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Ski holiday in Canada: when and where is best please?

(18 Posts)
winkywinkola Tue 09-Aug-16 10:10:22

We have four dcs who will be 12, 10, 7 and 4. Three of them can ski already.

I'm not very good and neither is h. We'd need a family friendly place.

We would like to visit Canada but we don't know if Feb half term is the best time or can we push it to Easter holidays?

Can anyone advise please?

Thefitfatty Tue 09-Aug-16 10:15:29

Banff, Alberta. You'll have access to three nearby hills, Sunshine village, Norquay and Lake Louise. Sunshine and Lake Lou offer a variety of slopes for different abilities, Norquay is a bit more of an experienced skiers slope (but only ten minutes away). Snow usually lasts till end of April /May in the Rockies.

Skilover Tue 09-Aug-16 15:34:51

Banff & Lake Louise are gorgeous, but the disjointed ski area could be a bit tricky for a family with young children. Personally I’d recommend Whistler, as it’s a huge ski area but everything is easily accessible. They have a great ski school with a variety of kids programmes, together with lots of events and off-slope activities. The lift ticket isn’t the cheapest, but they have a kids ski free programme, which makes it a very affordable option for families. smile

Thefitfatty Wed 10-Aug-16 07:01:53

Sunshine isn't disjointed at all. It's got a rather nice range of hills all surrounding the valley. Actually, one side of Sunshine is in Alberta and the other is in British Columbia, So you can say you've been to both provinces.

The thing about Banff is there's lots more to do and see if you don't just want to ski the whole time. There's the Banff springs, hiking, dog sledding, skating. Also, around Easterish is Slush fest if I remember correctly. Banff also has loads of hotels in different price ranges, so you can splurge and go super fancy at the Banff Springs, or rent a two bed or three bed apartment with a kitchen. (Check Caribou Properties, they've got a range of options at different price levels).

winkywinkola Wed 10-Aug-16 18:14:14

Thank you so much for your insights. I really appreciate the help!

celtiethree Wed 10-Aug-16 18:23:43

Whistler, we love it. Have been 6 times, stating when our youngest was 4. All 3 DC went into Whistler Kids and are all expert ski/boarders / can't recommend the ski school enough. Lift passes are expensive, but normally get discounts/deals on passes, ski hire when booking with an adult. Best to book passes by Aug end to get bigger discount, we have skied their both Christmas & Easter. Although snow cover all the way to the village at Easter can be hit or miss the alpine has always been great. February shd be good snow cover top to bottom.

Aftershock15 Sun 28-Aug-16 10:04:48

Skiing is great around Banff but I wouldn't go for a first trip with children. It's the getting on and off the bus carrying all the gear (and getting everyone to the bus stop on time) that makes it hard work.
You want ski in/ski out as far as possible. Even the non skier should manage the first run after a few days - then no more carrying skis!
For family friendly in Canada you can't beat Big White - amazing ski school and free kids activities in the evening. A longer journey than Whistler (as you need a second flight or long drive) but so fab when you get there.
Anywhere on west side of Canada is a long way for just a week - can you extend half term by a few days? It's also can be cold. There should still be snow at Easter. We frequently ski there at Easter and the skiing is always fine, although some slopes get slushy in the afternoon.

Aftershock15 Tue 06-Sep-16 09:36:38

Just a thought, as you are a big family, if you can decide where you want to go before the end of October have a look at getting a season pass. Even if you are only going for a week if you get a pre season discount it may still work out cheaper as at some places the passes for 3&4 child will be free.

BikeRunSki Tue 06-Sep-16 09:42:07

I have never skied Whistler with DC, but I'd think it is very good for families. Huge ski area accessed by 2 lifts, that the loftiest always make sure are full.

We went early March - there was "only" 2 m of snow!!!

Loads of family type restaurants, compact town centre.

Fantastic instructors from all over the world.

Much warmer than the east coast.
Long flight + 2.5 HR transfer though.

lapsedorienteerer Tue 06-Sep-16 20:56:53


Puzzledmum Fri 16-Sep-16 05:07:53

Thanks for starting this thread OP! We ( my DD16 and I ) are going Feb half term to Banff for the first time. Can I just ask about the ski passes, where do you buy them from in advance?

nooka Fri 16-Sep-16 05:43:09

We are in Interior BC and our local ski resort (Sun Peaks, the second biggest BC resort) closed on 13th April last year, it was a great year for snow for us. It's quite a late Easter this year, I think it might be a bit risky to plan for Whistler in mid-April.

I love BC but it is a very long flight (and expensive). Personally I'd visit in the summer when it is very beautiful (but I'm not a skier). Mount Tremblant in Quebec seems pretty well rated, although I don't know anyone who has been there.

ohjessie Fri 16-Sep-16 05:57:54

I lived in whistler for two years and worked for Whistler Kids, and I would really recommend them.
Lift pass prices are rumoured to be dropping this year as WhistlerBlackcomb was just bought by Vail in Colorado.

Aftershock15 Sat 17-Sep-16 17:40:06

Tremblant is really, really cold, doesn't have as good snow as the west side and so uses snow canons and can be icey. It is near enough the UK for a week visit to be manageable but will be very cold in February and may not have snow at Easter.

dontcallmethatyoucunt Sat 17-Sep-16 18:28:20

ohjessie that's good to hear, we've just booked our kids with them at Xmas (hopefully at the right level!). Really looking forward to it.

nooka Sat 17-Sep-16 20:35:16

That sounds a bit rubbish then Aftershock. Our ski resorts are great, winter is generally really nice here, cold but sunny and dry. I just love BC even more in the summer!

tinymeteor Sat 17-Sep-16 20:47:08

Whistler is amazing in every way. They have a long season so you'll get good snow and some good deals in March, although that may not work with UK school hols.

ohjessie Wed 21-Sep-16 06:52:37

dontcall when you check the kids into ski school on the first day they'll go over what skills/abilities they have and if the instructor feels that they are better suited to a different level they will switch them no issues. Kids move levels all the time smile

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