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Fernie to Whistler: My Canada Ski Trip

Picture this: vast, untouched snowscapes stretching as far as the eye can see, punctuated by majestic peaks and valleys that scream adventure.


Winter dreams come alive here. You'll discover a treasure trove of unique attractions and features that distinguish Canadian ski destinations from the rest.


It’s vast, snowy, cold, full of super nice people, and there are plenty of adventures to have.


Hey there, my name is Shaggy Eells and I am guest posting on Connor's site. I live in a van and travel full-time. Usually, I am in North America chasing the snow.


During the 22-23 winter, I took a Canada ski trip for 2 months. It was crazy fun, and definitely worth the drive. You should do it next!


And for those with a keen interest in the science of snow, Canada is a leader in snowpack research and avalanche forecasting. It's not just about ensuring safety, but enhancing the entire skiing experience.


Road Trip Locations



Here is the route I took over 2 months.


Fernie is the first location on the map in the bottom right corner, and the last location was at Whistler, in the bottom left corner of the map.


The ideal ski trip, in my opinion, isn't a one-size-fits-all. In fact, it looks completely different for everyone!


I am writing this blog post to tell you about how I traveled through Canada. Everyone has a different view on how they should travel, and I wanted to bring light into my method of traveling through Canada. Hopefully this will give you some ideas on how to enjoy an experience tailored to your own personal preferences.


Whether it's hunting down that cold smoke powder, touring to bag some peaks, or finding the most lit après-ski hangouts, customization is king.


Fernie Alpine Resort



Absolutely recommend it! Beautiful, not a tourist destination, small mountain town vibes, driving everywhere is beautiful.


The resort has some good side country that is easily accessible.


If you snowboard, I would not go here because it requires a ton of traversing to move around the mountain.


I skied a ton of side country, and even went to a little resort called Wapiti for some night skiing.


Panorama



Ehh. I mean it wasn’t terrible. It is just mostly a racer kids mountain.


I did have a grand ol time on their hike at the top of the mountain. Although you have to take three chair lifts just to start the hike!


Beautiful 360* views (hence the name panorama) but the skiing was mediocre.


Revelstoke



10/10 loved this place! This ski resort has the most vertical rise of anywhere in North America.


On my first lap, I took 2 gondolas, 1 chair lift, hiked up to Sub peak, and then hiked up to McKenzie peak. That was 6,394 feet of vert on my first lap…….


With the higher alpine terrain, there is plenty of good snow to be found in the north-facing aspects long after a storm.


Sunshine Banff



Imagine parking in a narrow canyon, with almost no views of snow.


Then riding a gondola for 25 minutes into the high alpine and POOF! There is a full-blown ski resort at the top.


Such a wild construction plan for a ski resort, but damn does it provide for a nice experience.


While I was there, the PBR rail jam session was going down, and I was able to compete in it.



Jasper



Ok, so I didn't even go to the ski resort here because it was not on the Ikon or Epic pass. But I included this place in the blog post because it was absolutely stunning.


I have heard some horror stories about how busy this place can get in the summer and spring. Fortunately, I was there in early March, and saw almost no one.


And surprisingly, it really wasn’t that cold, but it was cold enough to scare off all of the tourists who would have crowded the place.


Random Columbian Couples Place



This just goes to show how nice Canadian people are. I met a couple in a parking lot on a hiking trail, and they asked me for a jack to fix their truck.


Their brake caliper had a random rock lodged in it, and they needed to remove it before they could drive again.


I was able to use my tools to help them, then they said that I should come over for dinner sometime soon!


The problem was that they lived about 3 hours away from this parking lot in a town called Tête Jaune Cache.


But as luck would have it, on my way to Sun Peaks, I would be driving RIGHT next to their house anyway.


So 4 days after helping them, I went over to their house and they cooked me this amazing Colombian meal.


They had moved from Columbia and established citizenship in Canada about 19 years before.


Sun Peaks



Honestly, I was not very impressed with Sun Peaks. I was there for less than one day, and then decided to leave. The skiing is pretty flat, and the side country access is rather limited. Plus I was by myself so I didn’t go out of bounds.


Whistler



Whistler Blackcomb is a legendary place for a reason.


IT’S MASSIVE!


I’m talking bigger than any other ski resort in North America.


This provides for a wonderful time to explore the resort, but there are usually TONS of tourists that fly into Vancouver and come up.


I would avoid this place on the weekends and holidays, but on non-crowded days it is super fun and adventurous.


Not to mention, there are tons of activities to do in the village itself.


The Best Part About Canada


My favorite part about Canada is how nice everyone is.


Ya-ya-ya, I know you’ve heard a million jokes about how nice Canadians are.


But seriously – it’s true! And it’s astounding. I’ve literally had Canadians walk up and give me cash because I was traveling in a van. That Colombian couple invited me over for dinner after talking to them for an hour. I’ve even met groups of skiers, and been able to spend weeks skiing with them.


I’m telling you this, because most people's biggest fear with traveling is that it will be dangerous. I assure you, Canada is very safe.


You can experience all of this too. You just need to get up there.


Budget-Friendly Skiing


Alright, I know what you are wondering at this point……


How much does this all cost?


In 2022, I averaged $17.48 per day of skiing. And no I am not just eating leftover french fries in the lodge. I have all the gear I need and live a comfortable lifestyle.


Here’s the deal: everything in Canada is about 25% cheaper. Yet another reason why Canada is great.


So head up to Canada to stretch your loonies and toonies even further.


My personal favorite style of traveling is road-tripping. It’s cheaper than flying and works extremely well if you work remotely.


Conclusion


As we've journeyed through the snow-capped landscapes of Canada, one thing is abundantly clear – Canada stands out as a premier ski destination, not just for its world-renowned ski resorts but also for its unique and friendly culture. From the mesmerizing vastness of Revelstoke's vertical rise to the awe-inspiring beauty of Jasper, every stop offers a story, a memory, and an experience.


But, beyond the pristine slopes and picturesque views, what truly sets Canada apart is the warmth of its people. Whether it's being invited over for a Colombian feast by a couple met on a trail or receiving unexpected acts of kindness from strangers, Canada's welcoming spirit is unmatched. It's not just about skiing; it's about becoming part of a community that embraces everyone.


If you're a ski enthusiast, or even if you're just beginning to entertain the idea, I cannot emphasize enough the magic that awaits you in Canada. The Canadian ski landscape is diverse, offering something for everyone – from tranquil, untouched backcountry terrains to bustling resorts buzzing with activity.


Take a leap, and immerse yourself in the Canadian winter wonderland. Or sign up for Connor’s newsletter and receive a full list of 21 places to visit around the US.


I'm curious, what is your favorite place to ski in Canada?

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about

Sierra Lifestyle

Hi, I'm Connor - a big skier who's had his share of life-altering injuries. I've turned my passion for the mountains into a lifestyle blog where I talk about outdoor adventures, injury prevention and recovery, and life hacks. Let me inspire you with stories, photos, and advice. 

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