4 activities every non-skier needs to try at Big White
By: Yvette Morrissey
Yvette Morrissey is a travel blogger at Wayfaring Kiwi (http://www.wayfaringkiwi.com). She moved from New Zealand to Canada to spend two winters living and working at Big White Ski Resort and spent a summer living in the Canadian Rockies.
Take a snowshoe tour
If you like hiking, you’ll love snowshoeing! Snowshoeing is a fantastic way to get off the beaten track and explore the Big White’s secluded wilderness trails. You can hire snowshoes from Big White’s rentals department, located in the Village Centre Mall, and explore by yourself, or you can book a snowshoe tour at the Ski School desk, also located on the main floor of the Village Centre Mall.
Because we were new to snowshoeing, my friends and I decided to go on a snowshoe tour. Our guide was a wealth of knowledge and taught us about the Big White area, the different types of trees and plants growing there, and the wildlife you can encounter in the winter (including squirrels, woodpeckers, rabbits and bobcats!). A snowshoe tour is a great activity for anyone to try as Big White’s guides cater the tours to suit all levels of fitness.
You can book a snowshoe tour at the Ski School desk in the Village Centre Mall or by contacting (250) 491 6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for a snowmobile adventure
Is there a more Canadian way to enjoy winter on a mountain than snowmobiling? I think not.
In New Zealand, I loved ripping around the farm on my motorbike, so I thought snowmobiling would be a similar experience. Turns out, driving through knee-deep powder was completely different - it was far more exhilarating! (Adrenaline junkies, this is the perfect activity for you)
Big White’s snowmobile tours, operated by Outback Snowmobile Tours, are suited to all skill levels. The 1-2 hour tours are great for beginners or friends wanting to share a sled, while the 3-4 hour tours are designed for the more adventurous.
Snowmobiling is a great way to see Big White's stunning backcountry. Just make sure you wear warm clothing such as a neck warmer and sturdy winter boots. Helmets are provided, but bring your ski goggles because I guarantee lots of snow will fly up as you plow through the champagne powder!
To learn more about these tours, and their prices, you can visit bigwhite.com. If you’re interested, you can book a snowmobile tour at the Big White concierge desk, located in the Village Centre Mall, or by contacting (250) 491 6111 or email@example.com.
Climb an ice tower
Where else in British Columbia can you rent over $1000 worth of climbing equipment and climb an 18-metre tower of ice for only $25? Ice climbing is the perfect activity for those who are adventurous (but also on a budget).
From my experience, climbing an ice tower requires a certain level of self-trust. I tried my hand at rock climbing during the summer, so I felt pretty confident approaching the wall of ice. That being said, it was at the halfway point I started to doubt myself... With rock climbing, you are fairly certain of your hand grip. With ice climbing, if you don't have the right amount of pressure on the ice picks then they can either slip out of the ice or get stuck. After giving myself a stern pep talk, and receiving plenty of encouragement from my guide, I made it to the top and rang the victory cowbell.
While this is a challenging activity (I’m talking mentally challenging), don't be fooled! Children as young as five years old have made it to the top. The oldest person to make it was 75 years old!
Booking this activity is simple - just go to the ice tower cabin, located in the Happy Valley Adventure Park, to check the availability of the next climb.
For all the animal-lovers out there, dogsledding is a thrilling and unique experience to try at Big White. While dogsledding, you can enjoy the scenic backcountry trails of Big White from the comfort of a warm sled. Or, for an even more authentic experience, you can stand on the back of the sled and help mush the dogs!
One of my favourite things about Big White is the dog population, so getting to meet the team of Canadian sled dogs at Candle Creek Kennels was a real treat. It was heartwarming to see the affection between my guide, Tim, and his dogs. The dogs were incredibly trusting and cuddly. One dog, aptly named Pancake, fell asleep on my feet as I scratched her belly. As soon as my guide started to get the sled ready, all of the dogs started barking with excitement hoping to be picked for that afternoon’s excursion.
Make sure you bring sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes from flying snow and wear warm clothing and appropriate winter boots. To book a dogsledding tour, you can visit the Big White concierge desk, located in the Village Centre Mall, or contact (250) 491 6111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.