PANORAMA VILLAGE, BC It really started to feel like we werent in a resort anymore. The run from the summit of Panorama Mountain Resort is so long, at about four miles, and with so much terrain to choose from, its easy to escape that "resort" feel.
Descending via the black run, View of 1000 Peaks, my buddy, Brandon Boucher and I saw this incredible glade run off to the left and we hit the trees; silence fell like a blanket as we ducked in. An environment of white fluffy clouds met our hoots and hollers as we ripped our way through the powder-fueled euphoria.
Fresh pow, fresh air and great times this is Panorama Mountain Resort. Ditch the keys to the car, lose the watch and get into a mountain vibe that allows you to unwind and enjoy some great days on the slopes.
Home of the big runs
Taynton Bowl is just one of many great areas to play in at Panorama Village.
DAVID GLUNS,Tourism BC
Just over the ridge from where we were, I knew there were a few more snow sneekers experiencing the same epic conditions. The backside of Panorama, off the Summit chair, is home to Taynton Bowl delivering the steeps and deeps which for a shredder like me, makes this place.
Runs like Never Never Land, White Tail and Heli-High keep you in the zone of shredding the gnar. Up until eight years ago, Taynton was only accessed by chopper, an experience that is located right in the village with RK Heli-Ski.
Many of our guests come in for only one day, they treat themselves as part of their Panorama experience, said Sandra Rejzek-Opheim of RK Heli-Ski. But we also have guests to come in for two, three or multi-day heli-ski packages.
Today through there was no chopper required to get into Taynton, and with the over 16 centimetres of freshies overnight, it was a shredders dream.
With the little help from my friends
Later in the day we got the chance to go for a cruise with Deb Dakin, a 12-year Mountain Friend at Panorama. The Mountain Friends program is a sweet way to not just score a great tour of the mountain, but also a chance to score the inside edge on what this winter playground is all about.
Dakin, a true outdoor fan, tours snow seekers by day and watches over them as they soaked their bones for après, as a lifeguard at Radium Hot Springs, a short drive from Panorama.
Deb Dakin (left) along with another Mountain Friend Frank Jones(right) get ready to tour visitors around Panorama Mountain Village.
Here at Panorama you will find six to seven Mountain Friends on the hill every day.
Sharing the secrets
Depending on who shows up for these complimentary two-hour tours, that is where we will go. Its not just about the guiding service but also about the companionship, explained Dakin. If you have no one to ski with than youll be off with a great group. We actually see a few locals who show up to ski with us just so they have someone to ski with. We can take you to all those secret spaces and help you find the best snow.
This was the case for as we took off with Dakin for an informative and stellar shred session. She lead us straight into Sun Bowl to work on the tans. We launched onto Dakins favourite run on the hill, Stump Farm.
The snow is always great, the pitch is perfect and the bumps are not that bad. Blue skiers I have taken down this run absolutely love it, she said with pride.
From the Kootenays to Hollywood
Dakin was a wealth of information on the mountain, not just on the terrain but also on the history and how some of the runs came to be. She explained why one of the runs youll find here is called Alive.
Panorama offers a special place for kids, complete with a fort.
DAVID GLUNS,Tourism BC
In 1972, a plane went down in the South American Andes Mountains. It left the survivors to fend for themselves resulting in a horrible ordeal to survive over the next two months. avalanches, cannibalism and some sheer luck help the group of 16 survivours. In 1993 Hollywood produced a major motion picture about this epic tale, most of which was shot in and around Panorama Mountain Resort. The movies name Alive - hence the run who shares the same title.
Little one need only apply
Dakin also educated a bit on the history of Panorama, including why youll find a run entitled Old-timer. Back in the day, when the hill was first founded there was a single lift through here, and it wrapped around that very tree.
This last tip Dakin shared is exclusive for the little one in the crew. Just off that run Old Timer, tucked in behind the Champaign quad chair, youll find what I am sure will be the kids favourite spot, the Secret Forest. The trails through here are tight, not much room to move back in here, but it will take the kids to a fort Panorama has built just for them and promises to keep the kids busy for hours.
These guided tours take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. every day of the season.
Get more info on Panorama on our SnowSeekers' destination page.