#1 Emily's inaugural run on skiis -age 3 Choosing the perfect holiday was a challenge when our children were young. They had  an age span of eleven years, so reaching consensus was not an easy task. Since they had grown up close to ski lifts and had all made the successful transition from baby booties to ski boots, whenever a mountain getaway was suggested, we’d inevitably get a ten-thumbs up approval.

From Baby Boots to Ski Boots

Family time on the slopes

Fast track a couple of decades; all offspring are now adults and living independently. They  range in age from twenty-five to thirty-something. Some are still single, three have significant others and none yet have babies of their own. We’re hopeful –but I’ll leave that for a future story.

This one’s about planning another family retreat and some things never change. So what do you think gets the unanimous vacation vote? You guessed it –a resort with those fresh powder slopes.


BC ski resort with the most ski in ski out accommodationFinding the Perfect Place

My husband, Brent, and I go into Google mode in search of a winter playground with family accommodation that won’t break the bank –and I’m not surprised when Big White Ski Resort pops up at the top of the list.

Our last visit to this Okanagan mountaintop, 56 km (35 miles) from Kelowna’s hub, had been fourteen years ago, just before they were launching Project 2000, a thirty-five million dollar expansion. “It was big then.” I comment, while fondly recalling the trip.

 “Well it looks even bigger now.” Brent replies, after scanning the web site. “As well as earning accolades for hosting the most ski in/ski out accommodation, it’s the second largest ski resort in our province.”Big enough for even our family.

Big White bosts 2,765 acres of skiable terrain Images and further stats on the site also affirm that Big White has rightfully earned its title. The 2,765 acres (1,147 hectares) of skiable terrain and twenty-five kilometers (15.5 miles) of pristine Nordic trails are backed by the majestic Monashees and annually cloaked in seven hundred cms (24.5 ft) of champagne powder.

There are sixteen lifts that whisk adventure-seekers to a number of scenic summits and a total of a hundred and eighteen runs that offer a divine descent. “And the downhill continues long after the sun sets,” I comment, when reading that this mountainscape’s night-skiing is rated the best in Western Canada. “With so many options there’s something to suit every family –even our eclectic crew.”

Something foe Everyone

 Skiing the bowls where snow ghosts hang outWe can already envision our daredevil daughter and hubby making their gravity-defying signatures on a few of the steep-graded glades. A couple of sons and their significant others will zero in on the vast empty bowls where they can rub elbows with the stubby winterized evergreens a.k.a. snow ghosts.

he one boarder is sure to try slithering the rails at the TELUS terrain park and our youngest will either tube the hillside on the Snow Coaster or go for a bird’s eye view while attempting to climb the eighteen meter (60 ft) ice tower. And as for us? We’ll be content sticking to the flawless corduroy cruisers that link each heavenly perch with the Happy Valley Adventure Centre and village below.

slope side Sundance has all the family perks After scouting out the resort’s three hotels and other accommodation options, we decide on Sundance, a slope-side collection of cabins, townhomes and condos with scads of family-friendly amenities: outdoor pool, hot tubs, movie centre, fitness room, even Club Sundance for the young tykes.

 “A couple of two-bedroom suites in the main lodge should meet our need,” I suggest when admiring images boasting cozy west coast décor. “Even though we have lots of dining options just footsteps away the fully-equipped kitchens in these units will help cut down the cost.”

 One-stop shopping is made easy through Central Reservations but before doing the final tally, we check out the site for any hot deals. “During Spring Break, kids stay and ski for free,” Brent says, when scanning the line-up of cost-cutters. “Yes, but they have to be twelve or under,” I reply. “And unfortunately none of our crew fit that category –who knows, maybe next year! But with a big group like ours, we likely fit the bill for Family Day?”

Who could resist a bargain like this

 Big White Village In honor of next month’s provincial holiday Big White is going big.  If we book two consecutive nights and ski days between February 8-14th, the next night and ski day is on the house. As well as pleasing our bankbook, it’ll be a hit with our brood.

It is very different to plan a trip for a group online  With a quick click, the booking is made –no stress, no hassles, no waits –so unlike the earlier years of holiday planning.

This family vacation generated the ten-thumbs up-the highest award you can get from our diverse family.


Big White Ski Resort


Photos 3-7 compliments of Big White Ski Resort