Cruise don't bruise: B.C.'s Best Coastal Groomers

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Mark Sissons

Skiing and snowboarding on the West Coast isn’t all about steep and deep. Along with all of the double blacks, chutes, gnarly bumps and other expert terrain available, B.C.’s resorts offer some of the smoothest blue and green run groomers in the world. Which makes B.C. the perfect choice for an all-ages, all-ability levels winter snow sports vacation. For those who’d rather cruise than bruise, here are some of our all-time favourite coastal groomers.

Live #IntheNameofWinter. Ski BC’'s coast.

Whistler Blackcomb

Every lift on Whistler Mountain has a minimum of two long intermediate corduroy trails at the top. And 35% of Whistler Blackcomb’s combined 200-plus runs (and 7,000 acres) are marked green for beginners. They’re both excellent mountains for all skill levels.

Peak To Creek

The Peak to Creek chair takes you from the Roundhouse restaurant to the very top of Whistler Mountain, with its panoramic, 360-degree view of the surrounding peaks and glaciers. Start with a photo stop by the giant Inuksuk that guards the mountain, then launch into what is quite possibly the longest continuous blue run in North America. On a weekday, allow at least 45 minutes from top to bottom, and even longer on weekends. Mid-week is also usually when the trail is groomed, making a Thursday or Friday morning run down Canada’s mother of all groomers truly epic.

Zig Zag
True to its name, this popular run weaves and bobs its way down Blackcomb like a roller coaster. Listed among CNN Travel’s 100 best ski runs in the world, this wide blue run lined with coastal forests is a locals’ favourite. It offers an all mountain experience as you make your way down, slow and steady or at a zippier, zig-zag pace, careful to avoid the occasional unexpected bump.

Whistler Blackcomb
Photo: Abby Cooper

Burnt Stew Trail

This eight-mile long mellow green groomer offers truly breathtaking views of nearby Garibaldi Provincial Park and its signature peak, Black Tusk. Located just off of Harmony 6 chair, Burnt Stew is an easily accessible way to go slow and savour Whistler’s spectacular mountain scenery as you gradually descend. Perfect for beginners, it’s also among CNN Travel’s 100 best ski runs in the world.

Photo: Andrew Strain

The Saddle

High alpine cruising at its absolute finest, the Saddle is normally the only groomed run in Whistler’s Glacier Bowl. Once you get past its relatively steep entrance, it’s four to the floor, full-speed ahead on a straight shooting fall line right to Peak Chair. A note of caution though; the Saddle can get crowded on weekends and debris from Whistler avalanche control sometimes ends up on it. But when the going is good, you can really fly down this straightaway.

Symphony Amphitheatre
If you’ve always wanted to try powder or tree skiing, this is a great place to start. Kicking off on a classic wide open coastal groomer, Symphony offers plenty of options to try powder lines and beginner tree runs as it winds down the side of Whistler Mountain, making it perfect for intermediate skiers and boarders who want to gently push the envelope.

Learn more about the trails at Whistler Blackcomb here.

Cypress Mountain

Featuring six chairlifts accessing 600 acres of skiable terrain, Cypress hill where Canada won its first Olympic Gold Medal on home snow, Cypress offers the most terrain and best snow conditions to be found in Vancouver’s legendary North Shore Mountains. Big enough for a day of alpine fun for all levels but not too big that it’s intimidating, this local treasure offers plenty of super fun blue and green runs for everyone.

Panorama Trail

The highest and closest peak to Vancouver, Cypress’s signature Panorama Trail more than lives up to its name. Cruising down this smooth beginner's green run offers you the unique opportunity to see the Pacific Ocean, city lights of Vancouver and beautiful coastal mountains - all at once – as you float down the powdery groomed trail to the bottom.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Mount Washington
Photo: Nancy Shields

Offering an impressive view across the Strait of Georgia to the Sunshine Coast, with the peaks of the Coast Mountains rising behind, this Vancouver Island treasure has an incredible 11.5 metres of annual snowfall.

The Coaster

To take full advantage of everything Mt. Washington has to offer, ride up the Eagle Express to the peak of the mountain to marvel at the spectacular views, and then cruise all the way down the Coaster, a moderately challenging groomer lined with pristine coastal forests.

If You Go

Head to Whistler this December and cash in on some stellar ski and stay deals - get planning now:

Start planning your BC Coastal Mountain ski trip.

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