So what's it like?
Canada is a bucket-list destination for skiers and boarders alike. It’s famed for its knee-deep powder, immaculately groomed slopes and wide, tree-lined runs. Add in the massive snowfall and staggering, national-park scenery and it’s easy to see why it’s coveted as that once-in-a-lifetime ski holiday. And why, after your first trip, it’ll be hard to settle for anything less...
Canadian resorts are all about the snow. Like many of their North American cousins, they get some of the lightest powder you’ll find and it piles down, with an impressive snow record that sets them apart from most of Europe. What’s more, these are locals’ mountains, which means quiet slopes during the week and barely a lift queue in sight. So you can make first and even second tracks in the mornings and work on your technique on empty slopes in the afternoons for most of the week. Those locals love their mountains so much, they’ll even show you around for free. All Canadian resorts have local mountain hosts who’re there to introduce you to the mountain and will take you to those secret sweet spots.
Where there are locals, there’s a laid-back vibe and super-friendly faces everywhere you turn. If there’s one thing Canadians do well, it’s friendly service, whether you’re staying in a ‘real’ old railway town like Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper or Fernie, or in the convenience of a purpose-built ski village like Whistler, Panorama or Tremblant. You can expect a warm welcome at every hotel, bar and restaurant you visit and truly excellent food. Even the lifties have permanent smiles all season long – possibly because they’re living the dream, skiing some of the world’s best terrain.
And there’s terrain to suit everyone. Most of Canada’s mountains are big enough to cater for all abilities, from the beginners right up to the experts. The ski school classes are usually small and there are plenty of easy greens to practise on as you learn. More seasoned pros will love the bounded ski areas, where you can play in the sort of terrain that would be off-piste in Europe, safe in the knowledge that it’s patrolled and avalanche-controlled. The tree skiing is also world class and if you’re looking for the ultimate pow fix, there’s heli-skiing galore.
But ski holidays to Canada aren’t just about the skiing. Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and Fernie all sit within national parks so you’re surrounded by protected scenery and the sort of mountain wildlife you could only read about at home. You’ll usually spot some elk, deer and coyotes on the transfer alone, and plenty of bighorn sheep and mountain goats on your way to the slopes – even a moose if you’re lucky. And Canadians have come up with so many great ways to see their beautiful scenery and wildlife, with awesome activities in all our Canadian resorts, like zip-treks through huge mountain valleys and husky rides through snow-capped forests. Canyon walks, helicopter tours, and ice skating across frozen lakes – it’s Canada as you’ve always imagined it.
Fly with Air Canada and your Canadian experience starts on the plane - they serve free Caesars (Canada's answer to Bloody Marys) onboard. And if you're planning on a spot of shopping while you're there, you get double the luggage allowance when you fly premium, and a bigger seat to boot.
Please note: If you're travelling to Canada on or after 15 March 2016 you'll need to complete an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), at a cost of $7, at least 72 hours before travel. You can apply now online at www.Canada.ca/eta
Free ski carriage to Canada
Book a Canada ski holiday and pay nothing for your ski carriage.
Available on all Air Canada flights for Winter 15-16.