day trip options to multiple other resorts within a couple of hours for a change - Kicking Horse, Lake Louise, Kimberley, Fernie, Sunshine. It doesn't have as many non skiing options as some of the others already mentioned, but it will give you more of a Canadian wilderness experience if thats of interest.
 

sly_karma

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This is good advice - and Pano is unique in that it is locally owned now but has great infrastructure and a nicely designed slopeside village from the days when it was part of the same ownership group as Whistler. Kids will go crazy for the outdoor hot pools and waterslides facility.
 
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Sbooker

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This is good advice - and Pano is unique in that it is locally owned now but has great infrastructure and a nicely designed slopeside village from the days when it was part of the same ownership group as Whistler. Kids will go crazy for the outdoor hot pools and waterslides facility.
Get’s less snow than most of the other hills I believe. Reliable early season?
 

absentskier

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I’ve skied all the resorts recommended and to be honest the one we are planning to head back to is Sunpeaks.

As others have said BW had fog issues for us and whilst the trees were fun I found it a bit meh. It is however basically a club med, no village really just a cluster of shops. But ski school is awesome and the kids amenities like skating etc are very good hence the club med tag.

silver star is the same, as big white albeit it has the best kids amenities of all the resorts, we loved the pond. The skiing however was mixed some great runs on the back side of the hill but front side wasn’t as good.

Whistler is awesome but as has been said before the snow is mixed; when it’s on it’s on but when it’s off it’s boring as bat xxxx. It may also challenge given the diversity of skiers in the group.

Sunpeaks is my winner as you get diversity of skiing a true village feel, decorated for Christmas and great ski schools and programs.

having said all that I wouldn’t rule out driving about, our last trip we had a bit of everything which made things fun. We stayed in a unit in the heart of whistler, ski in ski out in Sunpeaks and in a cute cottage in silver star. This gave everyone a true feeling for ski holidays ( we have done similar before with whistler, big white, lake Louise banff etc).

also look into Vancouver as there are some really fun Christmas things to do like huge light displays in the park and Granville island.
The biggest issue I have with the interior resorts is that the “villages” are small manufactured places with no soul. It’s why my personal preference, particularly for longer trips, is a resort/ town combo. I love strolling around a beautiful real town after a day on the slopes (or in a day off). Not all that easy to find that combination in Canada though.
 

zac150

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The biggest issue I have with the interior resorts is that the “villages” are small manufactured places with no soul. It’s why my personal preference, particularly for longer trips, is a resort/ town combo. I love strolling around a beautiful real town after a day on the slopes (or in a day off). Not all that easy to find that combination in Canada though.

true and I guess i feel the same, one of the reasons I’m not a fan of one NSW resort which just doesn’t have any feel for me.

I was surprised with Sunpeaks which I thought had managed that village feel where silver star and big white failed. Sure it’s not a banff, fernie or Revelstoke but it had enough in terms of shops and feel but maintained the ability to be the “get your Canada experience in one stop” capability.

I tend to agree the Canada resorts tend to be a compromise / juggling act between access, travel time, club facilities (ponds tubing etc), genuine town, access to larger town, skiing for the advanced family member and skiing for all the family. Not easy.
 

Crystal

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Get’s less snow than most of the other hills I believe. Reliable early season?
yes less snow and early can be sketchy...but that's everywhere. Panorama is in a weird location that does strange things with weather....big blue ice cookies can pop up on the runs :( but that said it is an awesome hill, we loved it and had our next Dec trip not been cancelled due to this pox we would have been at Panorama for 2 weeks :)
 

sly_karma

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The biggest issue I have with the interior resorts is that the “villages” are small manufactured places with no soul. It’s why my personal preference, particularly for longer trips, is a resort/ town combo. I love strolling around a beautiful real town after a day on the slopes (or in a day off). Not all that easy to find that combination in Canada though.
True that Canada doesn't really have any true towns with skiing right from them. Kimberley is almost there, Rossland and Fernie close behind but still it's a short drive to the lifts. Resort villages aren't real towns, so that is not what they're selling. The product is quality snow and terrain with uncrowded slopes and affordable accoms.
 

Inclder

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The advice here is invaluable! Thanks.

Having given the whole plan a little more thought, I was thinking something like the following:

  1. Depart Brisbane to Vancouver: approx 17th December
  2. Spend ~5 days around Vancouver and nearby national parks.
  3. Christmas: Whistler for ~4-5 days + 1 day transfer
  4. New Year Week: On mountain (somewhere like Red, Revelstoke or Panorama) + 1 day transfer
  5. WC 7th January: 6 days on mountain at Silver Star + 1 day transfer
  6. WC 14th January: 6 days on mountain at Sun Peaks + 1 day transfer
  7. WC 21st January: 6 days on mountain at Big White + 1 day transfer
  8. Depart Vancouver approx. 28th January in order to be back in Brisbane for start of School
Some of the families coming are really keen to tick the Whistler box, hence I figured do a white Christmas there and get out ASAP. Seems a bit like the 'Niseko-effect' if I'm honest....

Thoughts?

Too many transfers?
Wrong order of resorts?

I figure that being our first trip to Canada, sussing out a load of resorts is best, that way in future trips when we may not have as long, we will have a better idea on where to go.
 
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zac150

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What legs says, you will pay a lot more for accommodation between Christmas and the first week of January and this will be a lot more at Whistler than elsewhere.

also don’t expect Whistler to offer anything special due to Christmas or New Years, I’ve done two New Years there and honestly Thredbo does far more for New Years than Whistler.

also your trip seems to bounce about a little, personally I’d go sunpeaks, silverstar and then big white.

for me I’d travel as far out first then make my way back, you could do Red, big white, silverstar, Sunpeaks and then Whistler, you will likely get better conditions this way as well.
 

Legs Akimbo

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When I was skiing with my school then uni aged daughter the savings by delaying our departure to the 2nd or 3rd week in January (depending on when low season flying kicked in), with uni holidays as opposed to school holidays, were considerable. A combination of low season airfares and accommodation still being low season made a decent difference.
 
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Chalkie

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The advice here is invaluable! Thanks.

Having given the whole plan a little more thought, I was thinking something like the following:

  1. Depart Brisbane to Vancouver: approx 17th December
  2. Spend ~5 days around Vancouver and nearby national parks.
  3. Christmas: Whistler for ~4-5 days + 1 day transfer
  4. New Year Week: On mountain (somewhere like Red, Revelstoke or Panorama) + 1 day transfer
  5. WC 7th January: 6 days on mountain at Silver Star + 1 day transfer
  6. WC 14th January: 6 days on mountain at Sun Peaks + 1 day transfer
  7. WC 21st January: 6 days on mountain at Big White + 1 day transfer
  8. Depart Vancouver approx. 28th January in order to be back in Brisbane for start of School
Some of the families coming are really keen to tick the Whistler box, hence I figured do a white Christmas there and get out ASAP. Seems a bit like the 'Niseko-effect' if I'm honest....

Thoughts?

Too many transfers?
Wrong order of resorts?

I figure that being our first trip to Canada, sussing out a load of resorts is best, that way in future trips when we may not have as long, we will have a better idea on where to go.

First, what an amazing trip you are planning!

Secondly, some comments on the specifics.

As others have observed, Whistler at Christmas/New Year is nightmarish. Accommodation prices are at a premium. Crowds are enormous. I've vowed never to go to Whistler again at that time. I'd be inclined to leave Whistler to the end of your trip. It is close to Vancouver so leaving Canada will be less of a drama than coming from somewhere inland.

I'd be inclined to spend Christmas in Vancouver. There's lot of nice Christmas things to do (lights displays etc) and other fun things. You are unlikely to get a white Christmas though. If you're hell bent on a white Christmas, I'd say Lake Louise is a place that you'd be guaranteed one (I've spent a Christmas there and it was terrific).

Revelstoke is not an "on mountain" place (unless you stay at the base of the lifts, but then you are missing the charm of Revelstoke itself). The town of Revelstoke is charming and therefore worthy of staying there, but the ski hill is a 5 to 10 min drive out of town. Also, while Revelstoke has a lot to offer the advanced skier, it has less to offer those not at that level. I've just come back from Revelstoke, and it wouldn't be my first choice to take a family or group of families of mixed ability for any length of time, whereas Sun Peaks and Panorama really fit the bill of catering to all levels of skiers and with great infrastructure in terms of lifts and "village" facilities.

The other thing to bear in mind about transfers is @sly_karma's guide to driving in Canada thread. You might get lucky and have clear roads every time you change resorts. Or you might have the nightmarish winter storms that some of the passes are prone to. The basic rule is to allow plenty of time and the ability to change plans if necessary. Have a read of that thread as it is full of good information.

Like @zac150 observed, I'd be inclined to head to the interior after you've spent a few days getting over jet lag etc in Vancouver, and then came back to the coast. If you go as far as the powder highway hills (Kicking Horse, Panorama), and you have a month at hand, you could also think about Lake Louise/Banff in Alberta.

Let me give some more thought to order (won't be for a few days - I'm heading to Whistler tomorrow to do some more skiing), and in the meantime, the other western Canada experts here may also offer some good advice in this regard.
 
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Legs Akimbo

Grumblebum
Ski Pass
Jan 17, 2014
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Coastal suburban boonies.
First, what an amazing trip you are planning!

Secondly, some comments on the specifics.

As others have observed, Whistler at Christmas/New Year is nightmarish. Accommodation prices are at a premium. Crowds are enormous. I've vowed never to go to Whistler again at that time. I'd be inclined to leave Whistler to the end of your trip. It is close to Vancouver so leaving Canada will be less of a drama than coming from somewhere inland.

I'd be inclined to spend Christmas in Vancouver. There's lot of nice Christmas things to do (lights displays etc) and other fun things. You are unlikely to get a white Christmas though. If you're hell bent on a white Christmas, I'd say Lake Louise is a place that you'd be guaranteed one (I've spent a Christmas there and it was terrific).

Revelstoke is not an "on mountain" place (unless you stay at the base of the lifts, but then you are missing the charm of Revelstoke itself). The town of Revelstoke is charming and therefore worthy of staying there, but the ski hill is a 5 to 10 min drive out of town. Also, while Revelstoke has a lot to offer the advanced skier, it has less to offer those not at that level. I've just come back from Revelstoke, and it wouldn't be my first choice to take a family or group of families of mixed ability for any length of time, whereas Sun Peaks and Panorama really fit the bill of catering to all levels of skiers and with great infrastructure in terms of lifts and "village" facilities.

The other thing to bear in mind about transfers is @sly_karma's guide to driving in Canada thread. You might get lucky and have clear roads every time you change resorts. Or you might have the nightmarish winter storms that some of the passes are prone to. The basic rule is to allow plenty of time and the ability to change plans if necessary. Have a read of that thread as it is full of good information.

Like @zac150 observed, I'd be inclined to head to the interior after you've spent a few days getting over jet lag etc in Vancouver, and then came back to the coast. If you go as far as the powder highway hills (Kicking Horse, Panorama), and you have a month at hand, you could also think about Lake Louise/Banff in Alberta.

Let me give some more thought to order (won't be for a few days - I'm heading to Whistler tomorrow to do some more skiing), and in the meantime, the other western Canada experts here may also offer some good advice in this regard.
On the transfer thing. I have always allowed for a couple of days in my city of eventual departure (usually LA, and usually Disneyland) to allow for the vicissitudes of winter travel. It has paid off a couple of times when I have had trouble getting out of the interior. I don't think I have ever had a North American winter trip without some disruption to airline or road travel arrangements.
 
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bluess57

Hard Yards
Aug 2, 2014
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imo, wrong ordering here:-

WC 7th January: 6 days on mountain at Silver Star + 1 day transfer
WC 14th January: 6 days on mountain at Sun Peaks + 1 day transfer
WC 21st January: 6 days on mountain at Big White + 1 day transfer

Do Sun Peaks 1st, then either SS / BW. SS & BW are "close" to each other
 

zac150

A Local
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Mar 19, 2010
6,021
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I’ll add a few more points just to really throw the mind. 1 day transfer is fine between the smaller resorts (Sunpeaks big white and silverstar) but any time you add a pass into the travel, add a day.

we have been really lucky with the coq but have vowed never to leave only a day ever again. We left silver star and avoided the storm which had shut the road, but let me tell you the road was a mess (50+ cars off the road). If that storm had been 8 hours later we would have been in trouble.

we have also been held up by avalanche at Revelstoke and luckily had taken @sly_karma advice to leave un planned days to allow for storms. Again we dodged a bullet and just checked into a lodge, we sat at the bar drinking watching the traffic sit there (road was closed for 12 hours).

The one challenge on the trip is that you will likely start with a challenging resort and finish with one. The families that don’t ski as much will get far more from Whistler last. If possible I’d go big white first and then any other resort if you can get an even loop, or ditch big white and as @Chalkie suggests add Banff and panorama to the list.
 
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