Panorama Mountain Village

Family hill delivers surprising terrain

RICK MACDONNELL

Ski Lift @ Panorama Mountain Village, BC Canada
British Columbia's Panorama Mountain Village offers 120 named runs and almost 3,000 acres of terrain to play in.
RICK MACDONNELL/SnowSeekers

PANORAMA, BC — What's separated me from the rest of the SnowSeekers crew for much of this season has been the fact that for almost every hill we've visited it's been my first time there. This most recent tour saw us hit up Norquay, Fairmont, and finally Panorama, three of the more family-oriented hills in the Canadian Rockies. It was interesting to see how each one did things a little differently.

What separates Panorama from the likes of Norquay and Fairmont is that it's not just a family-oriented hill. It's a great place for Mom and Dad to take the kids and have a fun weekend, but, unlike the aforementioned hills, it also has some steeps and deeps.

Eye-opener

That Taynton bowl is killer! I was completely taken off guard. I had expected a hill chalked full of blue cruisers (which there is), but there is some serious black diamond terrain up that Summit Quad.

"It was a fun surprise," said Inga Schweitzer, who was visiting from Germany and had been skiing the Powder Highway for the past few days. "I'm visiting with friends, not family, so I wasn't so sure about this. But it's some fun, here. Good fun."

Good fun, indeed. Summit Chair aside, I had a great time skiing the lower portion of the hill, especially runs off the Sunbird Chair like Fritz's and Little Dipper. If you're looking for an amazing panoramic view of Panorama (pardon the pun), Little Dipper is the way to go. It's an amazing view, especially since it's found at such low elevation.

Hit the patio

Great Hall deck, Panorama Mountain Village, BC
Packed with skiers and riders, Panorama's patio is a rockin' place for a little apres time.
RICK MACDONNELL/SnowSeekers

If you want to feel like having a mountain all to yourself, head to the Sunbird. Most people will stick to the Champagne Express, even though Sunbird isn't all that out of the way. And it has a bit of everything. 

Once you're done skiing or boarding for the day, make sure you stop at the Great Hall for some great eats. The apres scene on the patio was bustling the day I was there. Five buses filled with Downhill Riders made for some crowded patios. If you're in the mood for a quick and easy bite – burgers, fries, pizza – the Hall has you covered.

"Get the Hell's Bells hamburger!" Schweitzer told me. "I'm a sap for bacon, though."

Far be it for me to turn down a German talking about meat.

Spectacular surroundings

Schweitzer's tour of the Powder Highway had been an amazing experience, she said, and that Panorama offered one of the highlights of her trip. 

"This place is just beautiful. Of course you have mountains and all that, but the pools and the trees and all that. I haven't stopped saying 'Wow!' since I got here."

I find talking to folks like Schweitzer interesting because, really, I'm in much the same boat. This season has shown me my first taste of the Powder Highway as well, and I get that same feeling of "Wow!" for each resort I visit. 

No matter if it's skiing Whistler Blackcomb and its 200+ runs, Panorama and its 120, or Fairmont and its 14, Western Canada continues to take my breath away.

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