As winter approaches, Canadians are seeking out well-rounded, safe winter getaways – even if only for the day. And with it’s wide-open spaces, skiing and snowboarding may seem like the ideal pandemic activity in coordination with obeying necessary COVID-19 protocols set out by the resorts.
Resorts are responding respectively and working diligently to ensure the new rules in place are adhered to. In order to operate in accordance with government mandates, Canadian resorts are implementing the following; online-only lift ticket purchasing, mask wearing in lift lines and indoors, social distancing, limiting indoor capacity, adding hand sanitizer stations near chairlift stations, and lifts running at reduced capacity. Ski resorts are already experiencing a much busier start to their season than anticipated.
The World Health Organization emergencies chief stated that the risk of catching COVID-19 while skiing is likely minimal. The virus cannot easily be transmitted outside after having been dispersed in fresh air. The indoor socializing that typically takes places after skiing or in between runs is what poses more of a risk.
Be sure to check the website of your resort prior to visiting in order to stay updated regarding any suspended activities, temporary closures (facilities within the resort) or for changed/enhanced rules.
Canadians looking for cold weather activities can play it stay at these top 4 ski resorts:
Sun Peaks Resort - Sun Peaks, British Columbia
Sun Peaks Resort is a mere 45 minutes away from Kamloops and is the 2nd largest in Canada with it’s 4270 acres of skiable terrain. Spread over three mountains (Tod, Sundance and Morrisey) with deep steeps, cruisers, tree skiing and a wide variety of runs that focus on both beginner and intermediate levels. Considered to be a perfect choice for families with an abundance of activities on and off the slopes. Recently, they had their new Crystal chairlift installed which will increase the resort’s uphill capacity by 20%. They also have a European-style village at the base with ski-in and ski-out abilities, conveniently located accommodations, facilities, shops, cafes and restaurants. A one day lift ticket is $124.99 however, they do offer a limited number of discounted tickets via their website – you can potentially save up to 40%. www.sunpeaksresort.com
Blue Mountain Ski Resort - Blue Mountains, Ontario
Celebrating 80 years next year, Blue Mountain Ski Resort is a posh destination only 2 hours north of Toronto that is suitable for all types of leisure such as family fun, a romantic rendezvous, or a friends-only getaway. They have 365 acres of skiable terrain that stretches along the Niagara escarpment, 7 glade runs, 2 beginner centres, 7 chairlifts and 4 surface lifts. They have three snow parks; Grove, Badlands and L-Park varying in degrees of difficulty and with features of different appeal. An attached pedestrian walking village is conveniently located within the resort offering 1000+ accommodation units, 50+ bars, restaurants, upscale stores and two spas. Other activities on-site include tubing, skating, and trail snowshoeing. Lift tickets range from $63 – $109. www.bluemountain.ca
Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort - Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort has been dubbed the best place for skiing in Eastern Canada. It’s a short 1.5 hour drive from Montreal or 2 hours from Ottawa. With an elevation that rises 2781 feet in the Laurentian Mountains, over 655 acres on four mountain faces, you’re guaranteed to accomplish some decent shredding. They have 14 lifts, 102 trails, more than 2000 foot vertical drops, and a total lift capacity of 27,230 skiers per hour. Recently, they had upgraded their quaint village at the foothills of the mountain which features luxury accommodations, fine dining, high-end shopping and a spa. A favourite establishment of many is Le P’tit Caribou ski bar with its lake-facing terrace. And if more excitement is what you’re after, they also offer dog sledding excursions and fat biking in the snow. A one day lift ticket is $105. www.tremblant.ca
Banff Sunshine Village - Banff, Alberta
Banff Sunshine Village is located directly in the heart of Banff National Park and boasts the longest ski season in Canada of 7 months (November to late May). Three sprawling mountains with over 3,300 acres of skiable terrain awaits daredevil amateurs and experts. A gondola is what brings skiers from the parking lot to the village. They have 12 lifts for 137 runs, a base area has an altitude of 7,200 feet, and wide-open bowls with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. They’re known for their steep backcountry zone, Delirium Dive – they’re technically more geared towards intermediate skiers as more than half of their runs are extreme and advanced. Not to fear if you’re a novice, 20% of their resort is beginner oriented therefore, you’re not entirely left out. Their lift ticket price is currently at $132. www.skibanff.com