Flying into Smithers is flying into winter adventure
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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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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."
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
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
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.