Crudely speaking western Canada can be divided into two zones – the coast and the interior. These are two distinct climatic zones that have particular characteristics associated with them. We have highlighted some of the main differences below but there are other more subtle ones that can also be important. Ultimately what’s right for you will depend on the kind of experience you are looking for.
Generally speaking the Coast Mountains of British Columbia tend to get more snow, the climate is milder and they have fewer persistent avalanche problems. This can mean that it’s possible to ski steeper terrain more often and that the choice of terrain is more extensive. There is some good tree skiing on the coast but it tends to be more of the gladed variety than it does skiing amongst the big old growth forests of the interior.
As you move east towards the interior and the Rockies it generally becomes colder, is sunnier and snows less. As a result the snowpack is often thinner and weaker which can lead to persistent avalanche problems and limited skiing options. This is also where you get the ultra-dry snow that Canada is famous for and if it’s deep the skiing will be epic. If it’s not so deep and there is a hard base underneath it can become a bit scratchy.
We have skied or guided clients in all of the different areas you see below (as well as many others) and take pride in telling you exactly what to expect. We are confident that there is enough choice here to satisfy every level of skier or snowboarder from confident intermediate right through to seasoned pro.