Go Snow Skiing - Better than a Winter Tonic!
If sliding down steep hills on slippery boards (ie. skiing and snowboarding) is your cup of tea then a visit to one of Vancouver Island's two ski hills is a must as part of any winter holiday. To ski or snowboard is a good way to enjoy winter and keep your spirits up in what can otherwise be a dark wet time of the year.
Vancouver Island has two operational ski resorts and both are on the central and north island. This season (2005-2006) both resorts had a late start. Snow came in early November but was melted away by a series of "banana express" storms in early December. In January 2006 we recorded the second largest total snow fall on record - over 550 cm. By March 10, 2006 the snow depth rose to 498 cm, the most snow of any snow skiing resort in North America!
1. The road to Mt. Washington was paved a number of years ago and is maintained by a dedicated mountain crew.
2. This shot is from the Sunrise Quad showing the glades beside Shum's Delight on a powder day.
3. This shot shows skiers and snowboarders proceeding down the Gully towards Linton's Loop. Just below the top of the Sunrise quad.
4. A unknown skier showing great form as he heads down the Gully towards Linton's Loop.
5. The Hawk Six-Pack chair brings skiers and boarders to a number of excellent beginner runs.
Below the main picture (left to right)
6. This picture is taken from the back bowl over the Hawk Six Pack unload area. We have marvelous snowing skiing vistas in every direction.
7. In winter 2005-2006 Mt. Washington opened the Boomerang chair and 400 acres of new double black diamond terrain. This shot is taken at the top of Beggars Cannon overlooking the Strait of Georgia. Lots of power snow skiing this day.
8. Sometimes that space between the snow and the clouds is measured in feet. Sometimes you ski and ride in the clouds but we don't remember those days as fondly!
9. Magical are the days when you head for the ski hill under a cloudy sky and discover to your absolute delight that the ski hill is above the clouds. I real winter tonic for the soul.
10. This is another of those mystical above the cloud snow skiing days. Here, however, the clouds threaten to engulf those that linger to long.
Mt. Washington operates seven days a week and has excellent downhill skiing and cross country facilities. The mountain boosts a wide variety of trails, terrain, lifts, rental accommodations and ski and snowboard lesson packages. We have been season pass holders at Mt. Washington for 18 years so we are well qualified to show you around. This year we have seen some serious powder. Check out the photos to the left.
Mt. Cain Provides More Powder
Mt. Cain is located in Mt. Cain Regional Park and is a one and a half hour drive north of Campbell River. Access if from the Island Highway 8 km south of the Wass turnoff. The access road is a 16 km gravel road maintained by the mountains' maintenance department and the forest companies.
Mt. Cain is run by the non-profit Mt. Cain Alpine Park Society and provides an excellent family ski and snowboard experience for everyone. Mt. Cain is open for snow skiing and snowboarding on Saturday, Sunday and school holidays.
Take a look at the snow skiing at Mt. Cain here.
Since Mt. Cain is located further from the coast than Mt. Washington it tends to receive more power snow. As a result it has better spring conditions in which to go skiing and snowboarding.
What Snow Skiing Means to Me
For me, snow skiing is the perfect way to spent a winters day. The best way to get through a wet and dark winter is to embrace nature. Going skiing helps fight the effects of shorter days and longer nights and light depravation. Especially invigorating are the days when we drive up through the clouds to brilliant sunshine. The company and exercise are always good for the body and the soul. If you have not tried snow skiing or snowboarding why not come visit us on the island?