This car-free and purpose-built village offers some very good ski-in ski-out accommodation and is very family-friendly. As with all purpose-built on-mountain villages in this part of the world, it lacks a little charm. But it makes up for that with facilities, with a reported $125 million spent in the last few years on upgrading lifts and village infrastructure, not to mention the new-for-2013/14 $400,000 grooming machine, making the beginner and intermediate slopes super-flat.
Big White is often winning awards from international press, such as family-friendly and best grooming, making it the resort of choice for intermediates and beginners. The Big White's Tot Town Day Care will keep the little non-skiers happy and there’s even a children-only shop, full of kids' ski clothing and sweets.
Rolling would best describe this mountain. Not all of it, as there are some very testing areas, but it’s mainly rolling pistes which run through the trees, making Big White a truly fantastic mountain for beginners and intermediates. There are some perfect beginner slopes, and mile upon mile of expertly groomed pistes to progress onto - 72% of the 105km of piste are either green or blue.
Advanced skiers and snowboarders should not be put off, especially those that like to get some air, as the TELUS Terrain Park is world class. It boasts well-graded lines, so once you hit the first jump or rail you can keep going safe in the knowledge that you won’t be throwing yourself over anything above your standard.
The Boarder/Skier-Cross course is very good and often hosts regional, national and World Cup events. Also the very nature of the rolling lower mountainside makes for some perfect blue runs which, taken at speed, offer up almost continuous rolling hit after hit. The annual snowfall of 7.5 metres of BC Powder shouldn’t be sniffed at either. Night Skiing is possible 3.30-8pm Tuesday to Saturday.
Off the slopes and apres Ski
Snowshoe Sam's is the best bet for a couple of beers post ski, with live music and average bar food. It’s been voted Canada’s #1 Ski Bar in a few North American magazines, and does boast a good pub atmosphere with DJs on non-band nights.
The Moose Lounge, in the Happy Valley Lodge, has evening drinks deals, which is great when the kids are being entertained by one of the many post-ski activities on offer; there is also live entertainment here daily between 4-6pm (it also does a good breakfast). If you’re looking for Italian, then the 6 Degrees Bistro is the place to go.
Bars and clubs
The Moose Lounge