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Possibly the most family friendly ski resort in the world, Panorama in British Colombia, Canada has a lot to offer everyone, from great piste and tree skiing, to hot springs post ski.

Overview

A large mountain, with a lot of accommodation, Panorama Mountain Village – to give it it's full name - is as purpose-built as you can get. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, as unlike some of the concrete monstrosities of the French Alps, the development here has tried to be done with a sympathetic eye. Yes, there are many high-rise condos, but they are mostly wood-clad and have alpine-style balconies.

Panorama is 20km form the charmless town of Invermere, and as such you stay on mountain. Your stay will start at Central Check-in, where you pick up your accommodation keys, your lift ticket and be informed of any other service, such as ski lessons, you may have ordered. It's such a simple system as the whole place is owned by one company, so you need only deal with one office.


Ski area

Strangely, Panorama gets a lot of stick from the people of BC, being colloquially named 'Scamorama', but this is totally unfair. Whilst admittedly, Panorama doesn't really have a local vibe and feels more of a tourist destination, it isn't over-priced, and it has some very good tree skiing (a match for any in Europe), great piste skiing over its almost 3,000 acres, and is a perfect place for a family ski trip.

The modern and comfortable lift system here, while not extensive, is efficient and opens up a huge mountain. For experts, Taynton Bowl is the place to head. This is a large bowl which, while monitored, isn't pisted - offering some steep powder descents, which are exited back to the resorts base via a long blue.

Most of the best tree skiing and black diamond pistes are off the Summit chair, but this doesn't exclude beginners from heading for the top, as there's a blue aptly called 'Get Me Down', which, in turn, leads to the Sun Bowl area, which as the name suggests is a great sunny spot to learn a few turns.

The Rockstar Terrain Park is well thought out, featuring jumps, spines, rails, boxes and freestyle moguls with lines for all abilities. The boarder cross is a real blast and is somewhere to show the kids that you can still beat them down the slopes.

One thing that stands out here is the fact that there are many choices off each chair, so mixed ability groups can ride the same lift; tackle a black or a blue before regrouping at the lift again. They also have night skiing, and heli-skiing too.


Off the slopes and apres ski

The village is split into two sections, linked by an open-air gondola, with the lower village having more house-like accommodation and the upper village being mostly large condo blocks.

The Ski Trip Lodge is the upper village's main focal point, and hosts post ski activities for children, such as pizza-making and treasure hunts. Near the Ski Trip Lodge is the open-air hot-springs pool, free to all staying guests, which is a great place for children to burn off any energy they have left after a day on the mountain.

Being so family-friendly, Panorama doesn't have a kicking nightlife, but you can grab a beer at the T-Bar and grill, best described as a sports bar. Takeaway pizzas can be grabbed from the Mile High Pizza restaurant in the lower village while those looking for a more refined meal should head to the Wildfire Rustic Grill.

All mountainside accommodation is booked direct here, with the First Tracks hostel being the most budget friendly accommodation (where you bring your own bedding), while the Riverbend Town homes are best for a large group.
// HIGHLIGHTS //
Apres Ski
6
Families
10
Lift System
8
Off the slopes
6
Off-piste
7
Resort Charm
7
Ski Area
8
Vertical drop
1225m
Ski area
2847 acres
Parks
1
Resort height
1150m
Summit
2375m
Airport
Calgary
beginner
20%
intermediate
55%
expert
25%