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If you’re looking to tear up the slopes this season, there’s no better place to do it than Canada’s mountain villages. The Great White North is home to picturesque resort ski regions like Resorts of the Canadian Rockies and Ski Québec city-Charlevoix. But it’s not just about the trails and views; where you wind down after a run is just as important. Keeping all that in mind, we rounded up the best ski runs and après spots in these two regions. Once you experience Canada’s finest wintry retreats, you’re gonna hope summer never comes back.

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WINTER PARK, Colo. — A legendary portal through the Rocky Mountains beneath the Continental Divide is once again making it possible for skiers and snowboarders to take a train directly to the ski lifts.

Denver is again the only major American city where you can step onto a train and ride directly to the slopes. Other ski trains usually require a shuttle bus of some kind to cover the final miles, but Colorado’s Winter Park Ski area sits directly adjacent to transcontinental Union Pacific railroad tracks emerging from the Moffat Tunnel.

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It’s officially the fourth driest start to the rainy season in history in Southern California.

That’s creating stress in local mountain communities, with many business owners wondering: Where’s the snow?

“A few weeks ago we were joking about it,” said Larry Smith, who owns the Canyon Creek Inn in Wrightwood. “Now it really is serious.”

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The alpine region of southern New South Wales has received a big blast of snow — months ahead of the official start to the ski season.

Visitors and staff at ski resorts in the Snowy Mountains fell asleep last night in Autumn and woke up in what looked like the dead of winter.

Thredbo Resort said about 10 to 15 centimetres of snow fell on mountain tops overnight, while Perisher resort recorded about five centimetres.

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Skiing and snowboarding are a deep-rooted part of life in British Columbia. Nights and weekends are spent on the mountains, looking for fresh powder and revisiting favorite runs. For many locals, winter really can’t come soon enough.

Thirteen world-class resorts, boundless backcountry, and incredible snowfalls combine to make BC one of the true North American ski and snowboard hubs. Whether you want to relax with a few easy runs before enjoying the après-ski, or you’re after the toughest double black diamonds and the biggest vertical drops, you’ll find what you’re after here.

Here’s a look at some of British Columbia’s ski and snowboard highlights.

Cypress Mountain - Credit: Destination BC/Insight Photography
Cypress Mountain – Credit: Destination BC/Insight Photography

Skiing via Vancouver

Three ski hills sit within 30 minutes of downtown Vancouver, and you can actually see them all from within the city itself. Cypress MountainGrouse Mountain, and Mount Seymour all have verticals of at least a 300m (Cypress Mountain is the largest of the bunch at 612m) and showcase fabulous views of the city, especially after dark when all three light up runs for night skiing. These are all great options if you only have a day or two to spend in Vancouver, but are eager to hit the slopes.

For those with a bit more time in BC, there’s Whistler Blackcomb.

In 2010, the eyes of the world turned to Whistler Blackcomb as an official venue of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. While the games have come and gone, everything else is still here!

Only a two-hour scenic drive from Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb is consistently rated the top ski and snowboard resort in North America. Sitting right next to each other you have two mountains covered in ski and snowboard runs for all skill levels, from glacier riding to bunny hills, connected by the spectacular Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Runs lead right into the heart of Whistler Village, where the many bars and restaurants are perfect for the ever-popular après-ski. The ski season at Whistler Blackcomb is also one of the longest in North America, running from late November to early May, with glacier skiing on Blackcomb available until late July. The term “must-visit” was invented for this resort.

Sun Peaks - Credit: Destination BC/Adam Stein
Sun Peaks – Credit: Destination BC/Adam Stein

Riding the Interior

As you head east through the British Columbia Interior, with Vancouver in your rearview mirror, there are a number of really incredible ski resorts to explore.

The Thompson Okanagan region, in south-central BC, is home to high altitudes and a dry climate that gives rise to some of North America’s fluffiest snow, known locally as “champagne powder.” The region’s resorts are blessed with long verticals, varied terrain, and are generally uncrowded. Here are a few of your options:

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Get ready for monster bargains… A block party organized by pro skiers and snowboarders selling off their sponsor gear is hitting Vancouver this week.

The Locals Pro Sale on Wednesday and Thursday will be offering new and used gear at a discount of between 60 and 95% off the retail price.

All types of gear will be on offer, from hundreds of brands, including skis, boards, bindings, goggles, boots, poles, hoodies, beanies, backpacks, avalanche gear, gloves, and electronics.

The annual event promises to be bigger than ever, with an increased roster of pro skiers and snowboarders, as well as food trucks and live music.

The Locals Pro Sale will also be taking place at Whistler this weekend. Here’s a look back at the highlights from last year’s Locals Pro Sale:

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This incredible promotion lets you ski all day for free, in a powder snow paradise just a few hours away from Tokyo Station.

In the winter months, some of Japan’s coldest regions turn into white wonderlands filled with thick layers of soft, dry powder snow. The spectacular conditions lure hordes of skiers and snowboarders from around the world, who travel from Tokyo to popular destinations like Hokkaido and Nagano on trains, buses, and domestic flights, but now there’s a much faster way to get in amongst the powder, with a trip to Fukushima’s Aizu ski region.

▼ The Aizu area is well-connected to Koriyama Station, which is just 80 minutes away from Tokyo Station on the Shinkansen bullet train.


Billing itself as the closest powder snow paradise from Tokyo, Fukushima Prefecture is now promoting its world-class runs in Aizu and South Aizu with an amazing new offer that lets foreign visitors between the ages of 19 and 24 ski for free. If you’re outside of the required age range for the free one-day lift pass, there’s another promotional campaign available to foreign tourists of any age: a day pass that costs just 2,000 yen (US$17).

▼ To receive the discount, simply show your passport to ticket-office staff at any of the 22 resorts in the Aizu and South Aizu regions.


In order to check out the powder conditions first-hand, Fukushima Prefecture and the Tokyo Convention & Visitor’s Bureau invited us to take a look at Grandeco, one of the most popular ski resorts in the region. Located approximately 260 kilometers (162 miles) north of Tokyo, the resort is part of the Bandai-Asahi National Park, which includes Mt Bandai, one of the country’s most famous volcanoes. The area here boasts an impressively long ski season, which starts in late November and goes all the way to early May.


There are a variety of runs here for skiers of all levels to enjoy, including a 3,500-metre (2.2-mile) trail for beginners and kids, as well as mogul and slalom runs for snowboarders and more advanced skiers.

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