Mount Washington
Alpine Resort

Vancouver Island bound: Getting there is half the adventure

Mount Washington’s snow and scenery is legendary

Islander’s Brett Watson (left) and Jaykub Hanson out for a hike into Mount Washington’s Outback.  There are not many places where you can ski and stare at the ocean at the same time.
Photo by Doc Pow

 

DOC POW

MOUNT WASHINGTON, B.C. - “Life’s a journey, not a destination” is a quote you’ve heard more than a few times.  Penned by 19th century American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, it’s gospel in my travels.  

Getting from point A to B can be just as fulfilling as the adventure that awaits at the end of the journey - much like a trip to Mount Washington on B.C.’s Vancouver Island. 

Setting sail for the island

For those of us who aren’t lucky enough to live on the adventure-packed island, we have a few options for getting there. Sure, you can hop a direct WestJet flight into Comox and be on the chairlift about 40 minutes later, or you can take a cruise.

On a recent trip I went with the latter option and sailed the ocean blue with B.C. Ferries.

Locals vouch for the skiing and scenery

Picture a calm evening, the moon shimmering on the water as the ship departs from Horseshoe Bay - a pretty community in West Vancouver.

Take off to Mount Washington

Experience Mount Washington and share your own island skiing stories.

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The landscape quickly becomes other-worldly, the voyage exposing a view of the spectacular Vancouver skyline and its three ski hills looking down upon it from the North Shore.

“I live here 'cause it's frickin’ gorgeous, “ says Brett Watson, a born and raised islander who just moved up island from Nanaimo to the base of Mount Washington so he can improve his telemark skiing skills.

“Skiing here is something out of the ordinary, experiencing scenery and wildlife you don't normally see elsewhere.  All of these unique factors totally add to the adventure,” Watson adds.

Just as he finishes his sentence, his buddy Jaykub Hanson passes me his iPhone saying, “Here’s why you want to come here and experience the island.”

Check it out his video shot a few weeks ago on his sailing between Vancouver and the island.  “There must have been 150 to 200 dolphins swimming next to our boat,” Hanson said.

Hanson’s video proves that the journey is equally as spectacular as the destination, according to him.

“Many people don’t understand that there are mountains on Vancouver Island,” says Hanson, explaining how a friend was visiting from Rossland recently and couldn’t believe the landscape. "She said to me 'Wow, you guys have full on mountains here!'".

More impressive than the mountains, it’s the massive powder snow dumps that they get, resulting in the resort coining the term “snowmagedden.”

Mount Washington resort is a full-on destination with plenty of accommodation - it has more than 2,000 beds in all - and epic terrain on slopes such as the Outback (it's expansive backcountry area).

Check out the resort’s stats page for the full lowdown of what it has to offer.

Mount Washington is one of B.C.’s best ski destinations. “Ski it to Believe It” is a campaign bringing attention to more than 13 destinations across the province.  Check it out at www.skiittobelieveit.com

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