You need a vacation. Bad. And you don’t have excess time or money to make it happen, which means you need to plan very, very wisely. Of course, you’ve already completed step one of the process by deciding to go on a ski trip. (If you hadn’t decided that already, we’re doing it for you now because any other type of trip is lame.) But where on Earth will you go? Europe? Japan?
You’re going to Canada, and there are two major reasons why: one being the Canadian dollar is currently valued at .76 of the US Dollar and, two, all of the ski destinations up there are much closer than you think. Did you know a flight from New York to Quebec City takes an hour and 40 minutes? Los Angeles to British Columbia in 2:45? Chicago to Calgary in 3:45? Yeah. It’s close, real close. And you need to get up there.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled the ultimate, comprehensive guide to skiing up north. Surely, you’ll find an area that’ll make you want to book a trip right now—like right now—and we guarantee that once you get there, you’ll never want to vacation anywhere else again.
The first thing you need to know about Whistler Blackcomb is that it’s the biggest ski resort in all of North America—coming in at 8,171 acres, accessed by a whopping 37 lifts. And that alone is an incredibly good reason to visit, because we’re talking about more terrain than even the most avid of skiers will ever know what to do with.
The Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine Trio
With three ski resorts, 8,000 skiable acres, 30 average annual feet of snow and a vibrant culture that you won’t find anywhere else, Banff-Lake Louise is one of our favorite areas on Earth. Tucked within the 2,564-mile Banff National Park, humans wilderness collide beautifully, here.
The Powder Highway Duo
It’s no secret that British Columbia is one of the most incredible ski destinations on Earth. With that in mind, FREESKIER readers should 100-percent consider these two beasts for winter ’16-17: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Fernie Alpine Resort. Both of these monstrous resorts are characterized as gnar, boasting seriously hair-raising terrain.
Sun Peaks Resort has to be one of the most underrated places on Earth. It’s the second largest ski resort in Canada with 4,270 acres of glorious, British Columbian terrain. Combine that with an average annual snowfall of 237 inches, and you’ve got yourself a ridiculous amount of powder skiing just waiting to be had.
Big White Ski Resort
Just a stone’s throw from the United States-Canada border, Big White Ski Resort is a British Columbia skiing haven with terrain for all levels of skiers. There, you’ll find 15 separate lifts that access 2,765 acres of terrain covered by an average of 294 inches of snow per year.
Ontario’s only mountain village resort, situated along the shores of the Georgian Bay, Blue Mountain Resort is a down-home ski destination that offers a variety of terrain—41% beginner, 13% intermediate, 46% advanced—to suit all levels of skiers.
The Canadian province of Quebec is known for a tight-knit, small-town feel, yet it’s the largest province in the country with a whopping 842,659 square miles. Covering much of that area are dozens of ski resorts. And dotting those resorts’ slopes are folks who eat, sleep and breath skiing. This place is just a flat-out skiing epicenter.
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