Pulling into Sun Peaks Resort on a cold and snowy night in March of 2017, the long drive from Vancouver Island quickly faded away. The kids peered out the windows of the RV at the ski chalets and village, excited to have finally began a trip that was a year in the making. We pulled the RV into the overnight parking and settled down in our beds, dreaming of the powdery day awaiting us.
A Skier Education – A Grade 4 & 5 Snowpass Experience
“Have you heard about the awesome Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass from the Canadian Ski Council?”, the man asked, as my then 9 year old daughter and I rode the ski lift on a beautiful crisp morning at our home hill, Mt. Washington on Vancouver Island, back in 2015.
I hadn’t but he explained the deal.
“For $29.95, your daughter can ski or board 3 times at over 150 resorts across Canada! Any child in Canada who is in grade 4 or 5 can take advantage of this amazing deal.”
Immediately the plans began to form in my head, as I imagined travelling to a multitude of ski resorts with my daughter who had started grade 4 that year. I knew that this was an opportunity to good to pass up, so I promised myself to make this ultimate kid’s ski road trip a reality.
BC Ski Road Trip
Living in British Columbia, we are blessed with an amazing variety of terrain and resorts. From large resorts like Whistler and Revelstoke to small community run ski hills like Shames Mtn. and Mt. Baldy. So the biggest challenge for me would be picking which resorts to visit.
After much discussion and recruiting another skier Dad and his son for this Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass experience, it was settled. We had a plan. 16 days. 6 ski resorts in the Okanagan. And one RV. And it would be called “A Skier Education”.
Eat. Ski. Sleep. Repeat.
For the next two weeks life was pretty simple. Eat. Ski. Sleep. Repeat. And then drive to the next resort. For a skier is there really anything else worth doing? As we found out, when you are at ski resorts with two 11 year olds, there is. The activities on and off the slopes at each resort made for a jam packed and exciting ski holiday.
From ice climbing and outdoor skating at Big White, bungee trampoline and sleigh rides at Sun Peaks, and bowling and mini snowmobiles at Sliver Star, each ski resort catered to families that wanted to fill their afternoons and evenings with non-skiing activities. At Big White we were even treated to a fireworks display that lit up the starry, winter sky right above our RV. And although Apex, Mt. Baldy and Manning Park didn’t have much in the way of kid aprés ski activities, these ski hills did not disappoint with their terrain parks, kid friendly terrain and very friendly staff.
After 16 days of visiting the ski resorts and ski hills of the Okanagan, our road trip was coming to an end. As we drove along the Trans-Canada Highway towards our home on Vancouver Island on the last day of our trip, I glanced behind me at the kids in the back of the RV. They were creating their road trip scrap books, looking over the trail maps they had collected from each hill and plastering resort branded stickers to their helmets. When their eyes caught mine, my daughter asked,
“Could we just keep going? Can’t we just keep skiing?”
I smiled and nodded knowingly.
Skier Education complete.
Sean Kerrigan lives in Courtenay, BC. He is a life long skier, performance ski tester for Ski Canada Magazine and volunteer ski patroller at the community owned and operated Mt. Cain on Northern Vancouver Island. Sean is also shoots and produces short outdoor adventure films.