Did you know that the plaza at Whistler Blackcomb used to be the village dump? Did you know that Big White near Kelowna was found by a local pilot? And the snow packed slopes of Whitehorn Mountain were bypassed for years by the vacationing European elite.
It’s interesting to find out that our favourite ski resorts have histories that sometimes includes hardships and heroes, blunders and brilliant ideas. SeekersMedia has dug deep into the past of almost every mountain resort of the Rockies to the coast to discover just what it took to create your favourite trails and terrain. Join in on the winter of discovery and visit some of the slopes listed below. Sign-up to win prizes from many of the resorts in the SnowSeekers Challenge.
Wondering where Whitehorn Mountain is? Discover that by reading on….
The slopes at Whistler were the first to open 50 years ago with perfect trails to bring smiling skiers to the base. Years later when Blackcomb cranked up the lifts they also cranked up the attitude, allowing rowdy boarders and partiers to ski the spidery trails. The competition was legendary. Find out how Whistler Backcomb finally managed to become Canada’s biggest alpine resort.
Back in the 1960s when google was goggles spelt wrong, two friends spent countless days searching the mountains beyond Kelowna for the perfect ski hill. Hiking, back-country skiing and eventually flying found the perfect slopes. Planning a 56 kilometre road from Kelowna was tough but as soon as the word got out about the epic snow blanketing never-ending glades, Big White was on the map. Discover how Big White Resort blazed new trails here.
Back in the days of travelling by train, European tourists would stop at Laggan to admire the emerald green lake in the summer. In winter they’d strap on long wooden skis to trek 11 kilometres further into the back country to enjoy endless blankets of cross country skiing bliss. Little did they know they were trudging past the slopes of what would become one of Alberta’s most loved winter resorts. Which resort? Click here to find out more.
Just because you are 800 kilometres from the mountains doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a pow-day. The 1970’s saw the ski bums in Bonnyville and Cold Lake create their own ski resort that takes skiers and boarders momentarily into Saskatchewan. Find out how Kinosoo Ridge honours the Dene Legend and provides all-day-long entertainment for the surrounding communities.
Who would have thought that a cranky horse in 1858 could lead to naming rivers and resorts! The Kicking Horse story is legendary and so is the snow. Find out how the community run Whitetooth Mountain ski hill near Golden B.C. became Kicking Horse Mountain Resort - the powder-hound haven it is today.
Red Deer, Alberta is smack dab between Calgary and Edmonton so do they go north to Marmot in Jasper or out to the Banff resorts to ski. Neither! They have Canyon Ski Resort only five kilometers east of town. Read about how Canyon was the first in Canada to use snowmaking machines and how one resorts cast-off turned into Canyon’s lift to the top.
Winter is here and the snow is in the mountains. Click here for winter driving tips and get their safe.Read more
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Not sure what resort to visit next? Our Resort Recommender will tell you where to go, based on what you want. Check it out