Story Ideas

Come spring, BC ski resorts have it all

Combine all your fave sports for a perfect day - ski in the morning, golf or fish in the afternoon

20 March 2013

The sun showers us at the top of the Franz Chair as spring nudges winter away on Whistler Mountain. The snow remains excellent, April skiing is a given in the Coast Range, but the Whistler Valley floor appears like a green linnet flitting from Whistler Golf Club all the way north to Pemberton’s Big Sky Golf and Country Club. Few landscapes compare with the British Columbia alpine when changing coats between seasons.

Mt. Washington Alpine Resort
historically receives more snow than any other ski area in British Columbia, but just because it’s still dumping at the top of Eagle Express doesn’t mean Canada’s best mountain biking trails in the Comox Valley aren’t open for some messy play. The Forbidden Plateau, fresh terrain from the Boston Main to Comox Lake, encapsulates Vancouver Island single-track riding.

The vernal melt also signals the first quality fishing of the year, as anglers hit the riverbanks to claim the early salmon runs. Visitors to Sun Peaks Resort outside of Kamloops might ski on fresh snow in the morning, then fry fresh fish that afternoon.

No room for your rod in your ski bag? No problem, thanks to the innovative Rod Loan program sponsored by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, anglers (and their kids!) can access a loaner rod and reel at the Kamloops Visitor Centre, one of two dozen fishing line library locations throughout the province.

The salmon and trout start jumping in March, but a golfer visiting the Okanagan really jumps for joy in late winter, buoyed by the famously arid conditions, consistent sunshine and rapidly warming temperatures. Silver Star Mountain Resort shredders can unwind their swings at dozens of golf courses within 90-minutes, including The Rise in adjacent Vernon, Pacific Northwest native Fred Couples only design in western Canada.

Predator Ridge Resort
, also convenient from Big White Ski Resort, presents 36 amazing holes high above Lake Okanagan between Kelowna and Vernon. The non-duffer can relax next door at Sparkling Hill Resort, featuring a set of European saunas you have to experience to believe. Or ease into a preflight tasting at Mission Hill Winery after a morning ski, the perfect finish to your trip.

Though wine and ski provides a fantastic tandem, the best daily double takes us back to Mt. Washington, where I met four adventurers one lunch who’d killed the powder that morning, but were soon trekking four hours to Tofino where they planned to surf into the evening. Crazy? Sure. But can you think of a better BC boast to share over the lengthening days of spring?

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