With the first blooms of spring soon to be on the horizon, BC’s ski resorts ready to celebrate the changing of the season with spirited, mountain-style festivities.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort kicks things off near Golden, where cowboy boots — or at least the cowboy spirit — set the tone during the resort's annual Wrangle the Chute, March 24 – 27. Here, competitors race along powder-packed chutes, challenging north-facing terrain that includes heart-thumping verticals and extraordinary lines. While action on the mountain is sure to quicken the pulse, off slope revelers can kick up their boots, and celebrate with a few yee-haws, during the resort’s crowd-pleasing Wrangle the Chute Party. kickinghorseresort.com
While it may be a bit premature for bathing suits and board shorts, Whitewater Ski Resort’s Beach Party ensures both are standard attire during the final days of the season. April 2 - 3 marks Whitewater’s annual festivities that pay homage to Ullr, the God of Snow, for another happy season on the slopes. On the roster: live music in the base area provides a steady background beat for adventurers to slather on the zinc and test their balance and perseverance with a glide (or a splash) through the Slush Cup pit. skiwhitewater.com
When it comes to winter parties, Whistler has it dialed. Home to one of the biggest annual gatherings of winter sports, music, arts and culture in North America, this four-season mountain town is primed for the 21st Annual World Ski and Snowboard Festival, an out-of-this-world display of action, both on and off the slopes. Set for April 8 – 17, the fest is anchored by a host of vertical and slopestyle contests, including ski and snowboard action (think: massive kickers) during The Big Air and The Shred Show, presented by Monster Energy. Sensory delights await discovery off the slopes in Whistler’s pedestrian-only village, where arts and musical presentations draw the masses to outdoor concert stages and the resort's conference centre and nightclubs. A few hot tickets: Intersection, a visual feast of action sport filmmaking at its best, plus screenings of the winners in the film, action sports and photography contests during the Best of the Fest finale. wssf.com
Rock fans can feel the groove, and cap off the season, at Fernie Alpine Resort during the aptly named Fernival, a thumping good time that promises to crank the classic tunes April 9 - 10. As one of the biggest annual spring concerts to rock the Rockies, this two-day jam session showcases the best of Canadian popular music, and has attracted living legends like April Wine, Trooper and 54-40 to the mainstage; this year promises no less, with Platinum Blonde headlining the day's festivities. Bonus: Fernie's on-slope offerings, complete with five alpine bowls, are sure to rule every adventurer’s world. skifernie.com
At Big White Ski Resort, near Kelowna, a seasonal send-off is marked by the resort’s annual Dummy Downhill, April 10. The rules are simple: participants launch their “dummy skier” creations down the slopes and off a jump in Happy Valley’s Mega Snow Coaster Tube Park, a photo-friendly experience that rewards creativity, take-off style and landing, a.k.a. crash. In all, it’s a fun, family-friendly spectator sport sure to close the ski season in style. bigwhite.com