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Skiing Paradise Awaits: Vancouver Island's Winter Wonderland

If you’re a skiing enthusiast, Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, is a destination that should be added to your bucket list. Known for its breathtaking beauty and milder climate year round, this island paradise turns into a winter wonderland for skiers and snowboarders alike. The breathtaking views and endless skiing possibilities will have you hooked from your very first visit. Whether you are a seasoned skiing expert or stepping onto the slopes for the first time, Vancouver Island is a place where unforgettable memories are made.

Skiing in beautiful Mt. Washington
Vancouver Island boasts two amazing ski resorts, Mount Washington Alpine Resort and Mount Cain Alpine Park. Each resort offers a unique skiing experience, catering to a diverse range of skills, budgets, and preferences.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is Vancouver Island's largest resort, renowned for its champagne powder and boasting over 81 ski runs. Here, you can choose from groomed trails for all levels of skiers, making it an ideal destination for families and groups of friends. This resort also offers 55 km of groomed cross-country trails for Nordic skiing lovers, as well as snowshoeing, tubing, fat biking, and snowmobiling. 

Mount Washington Snow Conditions

Mount Washington boasts an impressive average snowfall of 11.6 metres per season. While it is to be expected given the coastal location, the snow does tend to be a bit heavy. For that reason, fresh snow is always best, as the quality of the snow can deteriorate quite rapidly. In spite of the mild temperatures that are characteristic of this region, the elevation at Mount Washington is not particularly high. Furthermore, it's worth bearing in mind that the main part of the hill is southwest facing. As a result, it's important to carefully select the days on which to hit the slopes, particularly if you’re interested in indulging in some off-piste skiing adventures.

Mount Washington Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

Mount Washington Alpine Resort offers skiable terrain spanning 1,700 acres or 688 hectares. With 81 runs carved across 505 metres of vertical (1,084 – 1,593m) and 5 chair lifts (including two that are express), the resort caters to all levels of skiing and snowboarding abilities. What's more, with a breakdown of 14% beginner, 35% intermediate, 36% advanced, and 15% expert runs, there is a perfect spread of terrain for enthusiasts of all levels.

For beginners, the resort offers a comfortable start with covered magic carpets and milder, graduated runs. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders will also enjoy the options on offer, although the number of top-to-bottom blue runs is limited. Meanwhile, advanced riders have a mix of challenging glades and cut runs. For those who seek even more thrills, Mount Washington Alpine Resort's Outback zone - with its combination of trees and double black diamond open slopes - promises an unforgettable experience.

Mount Cain Alpine Park

While Mount Washington Alpine Resort provides a wide range of amenities and conveniences, Mount Cain Alpine Park is for those seeking a more rugged and remote skiing experience. This volunteer-run, community-owned ski area is nestled in the heart of Vancouver Island’s wilderness. It is a hidden gem known for its pristine backcountry skiing, deep powder, and minimal lift lines. Mount Cain offers 21 ski runs ranging from beginner to advanced, making it perfect for skiers who crave a true escape and challenging experience on the slopes.

Mount Cain Snow Conditions

The unparalleled natural beauty of this region is complemented by an average of 15 meters of top-quality snowfall each year, rendering it a prime skiing destination for adventure enthusiasts. Located nearly 200 meters higher than its rival Mt Washington, Mt Cain has elevation on its side, which further enhances the snow quality. The majority of the ski hill faces Southwest, and the mountain is fairly close to the ocean, meaning the best possible conditions for skiing are when the snow is fresh. The thrilling sensation of carving through fresh powder on Mount Cain is unmatched, delivering an unforgettable escapade for skiers of all levels.

Mount Cain Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

Despite its relatively small size with only 21 trails across two T-bars, Mount Cain's terrain is anything but limited. With 457 metres (1,499 feet) of vertical drop running from 1,311-1,768m in elevation, there is ample opportunity for beginners and intermediate skiers to find their footing on groomed runs from the lower T-bar. Meanwhile, more experienced skiers and snowboarders can challenge themselves on the upper T-bar's black runs and thrilling tree skiing through alpine old-growth forest.

What really sets Mount Cain apart is its extensive backcountry terrain accessible with a short skin above the upper T-bar. The ample alpine bowls, pillow lines, chutes, and cliffs that characterize the area offer an exceptional backcountry playground for advanced skiers and snowboarders with the necessary know-how and equipment. The lookout point, with its breathtaking views, is a perfect place to pause before exploring the stunning backside of Mount Cain.

Other Winter Activities on Vancouver Island

While skiing and snowboarding are the main draws, Vancouver Island's winter scene offers several other winter activities to keep you entertained. Guided snowshoeing tours provide an opportunity to explore the beautiful mountain landscape and learn about the region's unique ecosystem, while thrill-seekers can try out fat biking on the scenic groomed trails that offer unparalleled views of the snowy peaks and valleys around.
Vancouver Island's winter season isn't complete without the countless winter festivals and events taking place throughout the region. The Parksville and Qualicum Beach area hosts more than 140 events and festivals each year. Here at Beach Acres Resort, our friendly hotel staff would be more than happy to advise you of festivals and events in the area during your stay.

Where to Stay on Vancouver Island - Accommodations Near Mount Washington Resort

If you're craving some relaxation after hitting the slopes, Beach Acres Resort in Parksville is an excellent choice. Its prime location, just an hour away from Mount Washington Resort, makes it a convenient base for your ski getaway. The resort boasts cozy accommodations that are perfect for unwinding after a long day of skiing. Plus, it's situated on 23 acres of lush forest bordering beautiful sandy Rathtrevor beach, allowing guests to take in the tranquil surroundings while soaking in the hot tub or unwinding by a fire. Beach Acres Resort also offers a variety of recreational activities, from tennis and volleyball to swimming and hiking, ensuring you'll have plenty to do when you're not shredding on the mountain. Choose Beach Acres Resort for your next ski trip and enjoy both relaxing accommodations and abundant activities.

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Vancouver Island Skiing

Vancouver Island offers a skiing experience like no other – an unbeatable blend of world-class slopes, diverse landscape, and ample opportunity to explore its unique culture and events. This winter, make Vancouver Island your skiing destination of choice and discover the wonders of BC snow. Create cherished lifelong memories with your friends and family, as you experience this majestic piece of paradise for yourself.

Cross-country skiing   Snowshoeing

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