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Big White Canada - Anyone been?

(15 Posts)
pinkem Tue 28-Dec-10 22:58:31

I am currently looking for our Christmas 2011 ski holiday.

Big White has so far ticked all the boxes but I just want to make sure!

Did you use a travel company?

Where did you stay?

I'll be travelling with my dh who will snowboard and my ds (4yrs) who will do morning ski school.

Thank You in advance smile

pinkem Wed 29-Dec-10 11:01:03

Bump smile

greygirl Thu 30-Dec-10 09:24:55

i haven't actually been to big white so this may not be as helpful an answer as you'd like, but i do know 2 things about big white:

1) it is in canada (BC) and famous for lots of snow. Will you manage the flight with a 4yr old? it will also possibly be very cold, again make sure you pack lots of clothes for the little one.

2)Big white has the nickname 'big whiteout'. because it can get very cloudy, a lot. pack your low light goggles.

i have heard the skiing is great so would love to know how you get on, but i can't help thinking a 4yr old and a 10 hour flight won't be great fun.

pinkem Thu 30-Dec-10 09:58:50

Thanks greygirl, I'm not too worried about the flight as ds has managed the flight to Australia twice to visit family.

The only thing putting me off is the fog, However for great skiing i'm sure I can put up with it for some of the time! grin

Thanks again.

greygirl Thu 30-Dec-10 10:03:22

how do you manage long-haul flights?
see i'd love to take my kids to whistler - old stomping ground, terrfiic for kids, terrific skiing - but i am terrified of the journey (and feel that europe will provide almost as nicely while they are under 5).
but you will love north american skiing - the slopes are wide, there is lots of ungroomed stuff, thinned trees, great attitude, orderly lift queues, ski-school is fun, there are public toilets....
in short much more family/consumer oriented than european slopes. and if DH snowboards he will apreciate the lack of drag lifts too.

pinkem Thu 30-Dec-10 10:39:26

I picture the worst possible situation and plan for it, then the flight always goes better than expected! grin

I always try to plan a late flight so after take off we nip to the toliets have a wash brush teeth and get into Pj's (well my son does I get into my comfy clothes smile)In the morning or near the end of the flight we have a freshen up and get dressed again. It keeps us both feeling fresh and fills in loads of time!!

I also take lots of little gifts in envelopes so if ds looks like he is about to lose it a gift can fill in 5-15 mins.

If we spot another family close by we offer to swop toys for a while.

I also take snacks incase he doesn't like the meals and ask for an extra bread roll or crackers on the flight.

I only have one child though which makes it fairly simple!

We actually got engaged in Lake Louise half way down a run! I agree the skiing experience was fantastic in Canada. I am tempted to return to Lake louise but the journey to the slopes each morning may prove a pain with ds!

greygirl Thu 30-Dec-10 10:44:20

you mean drive from hotel i assume? i can see how that would be hard - not sure what big white is like for slope access. i am not sure how we would cope on a bus either - i guess big bags and teeth gritted.

mine had DS's for christmas, and they all seem to rather like them, so hopefully that may keep us all entertained on the next flight and we can see how that goes. but i am mucho excited about ski holiday now, 4 weeks to go!!

i would like to go to lake louise but maybe will wait till the DCs can cope with a car trip daily (but i don't see whay not - we drive to tamworth for skiing!)

pinkem Thu 30-Dec-10 13:09:38

Big White is ski in/out resort which is a massive plus.

Now that i'm looking at pro's and con's for Lake Louise the bus ride won't be that bad as the hotels normally have a mini bus to drop you at the slopes!

Lucky you getting away, we can't go anywhere this season as dh is heading to Afghan, not much stops me; 9 weeks after a C Section I was back on the slopes in Germany! I'll have to stick with Milton Keynes this year!grin

greygirl Thu 30-Dec-10 13:17:39

oh hope DH is alright, and you hold it together while he is away. that must be very hard for all of you.
milton keynes isn't so bad - i think your little one will get a lot out of it and thus will really take to the mountain.
my eldest learnt at tamworth and the next year really loved the big mountains - i think she enjoyed it because her muscles knew what to do already, she didn't get so worn out, and she found the variety interesting (wheras i think when you really first start gentle and constant is the way to go).
actually though, that may be the trouble with my dad, because he likes tamworth - and thinks he is franz klammer - but actually any slight variation throws him. give him his due he is 66 and only started learning 4 years ago so really he does well, but he gets so disheartened if a slope is too hard for him. he's coming away with us and i think keepinghis morale up will be harder than the kids!
(sorry about the monolgue, just contemplating horror of father coming with us!)

pinkem Thu 30-Dec-10 14:07:02

I can't believe your dad started skiing at 62 shock. I can remember my dad coming skiing with us to Italy he would not leave the nursery slope and any type of lift was out of the question so he decided to sidestepped up each time, it was the first and last ski holiday he came on!grin

We took my ds to Castleford on his 3rd birthday for a private lesson, he really enjoyed it but we could see his little leg muscles were not quite ready!

He will be 4 next week so we are going to try a group lesson and see what happens!

While dh is away we have lots planned to keep us busy, the ski holiday for next Christmas is to welcome him back to family life!!

greygirl Thu 30-Dec-10 17:21:53

it sounds really nice to have a family ski holiday. with my DTs (wo are all of 4) we got them private lessons because their main problem is the lifts - they can ski fine, but they are still useless on the lifts. since it is unlikely they will ski without an accompanying adult, and their big sis can look after herself (just) it's not a problem now, but in a group lesson they just spent a lot of time falling over trying to get up the lifts. expensive but worth it.
however, if you are having summer group lessons you may find they end up being private anyway, as not many kids turn up over the summer.
i do hope you have a smashing time anyhow.

jicky Thu 30-Dec-10 23:06:50

I'm currently sitting in Kelowna airport on my way back from Big White!

Fab place to go with kids, it does get foggy, and this time we have had a really cold day, but it is still our favourite resort.

Will post more info for you when we are home and sorted (the flights this time have been hell)

pinkem Fri 31-Dec-10 13:48:51

Thanks Jicky i look forwards to your report!smile

jicky Wed 05-Jan-11 13:06:02

hi pinkem, sorry for the delay in replying, this time seems to have taken ages to get sorted post holidays

Big White is a great place to ski with kids - we have been every year for the past 4 years but this is the first time we went at Christmas. youngest ds was 3 when we first went there, so we have definitely tried out most things your ds might like to do!

the best things about BW are the fab kids ski school, the ski in ski out apartments, how compact the village is, and all the extra activites like skating, tubing, mini snow mobiles etc.

The down sides are the journey and the fact it can be foggy/cold.

The ski school at BW is excellent, our boys have always loved the instruction and made great progress. ds3 started with the 'hire an instructor' program, where he had an hour a day private lesson with the same instructor and spent some time just in the day care. Once he had the hang of skiing he moved to 2 hour group lessons and by 4 went all day.

We have always picked an apartment near the village centre and have stayed in Eagles, Stonebridge and Stonegate. All are well placed for the village centre and for easy ski-in ski-out.

There are a good few places to eat in the centre and ski hire, a few shops etc, not huge but enough choice for us anyway.

The great thing for kids are all the other bits - some free like carnival night and fireworks, others pay extra like tubing, skating and sleigh rides. Stonegate had an indoor/outdoor swimming pool and cinema as well. There were loads of extra things as it was Christmas including skiing with Santa!

The main negative is definitely the journey as you need to change planes to get to Kelowna or drive from Vancouver which is all day. Once you get to Kelowna the transfer is about 50 minutes and the shuttles are pretty efficient. I recommend going via Vancouver as although the flight time is longer, there are more alternatives if things go wrong with connections.

The big white out name is true, but often you can avoid the cloud by going higher or lower - its rare the whole place is totally thick cloud, although this year it was the most cloudy we have seen, might be the time of year. It was also busy between xmas and new year but this is relative - we are just to used to no queues at all and expect compared to Europe it is still pretty empty!

We normally book independently, using www.rentchalets.com or Central Reservations to book everything. We did book with ski independence once, but not sure there were any benefits to that. Things like ski school you can book in resort, or by email/phone before you go.

pm me if you want any more info - we are going back for a second week later in the season, so we are definate fans!

pinkem Thu 06-Jan-11 16:53:02

Thanks for that jicky it is looking good, I'll be booking soon as possible. smile

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