Whistler/Blackcomb, the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, is constantly voted as one of the top ski destinations. The two, adjacent mountains have terrain for every level, and the self-contained Whistler/Blackcomb villages offer an abundance of dining, shopping, spa and nightlife activities. Whistler is best for groups of people at varying levels of proficiency. Advanced skiers and riders can ski the bowls, and the less-experienced group members can ski the cat track that surrounds the bowls' perimeter. Whistler/Blackcomb's 200 trails are situated on 8,100 acres of land, which has been divided into 20 percent beginner, 55 percent intermediate and 25 percent advanced terrain. The area receives an average of 402 inches of snow each year.
4010 Whistler Way
Whistler, British Columbia V0N 1B4 Canada
Sunshine Village is one of the three resorts located in Banff National Park. The resort has one ski-in/ski-out lodge, but many people opt to stay in the town of Banff, which has a wide selection of restaurants, nightlife and dining venues. Sunshine Village's brightly-colored gondolas transport skiers to 3,358 acres of terrain, which receive an average of 396 inches of snow. Its 107 trails are divided into 20 percent beginner terrain, 55 percent intermediate and 20 percent advanced. The wide, rolling hills make Sunshine Village an intermediate's paradise.
Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1J5
The Lake Louise ski resort is also located in Banff National Park. The sheer beauty of its natural surroundings draws thousands of visitors each year. Lake Louise has a distinct advantage over other resorts. There are runs for every level at the top of every lift. The resort's 4,200 acres receive an average of 144 inches of snow each year. Its 139 trails are divided into 25 percent beginner terrain, 45 percent intermediate and 30 percent advanced.
P.O. Box 5, Lake Louise Alberta
Canada T0L 1E0
There's a reason why Eastern U.S. skiers endure the sub-zero temperatures at Mont Tremblant. Located in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, Tremblant is often described as a poor person's French ski vacation. Crepes for breakfast and French cuisine add to its charm, but its terrain and state-of-the -art lift system make Tremblant one of the best ski resorts in eastern North America. Its 4,200 acres receive an annual average of 179 inches of snow, and its terrain is divided into 17 percent beginner trails, 33 percent intermediate, 39 percent advanced and 11 percent expert trails.
Mont Tremblant Ski Resort
1000 Chemin des Voyageurs
Mont-Tremblant, Quebec J8E 1T1
Fernie Alpine Resort
Fernie is located in a former coal-mining town in British Columbia. The town still feels like an historic mining town. That's part of the appeal. You don't come to Fernie for its nightlife. You come for the bowls, the tree skiing and the deep powder. Its 2,504 acres receive an annual average of 350 inches of snow. Terrain is divided into 30 percent beginner, 40 percent intermediate, 25 percent advanced and 5 percent expert. This might sound intimidating to novice skiers, but Fernie's ski school is one of the best places to learn powder skiing.
5339 Fernie Ski Hill Rd
Fernie, British Columbia VOB 1M6, Canada
Big White is one of British Columbia's most family friendly resorts. Its self-contained, ski-in/ski-out village has accommodations and restaurants for all budgets, and the Big White Kids Centre provides all-day instruction or childcare. Big White's terrain is divided into 18 percent beginner trails, 54 percent intermediate, 22 percent advanced and 6 percent expert.
5315 Big White Road
Canada V1P 1P3
Champagne powder and backcountry access make Kicking Horse a favorite among advanced skiers and snowboarders. The resort boasts three alpine bowls and 70 chutes. Kicking Horse also offers instructor training courses and avalanche safety training. Despite the challenging terrain in the rest of the resort, the Horse Play Corral is Kicking Horse's groomed, beginner and slow-skiing area.
1500 Kicking Horse Trail
Golden, British Columbia VOA 1HO
(250) 439 5425
Panorama is owned by Intrawest, which is the company that owns Whistler and Tremblant. Located in British Columbia, Panorama is less commercial than the other Intrawest resorts, but it does have a pedestrian, ski-in/ski-out village. The resort is famous for its heli-skiing and heli-boarding programs.
Panorama Mountain Village
Panorama, British Columbia
Most people don't expect to find powder skiing in Quebec, but in 2008, when Le Massif opened up 26 acres for backcountry skiing, Eastern powder became a reality. Ski here for a less-commercial alternative to Tremblant.
1350 Rue Principale RR 2
Petite-Riviere St-Francois, Quebec G0A 2L0
Monte Saint Anne
Mont Saint Anne is about simple pleasures, such as the shack that sells fresh snow covered with newly-tapped maple syrup. The resort is only 30 minutes from Quebec City, and the terrain might be more suitable for beginners and intermediates than the terrain at Tremblant.
2000 du Beau-pré
Beaupré, QC G0A 1E0, Canada