Insider skiing tips from the Mt. Washington crew
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Score the best spring skiing at Mount Washington Alpine Resort with these tips from #MYMW staff.
The drive up through the clouds along Strathcona Parkway towards Mt. Washington Alpine Resort makes it too easy to leave it all behind. As the roadside snowdrifts stack up, the gloomy headlines, work deadlines, and pandemic stressors gently melt away. Good vibes greet you at the top of this Islander’s reprieve that’s as much of a getaway for visitors as it is for staff.
With five chairlifts, a quality terrain park and tube park, and nordic trails, Mt. Washington offers something for everyone. If it’s not on your "explore skiing in BC this winter bucket list," it certainly should be!
Want to ski like an insider at Mt. Washington?
One of the best ways to get to know a mountain is to work there. Here’s a roundup of favourite runs and insider tips from Mt. Washington ski resort staff to help make your time at Mt. Washington a magical one.
Check out the Mt. Washington trail map here, and follow along with these run recommendations.
Snow School Manager, 22 years on the hill
FAVE RUN: I feel like having been here for so long, each run has its own set of special memories whether that’s skiing with friends or guests or family. Now that I have two kids of my own, there are runs that I love to ski with them and there are ones that I love to ski by myself. But if I was going to commit to one I would have to say O’Henry. Mt. Washington is a family resort. It offers something for every age group for sure.
TIP: Be open-minded. Mt. Washington gets crazy storms that are bigger than anywhere else and there are these crazy heat waves like what just happened. It’s as much about the family you create here as it is about the skiing and snowboarding.
Eagle View Bistro Supervisor, 3 years on the hill
FAVE RUN: Top of the Eagle Chair then Linton’s Loop to Rainbow to Daybreak on the Sunrise Chair.
TIP: Grab a day old pocket muffin for $1.50 at the Eagle View Bistro and hit the slope! Also Sunday Music Bingo at Ted’s is my favourite night. It brings a lot of staff together.
Lift/Tube Park Manager, 15 years on the hill
FAVE RUN: On a good powder day, it's fantastic off the Sunrise Chair with all these little pockets of trees.
TIP: Get here early and find a parking spot or carpool. If you want to work in the ski industry, Mt. Washington is a place of opportunity.
Reservations, 3 years on the hill
FAVE RUN: It’s tough. It definitely depends on the day, but I really love O’Henry when it’s really bumpy.
TIP: It can be really fun to spend a day going from chair to chair. You can do every run from viewer’s left to right and it gets harder as you go. The Sunrise Chair in the afternoon is really nice, but if the Boomerang is open, I’ll be back there all day.
Terrain Park Manager, 15 years on the hill
FAVE RUN: The Terrain Park or Rainbow down to Sunrise.
TIP: Wait until about 11 a.m. on a freeze-thaw cycle because the Terrain Park is softer and has slushier snow. Follow @mwterrainparks for MW park content.
Heavy Duty Mechanic, 3 years on the hill
FAVE RUN: Nice long powder laps on Invitation off the Sunshine chair.
TIP: Don’t come up in a two-wheel drive car. Have winter tires. Don’t race down the hill and drive safe. Check the forecast before you go.
Bartender and Server at Ted’s, first season on the hill
FAVE RUN: Anything on the Eagle Chair. I love it. There’s so much diversity on the terrain.
TIP: If you have the option to buy your lift tickets in advance, do it. Then you don’t have to wait in line and it’s usually cheaper. Try coming on a weekday, they are so much slower, especially if you want a lesson. Our Caesars are great for apres ski.
Spring is a great time to catch those storm cycles followed by bluebird days at Mt. Washington, and with these insider tips from ski resort staff you can score the best of it.
WHEN YOU GO
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is just 40 minutes’ drive from Courtenay/Comox. From Vancouver, take BC Ferries to Nanaimo, just 1.5h drive from the hill.
Want to ski like an insider? Take a First Tracks Lesson and be first to get the fresh, with a pro who knows the hill.
Or, take it up a notch, and score the mountain life by applying to work at Mt. Washington. The resort is hiring all season long.
More inside tips to Mount Washington
Keen on cross-country skiing or fat biking, or just after the gladed pow runs? Read on for more.