Flying into Smithers is flying into winter adventure

 
Photographer
Doc Pow

Flying into Smithers is flying into winter adventure

By DOC POW

Smithers, B.C. – Most people’s intuition kicks in the first time they meet someone and as we all know, first impressions are key. If the Northern B.C. community of Smithers were a person, I know it would be one of my best friends. Why? For one thing it has one of the highest concentrations of outdoor adventure stores – per capita – in the country and for another, as our new #SkiNorthBC friends describe it, it’s a place that is wrapped in "alpine everything."

“It’s like a little ski village,” says Austin Gray, a resident of Prince George who recently made his first adventure into Smithers. “The way the downtown looks, it could be a big resort like you find in southern B.C., except this is the town.”

Smithers has a very vibrant downtown core and all the while, Hudson Bay Mountain Resort watches over and is visible from almost every spot in town. The ski hill and the community are so connected, you can literally ski right off the mountain and into town via a four-kilometer connector trail.

Ski Hudson Bay, Stay Smithers. Grab incredible deals here.

Smithers BC
Photographer
Doc Pow

Hudson Bay Mountain Resort is home to 36 runs and acres of terrain

“It’s great that I am here with my buddy, but I know I can never bring my wife here as we’d move to Smithers in a week. It’s just that rad of a town,” exclaimed Tom Nilsson, buddies to Gray.

After spending time here, you start to realize just why so many outdoor enthusiasts call this place home. 10,000 or so residents of the Bulkley Valley - who call themselves Smithereens and their guests are treated to a daily buffet of peaks providing a 360-degree alpine feel. Just as Gray and Nilsson did stepping off the plane (via a 45 min flight from Prince George), you instantly start picking out your lines as the mountains really are that close.

“We’re under a $9 million upgrade to our airport and one of the key elements was to build these incredible mountain views into the terminal’s design,” explains Rob Blackburn, GM of the Smithers Airport.

Smithers BC
Photographer
Doc Pow

Smithers Airport is going through a $9 Million transformation

Head out into the wilds around Smithers to places like the Hankin-Evelyn Backcountry Ski Area, jump in a chopper and treat yourself to an over-the-top alpine adventure at the Burnie Glacier Chalet or click into the skinny skis and explore over 50kms of Nordic skiing via the Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre.

Peter Krause is a long-time local and founder – 30 years ago – of McBike & Sport, located in the heart of alpine land and downtown Smithers. It’s Krause’s job to provide rental equipment, bike or ski sales to those who are looking to explore Smithers’ winter wilds.

“Our Nordic ski centre base is at one of the highest elevations in the country,” explains Krause, which translates into stellar snow conditions with great track setting and a view that will knock your socks off.

Smithers BC
Photographer
Doc Pow

The Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre is home to 52km of groomed trails, with beauty views

Doc Pow’s Top Tips to Smithers

When you go, you’ll want to:

  • Book a local or a lesson program from Hudson Bay Mountain – the “Discover the Mountain” program will help you unlock the sizable amount of terrain the resort is home to.
Smithers BC
Photographer
Doc Pow
  • Plan to spend time here and bring your backcountry gear. The Hankin-Evelyn Backcountry Park is literally a non-lift serviced ski hill – runs cut and acres of gladed terrain, but you ‘gotta earn it. Outside Magazine has called the Hankin park a "North American marvel."
smithers
Photographer
Doc Pow

The Nordic Centre includes 5km of night skiing and 10km of dog friendly trails

  • Saddle up to the bar at places like Telly’s Grill, The Alpinehorn Bistro and Bar and the two-micro brewery’s – Smithers Brewing Co. and the Bulkley Valley Brewery. Introduce yourself and I promise you will walk away with new friends.

Wildlife everywhere, check out this Facebook live with Moose on the way up to the resort

  • Keep your travel arrangements simple and book through the community's Ski & Stay packages, which will score you the best rates at www.SkiandStay.ca

When You Go

Getting into Smithers is smooth, fly with Central Mountain Air or Air Canada from Edmonton, Prince George and/or Vancouver or make the drive from Prince George four hours up the road.

Learn more about this #PlayGroundofTheNorth via my other SnowSeekers feature found here.

Tourism Smithers and Hudson Bay Mountain Resort make it easy for you to ski this season through the Ski and Stay website.

Learn more about what B.C. has in store for you this winter, search #SkiNorthBC

Our friends @TourismSmithers can help with your plans as well - start here.

For more on skiing in Northern B.C., check out our #SkiNorthBC expedition page  – more stories and videos will be coming out all season long.

Destination
Hudson Bay Mountain
Community
Smithers
Region
Northern British Columbia
Province
British Columbia