At 53, Gord Martin had lost a little pop in his skiing. It was still fun to hit the slopes, but it lacked the excitement he remembered from ski trips with his parents, or even teaching his own son and daughter to turn. That all changed two years ago when he helped introduce his grandson to the sport.“It was pretty cool having my son, myself and my grandson on the chairlift together,” he remembers. “When you watch someone else experiencing something for the first time, you can put yourself in their place and feel the excitement and energy.”
For the last two years, three generations of Martins have spent a full week skiing. They rent a condo on the slopes and just ski, play, and hang out. In an age of constant demands on attention, skiing remains an almost guaranteed way to connect as a family.“On the ski hill there are no other distractions and few agendas,” says Mr. Martin. “Being in the mountains, sharing an activity, creates a different environment where it’s easy to be together.”
And, as one version of the saying goes, a family that skis together, stays together. So it’s no surprise that British Columbia resorts have figured out all sorts of ways to make family ski vacations an easy option for just about anyone.
With diverse terrain, sunny weather, no crowds and a relaxed vibe, Kimberley Alpine Resort is ideal for every member of the family.
At Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, the ski school offers family private lessons. An instructor keeps the family together as they explore the mountain and improve their skiing.
Over at SilverStar Mountain Resort, they recognize that even the best parents enjoy a little alone time. So you can enjoy some quiet time to reconnect while younger members of the family enjoy après-ski supervised programs that keep kids entertained from ski time until bedtime. Of course, most resorts have a kids’ area with daycare and dedicated lessons, giving parents a deserved break. At Kids ROC at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, the base for kids’ programs includes a climbing wall and foam pit, and is available after the lifts close, too. Other resorts build dedicated kids’ runs, like Big White’s Ogopogo Adventure Trail, where tykes and their parents ski through arches that mimic the humps of the mythical Okanagan Lake monster.
At Panorama Mountain Resort, kids enjoy the animated characters of the new Canadian Discovery Trail in a special zone made for families and learners. After a day on the mountain, the giant slope-side hot pools of the Panorama Springs are the largest attraction among the resort’s wide variety of Canadian-themed family activities like maple taffy pulling.
And the bonding doesn’t stop when children graduate from the kids’ areas. The Mascon Hangout is a teens-only gaming and movie-watching café in the Sun Peaks Resort village.
Meanwhile, Fernie Alpine Resort’s mom-and-daughter package combines time on the slopes with lots of après pampering. Dedicated learning centres and programs, specially designed terrain gardens and family zones, and an enchanted Tree Fort and Magic Castle ensure that any time is a good time for families to experience Whistler Blackcomb. The point is, resorts are ready for any kind of family. In the end, the turning is just an ice breaker, a shared interest and a reason to be together, says Mr. Martin. “Even if you do four runs and then chill in the hot tub for the rest of the day, you’re still experiencing the mountains together and creating lasting memories.”
Discover unparalleled skiing at one of British Columbia’s world-class ski resorts this winter. Visit WinterWithin.ca.