Mount Washington Resort
Skiing and snowboarding are not the first things to come to mind when most people think about Vancouver Island. They're usually thinking more along the lines of temperate rainforests with massive old growth trees and rugged coatlines filled with migrating whales.... yet rising more than 2000m out of the Pacific ocean, Vancouver Island is also home to some impressive mountains. Based just outside of Strathcona, British Columbia's oldest provincial park, lies the largest ski hill on the island, Mount Washinton Resort... one of Canada's best kept secrets for powder hounds. It is one of the few places to have a view of the ocean from the top of the ski hill, but the real kicker is the fact that it is consistantly home to one of the North America's deepest snowpacks. Infact for a large part of the 2009/2010 winter season Mount Washington claimed to the have the most white stuff in the world! Mount Washington is not a huge destination resort with fancy night clubs and tourist trap shopping, it is far too relaxed a place for that. Instead it is filled with friendly locals who love to ski and ride this powder paradise without the crowds. Mount Washington has a total of 9 lifts and 1600 acres of fantastic skiable terrain including the the experts only "outback" which has a unique boomerang lift servicing world class tree skiing.
For the true Vancouver Island ski experience one must also explore a little further north to the cozy little community ski hill of Mt. Cain. Check it out for a great the "gone back in time" atmosphere and some of the best lift accessed backcountry skiing anywhere.