We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“great ski resort for kids” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Big White Ski Resort

Big White Ski Resort
5315 Big White Road, Big White, British Columbia, Canada
250 765 3101
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Big White
Activities: Skiing, Snowboarding
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Booking a Big White vacation is easy with Big White Central Reservations, Big White's largest on mountain booking agency. Select from a wide range of ski-in ski-out accommodation, from economy to executive with private hot tub units, we have something to suit all budgets and tastes. Take advantage of discounted lift tickets, lessons and equipment rentals, find great special offers, book airport transfers, select airline flights and on mountain activities all through our one stop, full service booking agency. If you're driving, parking in resort and at all properties is FREE!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Ottawa, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“great ski resort for kids”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

We skied there for a week during March break. Great snow with no trace of ice. Snowed everyday but only once more than 20cm. Excellent terrain but the top is always foggy or windy.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BWCR, General Manager at Big White Ski Resort, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Dear jk603h,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review with the travel community, we really appreciate your feedback.

We hope to see you again next season!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

298 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    191
    76
    15
    11
    5
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wales
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“great family skiing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

There was plenty of snow and there were a lot of well groomed not too challenging pistes for a family holiday. The lifts were a little awkward to get off as they had built the snow up too high so you had your knees bent so high it was hard to stand up (but then I am not a spring chicken either!). Some of the lifts were very slow at the top and you lost momentum so struggled to get off.
The Village is very small. We loved it but found it limited compared to Whistler which has great amenities in the village.
People were exceptionally friendly - but don't expect to experience Canada as all the staff are Australian.
Its all down to preference when it comes to ski resorts. I loved Big White but probably get more of a wow factor in Whistler. I also love Winter Park which has a pretty unimpressive village but always seems to excite anyway.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BWCR, General Manager at Big White Ski Resort, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Dear Puggieplus2,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback regarding your visit to Big White Ski Resort.

We are glad you enjoy Big White and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dronfield, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Small resort with little else to do”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We spent 10 days at this resort and really enjoyed it. But having skied in many other places this is only really a "local" weekend resort. The skiing was good but the conditions late in the season were variable and as a low resort there was no opportunity to head to higher ground for the better snow. By the 3rd day we had covered most of the runs so we took to venturing into the ski boundaries to find things to do and found Cougar tracks!. Between the runs are trees and the tree skiing, if you like that sort of thing was great. Like many of the Canadian resorts the organization was great and the facilities good but if you wanted a day off to shop or chill-out there were very few shops (3 in the village center). No cafes on the hill only at the bottoms of the lifts but this was okay as the hill is only one lift high. The selection of restaurants for eating in the evening are limited but the ones there are good (again as we we were here late in the season the food selection was limited and 2 bars ran out of beer!!!!).
We took to visiting Kelowna for something to do (Ice Hockey) There was no means of getting there other than Taxi - we were duped and it ended up costing CA$300 there and back (we were quote CA$150 but then the they refused to take us back unless we paid a further CA$150 - we checked the price with other cab companies and the correct price was CA$300) The resort does run a "shopping" bus 3 times a week but only if 10 people book, it ran once in 2 weeks to our knowledge.
Overall a good place to visit for a few days but not longer that a week.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BWCR, General Manager at Big White Ski Resort, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Dear rogerd104,

Thank you for sharing your review with the travel community, we really appreciate your feedback.

We are sorry about the disappointments with the end of season menu items that were missing. We are working with our restaurants to try to find a good solution for the lack of food at the end of the season and hope to alleviate this problem.

We are reviewing your comments with our team in an effort to continually improve our services. Our company’s mission statement is ‘to exceed our guests expectations with superior service and exceptional value’ and we certainly appreciate the time and effort individuals like yourself put in providing us with feedback so we can continue to understand our guests’ needs and raise our standard of service.

Kind Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portola Valley, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“A destination ski resort that has soft powdery snow most of the year.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

We've been 15 times to Big White. The snow is usually powdery. In April 2012, we had an inch or two of fresh powder and sunny days. In April 2013 we had the warmest weather ever with California-like conditions. It's not as cold as the Rockies, generally. If you like Deer Valley, Utah or Snowmass in Aspen or Northstar at Lake Tahoe, then you might like Big White. It has plenty of intermediate skiing and a green beginner run from each lift - although these are not for wimps. The downside of Big White are the Big Whiteouts that can come any time in the season. The mountain can have very poor visibility - on those days you head for the trees.

There are condos, hotels and even a hostel for all budgets. Big White has some excellent deals. They provide a shuttle that ranges from a taxi, minivan or coach to take you to and from Kelowna airport. It will drop you at the door of you accommodation.

Every evening there's something different to do. You can listen to musician Jon Bos at the Happy Valley bar or go to the lively Snowshoe Sam's for entertainment. Evening events include ice hockey or skating or ice climbing if it is cold enough. The tubing "roller coaster" runs are great fun for young and old alike - I went with 2 sisters over 50 and 2 teenage nieces.

Other evening events might include playing with a Nintendo Wii, quizzes, free Bingo, fireworks, brazier and hot chocolate, sleigh rides or carnival games. The children's center offers ski lessons, daycare activities and a special kids cafeteria.

The ski lessons are fun and there are special classes for seniors. Women enjoy Ladies Day - a discounted lesson with first rate lunch at the Kettle Valley steakhouse and raffle prizes.

There are plenty of places to eat. The grocery store is expensive, but has the basics as well as a wine section. It also has a good deli with a casual restaurant. If you are missing your local coffee shop then Beano's in the main ticketing area has Canadian pastries like Nanaimo bars and coffees. At the other end of the mountain near the bast of the Gem Lake lift is the Westridge Warming Hut. It's not really a hut and is now called a Bistro. It was remodeled for the 2012-2013 season. At the end of the season it can appear a bit low on stock - some years it has closed early because it is at the lowest part of the mountain and has been known to run out of snow before the ski season ends.

The beginner area is completely separate and in 3 days most people graduate to the main slopes, whether skiing or boarding. This is a terrific place for beginners with wide runs like Highway 33 and the Sun Run to practice on - Squirrel is a quieter parallel alternative. The terrain park has a separate lift and there are various levels of jumps, a half pipe and a boarder cross. At one time there was a full pipe - but it's expensive to maintain - so really the resort needs a sponsor to support this. Telus supports the park as a whole.

On a foggy day go to the Black Forest - unless it is the weekend when local season pass holders may make it busy as there's a car park there.

There are two parallel lifts from the Ridge Rocket - one a quad and the other a 6-seater. Big White rarely has lift lines. The worst times might be on the Bullet Chair for night skiing if the local schools bring buses or on holiday weekends when it is sunny. Our longest lift line ever was 9 minutes at Big White.

The T-bar takes you to the Enchanted Forest - a large area of trees, gullies and powder stashes for intermediate skiers and boarders. If you are a beginner there are easy runs from the T-bar, but don't go up on foggy days.

The top of the Gem Lake chair can have totally different weather from the base - so check the webcam before you go. In 2013, the easy way out from Gem Lake has been groomed well, but sometimes it can get frosty.

I wish Big White would groom its intermediate runs off the Moonlight Run near Gem Lake. The top of Blue Ribbon is in my opinion dangerous as there are mounds that boarders tend to jump and if you are not a fast skier you could be caught below - so be careful if you are up there. On a clear powdery day the Sun Ripe Bowl is great - there are many ways out of it.

I've never skied the cliff and it has avalanched in past years - so be sure you go with care. The resort does blast it but you'd better know what you are doing before attempting it.

There's masses of tree skiing - from narrow passages like Alley Oop and Spruce Trail, to short cuts that the mountain's Snow Hosts can tell you about, to extensive expert glades.

Even though you will see children being pulled on sledges, this is not really a place to sledge - in Canada very young tots can ski or snowboard and many race.

Every place is ski-in, ski-out to some degree. Our Grizzly Lodge condo requires some walking with skis from the back door through a tunnel then a flat poling along to get to the beginner slopes. When the snow is deep you can ski back through a couple of tunnels - one wide, the other narrow to the back door. If you are not up to skiing through the narrow tunnel you can walk through it or cross the road and take a short walk to the Bullet Chair. Our Stonebridge condo is on an easy run and is right on the slopes.

Big White road has no sidewalks so bring a flashlight or wear something light so people can see you at night - but you may be able to walk along snowy trails or through the skiable village area and avoid the road completely.

The resort owns 3 hotels. They all have restaurants. The Inn at Big White has a warm pool and hot tub. The bad thing about the Inn at Big White and the White Crystal Inn is they are very bad at shoveling snow off their balconies. They could make much better use of them and offer outdoor apres-ski activities - even in cold weather waiters could adjust propane heaters so the expensive gas is not wasted. On warmer days, the resort offers an open-air dining area in the village center. Snowshoe Sams and the Bull Wheel also have balconies that seem to get cleared earlier in the season than those of the Big White hotels.

Afternoon tea at the Kettle Valley Steakhouse was a great find in 2013. Every time we've been to Big White we've enjoyed our stay. It has an international atmosphere and many of the helpers are from the southern hemisphere. It is relatively unknown in the US.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BWCR, General Manager at Big White Ski Resort, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Dear amhey,

Thank you for providing such thoughtful and thorough feedback regarding Big White Ski Resort.

We are glad you enjoy Big White and we hope to see you here again this coming season!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Amazing snow and staff!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Our first trip to Big White having skiied at Whistler and local Vancouver mountains. Can't say enough good things about Big White! We will forever be spoiled for the ski conditions, and everywhere we went the staff (mostly Aussies) were helpful, friendly and patient. Great resort!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BWCR, General Manager at Big White Ski Resort, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Dear AbenaOhene,

Thank you for taking the time to provide such great feedback regarding your recent visit to Big White Ski Resort.

We are pleased to hear that your trip was so enjoyable and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Big White Ski Resort also viewed

Panorama, Kootenay Rockies
Oliver, Okanagan Valley
 
Kelowna, Okanagan Valley
 

Been to Big White Ski Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Big White Ski Resort, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.