Earn your turns. In British Columbia’s powder-packed backcountry, this is more than a mere statement — it’s the law of the land. Indeed, within some of the province’s wildest backdrops, necessary skills and stamina (and sometimes guides) are required to take in the best of BC’s boundless terrain.
To start, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is just the spot for keeners to take things up a notch. With a home base in the peaks overlooking the town of Golden, Kicking Horse's Big Mountain Culture program provides hands-on instruction on the resort's slopes, promising enlightened journeys that prep enthusiasts for challenges both within the resort boundary and, equally, for future trips that venture deeper into BC's backcountry. As a bonus, locals spill on best-kept secret stashes, sure to feed any powder addiction. kickinghorseresort.com
BC’s Kootenay Rockies is home to — count ’em — five spectacular mountain ranges where opportunities for off-piste skiing abound. Near Nelson, for example, light, dry powder beckons keeners eager to test their touring skills. In the southeast corner of the province, Whitewater Ski Resort is a fantastic place to plant poles, thanks to their innovative Whitewater Backcountry 101 program that delves into the knowledge, equipment and skills necessary to safely enjoy the backcountry, all while exploring expansive terrain accessible right from the resort. skiwhitewater.com
Further south near Rossland, RED Mountain Resort offers huge vertical, deep powder and diverse terrain — plus plenty of opportunity to discover seemingly boundless backcountry. To get the best start, intermediate and expert skiers, alongside boarders and telemarkers, can sign up for Daily Guided Backcountry Tours at the GET LOST Adventure Centre. Avalanche and mountain knowledge is sure to expand while skiing with a seasoned local guide within RED Mountain Resort or beyond — an ideal primer for exploration in BC’s wild. redresort.com/getlost
Sun Peaks Resort, northwest near Kamloops, revels in the thick of it, too, with their Beyond the Groomers Camp, a program that embraces steeps, glades, moguls and exceptional powder skiing. New this season, participants are able to make tracks with top instructors in more than 202 hectares (500 acres) of expanded terrain, all while developing the know-how and mountain skills required for making turns in the province’s great outdoors. Also new, the resort’s Guided Gil’s Backcountry Tour explores terrain that debuted last year, assisting enthusiasts as they learn, and explore, the safest routes and best lines for a memorable day’s play in dry powder. sunpeaksresort.com
For those eager to travel further afield, Northern BC is home to unparalleled adventure off the grid. Take the Sugarbowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park, east of Prince George, for example; here, adventurers will discover off-piste that is off the hook, thanks to three rustic huts suited for overnight backcountry trips, ideal for snow-packed days capped by moonlit skis under the stars. env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/sugarbowl