By Pat Grubb
Everyone knows about Whistler Blackcomb, the mega-resort 90 minutes north of Vancouver. Huge advertising budgets and vast media coverage has ensured top of mind awareness for snow buffs for years now. The 2010 Winter Olympics and this year’s $1.06 billion purchase of the resort by Vail Resorts has only solidified its status as perhaps the top ski destination in North America.
There’s no question there is a certain appeal in visiting a slick ski town with all the latest lift technology and the fancy restaurants and shops. But if you’re looking for an authentic experience, you’re going to be headed for the smaller ski towns whose only focus is to provide the best skiing or snowboarding possible. Exhibit A? The B.C. interior.
Once you leave the coast and head inland, you’ll find mountains and facilities that more than rival Whistler Blackcomb for their terrain and snow conditions. The Interior Mountains are known for their champagne powder, conditions rarely encountered close to the coast. You’ll find friendly locals, casual cafes and accommodations that don’t require a loan from the World Bank. Whether you drive or fly, you can reach any of these ski areas within a day. Best plan of all? Make it an epic road trip and hit as many of them as you can! x