Northern British Columbia

It’s not every day someone heads to the middle of B.C. to experience Fort St. James and a ski hill with soul, aka, @MurrayRidge. But WinterFest is happening through February and that made us want to check it out, so SnowSeekers dispatched Smithers-based photographer Marty Clements to learn what this festival is all about.

Hudson Bay is noted as an “ultra prominent peak,” best viewed from the small alpine town in its shadows - Smithers. The city residents are embraced by 360 degrees mountain views, and some of the best backcountry you could ask for.

Quesnel is a town of about 10,000 people and 13,000 more in the surrounding area - a lot larger than we expected, and there’s a reason for that. 

While most of British Columbia had a slow start to the winter, Troll was covered in snow and opened a week earlier than usual. When we arrived, we were blessed with some sunny, warmer weather in the morning and the groomers were in excellent shape thanks to the local trail team. So, let's dive into some awesome experiences we had the pleasure of having on our SnowSeekers’ visit. 

Surrounded by 360 degrees of mountains, the locals in Smithers have nothing but smiles, stoke and love for the community. We spoke with four residents, business owners and managers who have carved out lives for themselves from the valley floor to the mountain tops. 

When I spent my first season on the west coast five years ago, the weather was terrible. We were skunked out by rain every day, and there was no snow. I kept seeing videos of people up at Powder King, without a care in the world, enjoying the mounds of fresh snow, the good times, and perfect pow turns. 

In 1977, the community of Fort St. James pulled together to create Murray Ridge, a relatively unknown ski hill in Northern B.C. Located 175km northwest of Prince George and only 14km from Fort St. James, home of the volunteers that make the lifts spin each day. Murray Ridge offers one of the North’s best examples of how a small community can create something that is truly special.

Spring renewal for the soul. Adventurists, take note, look up to a wilder place, full of people filled with a potent Spring energy and sharing the stitchings of a wonderful community. For the snow enthusiast, the community of Smithers is surrounded with multiply mountain ranges, each stacked deep with snow for your enjoyment. 

It takes passion and priority to see a vision come true, and for the folks in Quesnel, their winter wonderland of experiences has been years in the making.

Many in the south really don’t have a clue about what is waiting for them when they #SkiNorthBC. For years now, SnowSeekers has been working with destinations like Powder King Mountain Resort to help you unlock all the potential just waiting for snow seekers like yourselves.