With plentiful snowfall, generally quiet slopes, spacious lodgings and a warm welcome, Canada has huge attractions for skiers and snowboarders. Piste grooming is great, and anyone going off-piste can safely do so without a guide because, unlike in Europe, everywhere within the ski-area boundary, however steep or challenging, is avalanche controlled and patrolled.
What’s more, Canada is good value. While holiday prices are naturally not as cheap as those in Europe because of the airfares, according to the annual ski costs survey from the Post Office in partnership with Crystal Ski Holidays, released in October, Britons get more for their money in a Canadian resort than one in the United States.
The survey compared prices in six North American resorts (as well as 25 in Europe), giving each a price index based on six-day lift pass, ski and boot hire, a mountain lunch and drinks, including coffee and beer. Costs in the three Canadian resorts – Banff, Whistler and Tremblant – were lower than in Breckenridge, Heavenly and Vail in the US.
Banff was the best value, with a price index of £563, Whistler the most expensive at £828, while in the US the total was at least £832, in Breckenridge.
New for 2018/19, the resorts of the Canadian Rockies group joined Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, meaning pass holders get free or discounted access to six Canadian resorts including Kicking Horse and Fernie.
Unless stated otherwise, prices are per person, based on two sharing a double or twin room, room only or self-catering, for seven nights, including flights and transfers.
Best for powder
This is the newest kid on the Canadian block. Until 2007/08Revelstoke was a small hill for locals served by one short lift. But a gondola and two fast chairlifts transformed it into a resort with the biggest vertical in North America (1,713m) and around 3,000 acres of slopes, which get huge amounts of powder – around 12m a year on average. The resort’s terrain is mostly ungroomed and steep. There are wonderful tree glades and a big open bowl accessed through a cliff band – it’s essential to know the best ways in. The ski school offers half- and full-day private sessions around the terrain – a must for any keen skier or snowboarder. Revelstoke’s 14-acre terrain park includes the Gnome Zone, with jumps, jibs and rollers in the trees. There’s a snowcat-skiing area right by the lift-served slopes and, new for 2018/19, a new one-day experience is available to small groups. Heliskiing can also be booked at the base area.
Revelstoke receives around 12m of powder each year
The small resort village at the foot of the slopes has a hotel, separate restaurant, bar and coffee shop. There are also places to stay in unpretentious Revelstoke town, a five-minute drive away, with a daytime bus service and a fair choice of restaurants and bars.
Where to stay
With its well-appointed condo-style suites, prime place at the foot of the slopes and an outdoor pool, hot tubs and fitness facilities, the Sutton Place Hotel exudes modern luxury. From £1,299 withFrontier Ski.
Whistler gets an average of almost 12m of snow a year and has top bowls and chutes which are usually powder filled. Big White is ideal for learning to ski powder with regular snowfalls and lots of easy intermediate slopes.