Destinations

Canada: A ski resort for every client – 14 Dec 2006

Whether you’re an experienced skier or have never set foot on snow, Canada offers such a variety of ski resorts that it can be hard to decide which to book.

You wouldn’t want to send a total beginner to a resort famed for black runs, or a pair of newly-weds to a family favourite, so we’ve asked leading ski operators to recommend their top Canadian resorts for key markets.

Absolute Beginners

Where? Big White, British Columbia
Why? With 2,750 acres of terrain for beginners and intermediates, there are plenty of practice slopes, a green (easy) run off every chairlift and loads of long blues where beginners can perfect their parallel turns. The ski school has a good reputation and the purpose-built village boasts ski in and ski out accommodation.
What else? Try out some other winter sports including ice skating on a lake, snowmobiling, tubing, snowshoeing or take a horse-drawn sleigh ride.
Sample package: Ski Independence offers seven nights’ room-only at the White Crystal Inn, from £876.

Adrenalin Junkie

Kicking Horse, British ColumbiaWhere?Kicking Horse, British Columbia
Why? Steep runs and loads of powder make this the best resort for expert skiers and confident intermediates. Little known in the UK, it’s got the highest vertical in the Canadian Rockies and there’s an average of 25 feet of powder every year. Beyond the groomed slopes there are off-piste bowls, huge moguls and awesome chutes and glades.
What else? Try heli-skiing, ice climbing, snowmobiling and sightseeing trips by helicopter. The Eagle’s Eye mountain restaurant is great for refuelling after a morning on the slopes.
Sample package: Frontier Ski has seven-night packages to the at the Copper Horse hotel, including breakfasts, from £969.

Families

Where?Jasper, Alberta
Why? The Marmot Basin area is uncrowded with lots of easy runs from almost every ski lift. There are also plenty of challenging runs for the grown ups and lots of family-friendly activities such as the Maligne Canyon ice walk, dog sledding, snowmobiling, skating, tobogganing and horse-drawn wagon rides.
What else? A Little Rascals Nursery operates daily from 8.30am-4.30pm for children aged 19 months to five-years-old. Air Canada now flies direct to Edmonton in Alberta, which reduces the transfer time by up to two hours.
Sample package: Crystal suggests combining seven nights in Jasper with two nights at the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton, which boasts a waterpark, deep-sea adventure park and ice rink. This costs from £765 per adult and £399 for children up to 12.

Romance

Lodge de la Montagne, Mount Tremblant, QuebecWhere?Why? The French influence in this resort means there are some excellent restaurants offering plenty of options for cosy dinners a deux. With 16 novice and 31 intermediate runs plus acres of ramps, rails, jumps and a superpipe the terrain offers something for everyone so would suit couples of mixed abilities.
What else? Other distractions include dog-sledding, ice climbing, snowmobiling; you can even take a romantic sleigh ride. There are also two spas offering massages.
Sample package: Ski the American Dream has seven-night packages to the Lodge de la Montagne, a stone’s throw from La Source-Acqua Club, from £686 for a studio.

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