Big White Ski Resort, or simply Big White, is a ski resort in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, 56 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of Kelowna.
Big White is situated in British Columbia, Canada, in the Okanagan Valley area. The mountain’s peak lies at 2,319 m (7,608 ft), with a vertical drop of 777 m (2,549 ft) and 16 lifts serving it. The mountain gets 750 cm of snowfall every year. It has a patrolled area of 2,765 acres (11 km2) out of a total skiable area of 7,355 acres (30 km2). Big White boasts the biggest resort night skiing area in Western Canada, at 38 acres. It has a center hamlet with lodging, restaurants, bars, and stores. The town is located 1,755 meters (5,758 feet) above sea level. Big White Mountain, with over 100 defined runs, is one of the highest peaks in the southern Monashees.
Big White, a purpose-built ski community in Canada’s British Columbia province, is a completely ski-in/ski-out wintersports destination. Aside from the doorstep skiing, all of the contemporary resort’s amenities are within walking distance. The vertical drops are quite low, as they are at many North American ski resorts, but the efficient lift system takes you up the mountain fast.
Big White is situated in Canada’s Okanagan Valley, in the Monashee mountain range. This region of lakes and rolling hills is well-known for its warm weather, ice wine, and champagne powder. Snowfall is abundant, with historical records indicating an average of 24 feet (7 meters) every winter.
Big White ski resort is perfect for families since it is so simple to navigate, and there are many family-friendly activities and amenities, such as the award-winning Kid’s Centre.
This fantastic, picture-perfect, snow-sure resort has considerable piste diversity, impeccably groomed slopes, and the debut of Big White’s new, revolutionary 6-passenger chair lift, the ‘Snow Ghost Express’, this season. As a result, Big White will now have 16 lifts, with an incredible uphill capacity of over 28,000 skiers per hour!
Big White info card
Skiing in Big White
There is enough of off-piste terrain to discover on Big White ski vacations, as well as the renowned TELUS terrain park with its 500ft long super-pipe, rails, jumps, and boarder-cross course.
Big White ski trips are an excellent alternative for family ski vacations. Big White’s ski school has a stellar reputation and provides a wide range of classes for both adults and children, including starting programs, cross-country skiing, and performance skiing.
Beginners will like the wonderful nursery slopes and several lengthy, simple runs to practice their new abilities on during their Big White ski vacation.
During Big White ski vacations, families and intermediate skiers are especially well cared for. There are kilometers of nicely groomed blue and green routes throughout the mountain, as well as a few simple black runs for more experienced intermediate skiers.
There are plenty of possibilities for specialists on Big White ski vacations to hurtle down exhilarating black runs, with some extremely tough black-diamond lines in the award-winning Cliff portion of the mountain.
Over the years, Big White has received various medals and accolades, including Best Powder, Best Family Skiing, and Best Grooming in 2006. Ski vacations in Big White are an excellent alternative for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.
Big White Skiing for Novices
Even complete newcomers may ride the magic carpet in Happy Valley. One advantage of this place is that novices may learn in peace in a specialized novice area free of hoons, and there are other things to do there if you need a break from skiing. The only small drawback is that the location is not close to the main town and requires a gondola ride to get there.
The next step is to take a couple of easy runs from the Plaza chair, which conveniently drops down from the mid-mountain hamlet, or to run down to Happy Valley. These, too, are mostly frequented by novices.
The majority of the other chair lifts offer green runs that may be attempted by experienced novices who wish to explore. These are a bit steeper (for example, Millie’s Mile is rather steep for a green course) and intersect more difficult runs. The huge Ogo Slow run down to the Gem Lake chair demands a lot of effort and should not be undertaken on a low-vis day, and don’t even think about climbing up the T-bar during the Big White Out because you could become too comfortable with a snow ghost!
Intermediates – Big White Skiing
Big White is intermediate bliss on sticks or a snowboard, with 54 percent of terrain graded blue, including plenty of cruisers, some steep groomed slopes, and well-spaced glades. Big White is ideal for both low-end and strong intermediate riders, and it has our highest recommendation. Sun Peaks may have somewhat better terrain for high-end intermediates, but Big White is significantly superior than Silver Star, which lacks grooming.
For the Family/Children
When it comes to family catering, Big White has won many awards (they score a best ski resort in Canada award from us for family friendliness). The specialized beginners’ section is ideal, and many chairs have courses for varying abilities, allowing the family to be close together.
Many beginning routes travel directly by the Big White lodge, which may be handy for keeping a watch on older youngsters. The Hummingbird and Easy Street runs pass directly by numerous lodges, while several green runs pass by lodging in the middle of the village.
With a 15-hectare lit area, night skiing is a terrific alternative for the whole family.
Pipe and Terrain Park
Big White offers a big terrain park with three lanes of varying sizes of jumps, rails, and boxes for riders of all levels. In addition, depending on the amount of snow available, the terrain park offers a regular half pipe as well as a skier/boarder cross course that is a lot of fun.
Big White Advanced Skiing
Because there are so many off-piste nooks and crannies and trees to play in, the number of 22 percent black terrain may understate the amount of Big White skiing for skilled riders. Big White ski resort features a plethora of untracked black lines that rapidly turn into moguls to test your quads. “Shakey Knees” is a fitting name.
The Gem Lake location is ideal for expert riders, and there is usually more snow here. Sun Rype bowl is a fantastic powder playground, particularly on days with excellent visibility and after a major dump. Nothing is especially steep, but there is a lot of fun in between the snow ghosts, such as between Black Bear and the chair lift, and there are delightful small trees below the Falcon Chair that go down to the Gem Lake Express.
Big White Snowboarding and Skiing for Experts
Big White features just a small area of terrain for experts, which is located inside the alpine bowl served by the Cliff chair lift. The degree of difficulty is often determined by the snow conditions, and if there are a lot of death biscuits, it may be best avoided.
The major level of difficulty is determined by the entry into the bowl, the size of the cornice, and the quantity of exposed rocks. There is generally an easy way in through the Camel’s Back route, where you may go over the woods for fresh dry powder. To get to the chair lift, there may be a short herringbone.
Access to the bowl is also quite simple through the Cliff run, which is located just next to the Cliff chair lift. The Parachute bowl to the skiers’ left, on the other hand, includes far more difficult entry features such as cornices, chutes, rock bands, and small cliffs (depending on the amount of snow cover).
The majority of the bowl is deemed in-bounds and is patrolled by ski patrol; nonetheless, the bowl is fairly steep and prone to avalanches. Appropriate avalanche equipment and safeguards are advised.
The Playground is also a double black run, but it’s a waste of time unless there’s a lot of snow cover or you don’t care about the base on your skis or snowboard.
Big White features some side-country to the skiers’ right of Kalina’s Rainbow that leads to the Moonlight run. Another popular sidecountry route is a stroll to the skiers’ left along the relatively flat ridge from the Cliff chair, with lines leading down to the chair lift.
Big White Snow
“It’s the Snow,” Big White’s tagline, is extremely excellent, but I’m not sure whether this is the strength they should be boasting about. Big White averages 7.5 metres of snowfall per year, with a preference for persistent, regular snowfalls rather than large dumps. This is a good quantity of snowfall, although it is significantly less than the average for a ski resort in British Columbia.
When it comes to snow quality, tourists from Eastern Canada will be in ecstasy and will undoubtedly believe that “it’s the snow” at Big White. The snow is relatively dry and significantly better than Whistler Blackcomb’s coastal powder.
Snow ghosts are also a source of pride for Big White Canada. While aesthetically appealing, snow ghosts are just a result of damp and windy weather conditions that aren’t favorable to superlative powder conditions.
To get started, Big White ski resort need a solid snow base. Summer grooming has made this less of a problem on the groomed slope, but some of the other routes and off-piste need a thick layer of snow. The Falcon chair, for example, has some of the greatest terrain on the slope, but it is often the last to open owing to insufficient snow.
Big White Weather
Visibility issues at Big White are more typically caused by foggy weather. Due to the frequent foggy circumstances, some unpleasant individuals derogatorily refer to the ski resort as “Big White Out.”
When the “Big White For” strikes, seek out tree-lined runs or glades with good visibility. However, if you have many pairs of goggles, you may wish to bring the ones that are ideal for flat light.
Because of its position, the temperatures are moderate. It’s warmer than the Rockies, but cooler than Whistler, and it’s very chilly when you take in the wind chill, especially on the resort’s western side (e.g. Gem Lake chair), where it’s often windy.
Big White Crowds
Big White is not as congested as some of the major European ski destinations, such as Whistler, or the high-profile Colorado ski resorts. However, when compared to other BC ski resorts like Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, and Whitewater, Big White gets a lot of skier traffic, especially on weekends (population of the Kelowna district is 180,000).
On weekdays, the east side of the mountain sees higher skier traffic, since more destination tourists choose to ski here. Because the Gem Lake region is popular with residents, the crowds thin out on weekends. Lift lines are seldom an issue, and you can expect to wait no more than a few minutes to board a chair.
Facilities & Activities
The hamlet is remarkably tiny for such a huge ski resort, with just a handful of stores and roughly 15 eating and drinking places. However, the amenities are more than enough to meet the demands of most ski vacationers. Day lodges, equipment rentals, child care, and a fantastic ski school with a robust kids’ program are among the well-developed services.
There is also evening entertainment for the youngsters, as well as a variety of family activities. Ice skating, ice climbing, ice hockey, mega tubing, and small snowmobiles are among the activities available. Regular family activities, such as carnival evenings and fireworks, are held at the resort.
Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and day spas are just a few of the other Big White activities.