3 Places for Winter Sports on Vancouver Island
Mountain landscapes are idyllic in the wintertime—glittering, powdery snow lining elegant slopes; rays of bright sunshine peeking through the clouds; sentinel-like fir trees topped in fluffy white caps. The perfect way to take all of this in is skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing across kilometers of fresh, fantastic trails.
Is there skiing and snowboarding on Vancouver Island? You bet! Sure, there is more variety on the mainland but that shouldn’t stop you from checking out the local haunts on the Island. Luckily, our vacation properties in Qualicum Beach and Parksville are a few hours’ drive from some of the best winter sports hubs on the Island.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is the only ski hill on Vancouver Island with maintained trails, hence it’s rabid popularity. The resort is open for outdoor activity year-round but wintertime is obviously the hit season. As soon as snowfall lands, guests will be privy to 1,700 acres and 505 vertical metres of alpine terrain, 55kms of cross-country skiing and 25kms of snowshoeing trails along with a dedicated Nordic lodge, Tube Park, and Fat Bike trails.
Mount Cain is Vancouver Island’s only 100% Canadian owned and operated ski resort, which makes it stand out for that reason alone. Mount Cain opens in early December (snow permitting) and closes early April, conditions permitting with an average snowfall of 1500cm/30f annually. They offer both groomed and ungroomed territory with varying levels of difficulty. Mt. Cain is located near Schoen Lake provincial park and is run by the Mt. Cain Alpine Park Society.
JumpCamp is a registered non-profit organization with youth programs and opportunities and partnerships with other like-minded companies who support community initiatives. JumpCamp is a snowboard camp with a mix of natural terrain and man-made terrain park, along with various sizes and shapes of jumps and rails. The camp is located one hour north of Nanaimo on the Island Highway 19.
Skiing Safety and Tips:
- Build your endurance with light cardio before you hit the hill
- Go slow at first and keep your knees bent
- Make sure you have proper equipment, rental or owned
- Take a lesson, even just for a day, if this is your first time on a hill
- Dress in layers so that you can accommodate changing temperatures
- Wear sun protection, reflection off the snow can cause tanning and burns
- Use eye protection always
- Dress in water and wind-resistant material
What are you waiting for? Let’s hit the hills!
Don’t hesitate to check out the many winter sports opportunities during your stay on Vancouver Island. Canadian winters may be chilly but that doesn’t mean they can’t be a ton of fun. Check out our rental properties and start planning your winter getaway today!