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Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Big White

Location: The third largest ski resort in British Columbia, Big White, is sandwiched between the Okanagan Valley and the Monashee Mountain range.  It has a fantastic reputation for its first-rate powder as it receives an average annual snowfall of 750cm.

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Getting there:  West Jet and Air Canada run daily flights to Kelowna Airport via Calgary and Vancouver, connecting international flights from the UK.  Big White resort is an hour’s drive from Kelowna Airport; an easy journey to make with the regular airport shuttle bus.  If you’re more inclined to hire a car to make your own way there, it’s great to know that the resort has free parking throughout, and the car parks are never too far from the action.

Where to stay:  If it’s a hotel you’re looking for then Big White has little to offer; you’ll find the accommodation here is more high-end apartments.  They are mainly ski in/ski out lodgings which is perfect for those who don’t want to miss out on the action.  Black Bear Lodge is a favourite amongst guests because of its gorgeous timber beams and posts, as well as its views of the Monashee Mountains.  Each individual three bed apartment has its own hot tub on the private balcony.   Located next to the Bullet Express chairlift you’ll find Stonebridge Lodge.  It is perfectly placed in the heart of the village a stone’s throw away from many bars and restaurants; especially 6° Bistro which resides in the lodge itself.

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Highlights:  It is arguably one of the most ideal places for those looking to learn to ski powder.  With most of the lifts from the village and the Gem Lake being quite fast it means that queues are extremely rare (weekends can be busier).  Big White has a huge variety of terrain to ski meaning that there’s something for everyone; it is becoming an increasingly popular resort for families.

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Downsides:  If you aren’t a confident tree-skier then brace yourself as most of the ski area in Big White is heavily wooded.  Towards the summit the trees tend to thin out, and there is a bit of alpine skiing in the bowls at the top but because of snow, cloud and freezing fog, the visibility at the top can be limited.

Best Piste Run:  If you’re looking to ski some deeper powder then the Sun-Rype bowl is where it’s at; the Gem Lake chair fuels these excellent, long black runs.  This bowl is home to the steeper, narrower and more challenging runs.  Being a diverse resort there are a lot of blue and green runs for the less confident skiers to the right hand side of the village.

Best Off Piste Run: There’s plenty of off-piste for the advanced skier; normally in the form of moguls around by the double black diamond terrain amongst the trees. The entire Cliff area is ungroomed and you can pick any line down the double black diamond bowl.

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Best Restaurant in town:  Big White has plenty of places to eat to suit every budget.  The Kettle Valley Steakhouse & Wine Bar specialises in local cuisine and wines and is conveniently located in the Happy Valley Day Lodge at the bottom of Lara’s Gondola.  On a bluebird day we’d suggest heading to The Woods.  They have a great patio with an open fire which is the perfect place to sit back with some cocktails or ice-cold beers.  It’s the perfect place for a spot of lunch or dinner as you can ski right up to it.  For something a little fancier, 6° Bistro is an excellent fine dining experience with an extensive tapas-style menu, don’t forget to accompany your meal with a bottle of Okanagan’s finest wines.

Best Après Bar: Après is a little quiet here, so don’t expect too much.  For a night-time bop head to the ground floor of Snowshoe Sam’s where you’ll find a DJ and live music.  Another joint not to miss is Sessions Taphouse & Grill which is a pub well known for its social conscience – the go to place for all things entertainment.

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If you like the sound of skiing in Big White for your heli skiing warm up, contact the heli skiing experts at Pure Powder!

 

 

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Top Resorts for your Heli Ski Warm Up in Canada

The Telegraph listed their Top Ten Ski Resorts in Canada, among them was some of our favourites for pre-heli ski warm up.  They are great destinations to try out that famous Canadian powder before you embark on your heli skiing adventure with CMH.   Revelstoke Revelstoke is a small town but is the perfect place […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Heli Skiing for First Timers – What are my Options?

Embarking on a heli skiing trip for the first time can be daunting and so we wanted to highlight some options specifically geared towards first time heli skiers. If you are a strong piste skier, have a decent level of fitness and are keen to start skiing in the powder then heli skiing could be […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Heli Skiing in Canada: 4 reasons why it’s special

If you’ve ever wondered why 95% of the world’s heli skiing operators are based in Canada check out our 4 reasons why heli skiing in Canada is a must for everyone’s bucket lists. ONE// TERRAIN They say size doesn’t matter, but in the case of heli skiing, Canada’s sheer scale makes it the perfect place […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s third largest ski and is an unspoiled paradise where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love.  The varied terrain spreads over the 3,282 acres (1,328 hectares) and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there:  Silver Star is extremely […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location:  Having added two new Alpine zones to their ski area in the 2014/2015 season, Sun Peaks has become the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler.  It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge. Getting there:  Easily accessible, Sun Peaks is about a 50-minute […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

How is snow formed?

As skiers we are obsessed with those tiny little flakes falling from the sky – constantly on the lookout for the next powder dump and eagerly awaiting those cold mornings when you wake up to find a white blanket covering everything and the perfect powder skiing conditions! But a question we often ask ourselves is […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Do I have to break the bank to go heli skiing in Canada?

Floating through knee-deep powder with only your buddies to keep you company.  A helicopter waiting at the bottom of each run.  Being whisked up to the top of another glorious powder filled peak.  That’s what dreams are made of – but the key question is do you have to break the bank to make making […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

Pure Powder have put together their top five heli ski lodges in the world.   ONE// Deplar Farm, Iceland This first-class, modern lodge, located on Iceland’s Troll Peninsula, is a remote retreat ideal for thrill seeking heli skiers who enjoy the finer things in life.  As well as epic heli ski lines down to the […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

The Ultimate Ski Bucket List – Telegraph October 2016

Canadian Mountain Holidays named one of The Telegraph’s Ultimate Ski Bucket List: ‘The tension of waiting for the weather to break, the expectation as the helicopter rotors begin to spin, the eagle’s eye view of pristine wilderness peaks as you’re flown 
to the drop zone, the deep, dry snow you get to ride… all of […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Iceland – An Adventure of a Lifetime

The Telegraph have named heli skiing in Iceland one of their 50 adventures of a lifetime. ‘Ski from the mountain peaks down to the sea or fly-fish for salmon in glacial rivers accessed only by helicopters. You’ll be staying at Deplar Farm, the ultimate wilderness retreat located in a remote valley in north-west Iceland, surrounded […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder Sponsoring London Screening of ‘Ruin and Rose’

Come and join us on Friday 11th November at The Ham Yard Hotel, Central London for an exclusive viewing of MSP Films newest movie “Ruin and Rose”. We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring “Ruin and Rose” alongside Surefoot London for the second year in a row.  This new 4K HD definition film features jaw-dropping action […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Ski Blogs

Back in November 2010 we blogged about the ‘best ski blogs in the business’ and now, after some extensive research and deliberation we bring you our newest, hottest top 10 list… These blogs are set to bring you the latest news, fashionable destinations and first-rate tips and advice.  They are 100% guaranteed to whet your […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s CMH Heli Skiing UK Tour – October 2016

CMH Heli Skiing Presentations:  For over 35 years,  Pure Powder have been the exclusive UK representatives of CMH Heli Skiing in Canada – the largest heli ski operator in the world.   Each year Pure Powder team up with one of the CMH heli ski mountain guides and set about spreading the love for powder skiing on a […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Summer Adventures in Western Canada

When you think of Western Canada you think of winter.  You think of the cold and the rain and the snow.  What you may not realise is that a summer in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta is like no other, there are so many activities to choose from, and it is breathtakingly beautiful! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Chile – 5 Things You Shouldn’t Miss

If you’re missing the snow this summer, fear not – there is plenty of the deep powder skiing to be had in the Southern Hemisphere.  And arguably the best place to ski in summer is the central Chilean Andes; famed for it’s consistent (and big) storms and endless terrain this is explorative heli skiing at […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder feature in ‘In the Snow’

Heli skiing can seem like an impossible dream to many of us. You’ve seen the glossy magazine pictures, perhaps watched a video, but could you really do it yourself?  Most are happy on the piste, but never really see the “wow” factor of off-piste (which seems more like hard work!), and may never have the […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH feature twice in April 2015 ski magazine Fall Line.  “Heli-skiing: the ultimate trip of a lifetime.  Fresh lines all day, zero uphill effort, floating through bottomless pow, blah blah blah: sound alright.  Which is why my ski-mad husband and I used the excuse of ‘winter honeymoon’ to book this extravagant and […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine: A Day in the Life of Doug Dykeman

‘Nobody knows the vast, shreddable terrain of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) – which marks 50 years in heli-skiing last winter – better than Alpine’s chief pilot, whose precision landings have delivered trillions of vertical feet of thigh-deep fun’ To get your hands on the gripping article which takes you into ‘a day in the life of… […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing in the FT Weekend Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing were featured in the 16-page ski special ‘Pink Snow’ article which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of heli skiing.  We took Tom Robbins with us to Canada in order to uncover what all the hype about skiing with a helicopter is. “It is dark when we turn alongside the Columbia […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and Tatler Travel Guide 2015

Heli skiing in Canada with Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing was featured in Tatler Travel Guide 2015: “GOTHICS LODGE: Are you a hardcore ski junkie? Interested in nothing but the purest virgin snow (and the world’s best bragging rights)? We’ve found your holy grail. A short helicopter hop from Banff into the remote Canadian […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank