EA Intern Joe is loving Big White Canada, In this course diary he writes about Big White’s famous big powder days! Glad ya loving it Joe!
The resort slogan for Big White, as seen on every sign and piece of promotional material that they produce, reads simply “It’s the SNOW!!!”. They are not, in any way shape or form, wrong.
In my lifetime I’ve clipped my skis on in ten different countries and on three different continents. I’ve taken some of the most famed descents in skiing, and ridden pretty much every condition imaginable from rain-fuelled slush to bullet-proof ice to waist deep Californian powder. The latter was incredible, and prior to my arrival here in Canada it was my favourite thing to ride. I didn’t think it could be improved upon, but the first time I clipped in at Big White I suspected that the white stuff here could be something new to me. Although coverage was still sketchy, the inch or so top layer of freshies that had just fallen were super light. Skiing across them felt like floating on air, and it was good.
We’ve been lucky this season too. Snowfall has been pretty consistent so there’s been a lot of days to ride the floaty stuff, but what sets this place apart is the days when it really dumps hard. Overnight we’ve had as much as 45cm, and going out the following day and riding tree lines with powder blowing up in your face from your ski tips at every turn is genuinely just as much fun as it looks in the ski movies. Some weeks it’s snowed every day and every night, accumulating foot after foot of light sweet powder to be shredded as hard as you dare.
Another major bonus here is that Big White is far enough away from major cities that any midweek powder day is ‘locals only’. A few people skip work in nearby Kelowna and come up to ride, but if it storms on a Monday then Tuesday will still see no lift queues and there’ll be fresh lines to be found all week. For this reason I even felt compelled to add extremely wide Atomic skis (with exceptionally loud tie-dye bases!) to my locker, and the fun I’ve had on them – including sinking waist deep in remote pockets of pow that remained temptingly untracked after several storms, cannot be put into words. Simply, you’ve got to try it to believe it.
The term ‘Champagne Powder’ holds some mythology within skiing circles, and Big White has it in spades. It may not be the steepest resort in the world, but when anyone asks me why I desperately want to return here next season the chances are I’ll just quote the slogan: It truly is the snow, and I can’t get enough of it.