This post by Margo Pfeiff was originally published on the Hello BC website.
Just because you don’t ski or snowboard doesn’t mean you can’t immerse yourself in a British Columbia winter. There are at least a dozen ways to play in the snow while your family or buddies hit the slopes.
Actually, you can join them schussing downhill on a Canadian invention: a chauffeur-driven Sno-Limo. This gravity-powered chair-on-skis is pulled by a guide, and can be found on Big White, Sun Peaks, or overlooking Vancouver on Grouse Mountain.
Tackle a new skill on Big White’s Ice Climbing Tower, an 18-metre glistening four-sided pillar for beginner to advanced routes. Soar above snow-covered rainforest on a Whistler-Blackcomb zipline, or bungee jump over a glacial river. Grab a fat-tire bike and ride through the snow in Fernie and Whitewater Ski Resort, or give your adrenaline a workout by tubing — whizzing down a track on an inner tube — at nearly all BC ski resorts.
For a calmer experience (more chill?) try ice fishing atop one of many frozen mountain lakes surrounding Sun Peaks Resort and try your luck at landing a few hard-fighting, great-tasting wild rainbow trout.
Snowshoeing is offered at most ski resorts. On Vancouver Island’s Mount Washington, routes are through alpine meadows and impressive old-growth forests. Fondue outings, often using headlamps, are also popular on snowshoes treks. On Vancouver’s North Shore, Cypress Mountain serves chocolate and cheese fondues in a heritage lodge with downtown’s lights twinkling below. They also offer guided full moon and music night tours.
Or, jump on a Snowcat or guided snowmobile ride up to Blackcomb Mountain’s 1,800-metre high Crystal Hut for a candle-lit fondue dinner in a log lodge.
Fly along a snowy trail with only the sounds of your rushing sled and panting troupe of huskies while dog sledding amid towering trees along Whistler’s Callaghan Valley. At Kicking Horse Mountain Resort dog-sledding adventures end with a warm drink in front of a fire in a cabin.
Glide through the forest on Apex Mountain Resort’s one-kilometre skating loop that lit up magically at night. For a true Canadian experience, skate on one-acre, naturally-frozen Brewer’s Pond in the middle of the forest at Silver Star Mountain Resort.
There’s something romantic about snow and sleighs. Listen to sleigh bells ringing through forests and quaint villages like Sun Peaks as a horse pulls you along through the powder. Or cosy up under a blanket with a hot chocolate at Big White for a ride in an old-fashioned sleigh drawn by Clydesdale horses. And what could be better than meeting up with your group for an après-ski sleigh ride under the stars to dinner in a rustic cabin in the woods?