Ski season is just starting across BC this winter, and resorts have been working closely with the provincial government to ensure the safety of their staff and guests. Winter operating protocols look similar across the resorts: more hand sanitizer stations, marking on floors to encourage proper physical distancing and increased signage that reminds guests to keep face coverings on in lift queues, in gondolas and in indoor public spaces. There’ll even be physical distancing on lifts, and you’re strongly encouraged (or even required) to stay with your immediate group. On-site food establishments are operating at a reduced capacity, and you’re invited to pack and bring your own snacks to re-energize throughout the day.
If you’re planning on hitting the slopes this winter, check out what else is happening at these top five ski resorts across BC.
Note: Check the provincial restrictions and each ski resort's website for updates before going skiing or riding this winter.
©2020 Eric Berger Photography, All Rights Reserved. Vail Resorts
Opening day: November 26
Where to get passes and lift tickets: Season passes and lift tickets can be purchased online, and walk-up window sales will be eliminated this year.
What’s changed: Whistler Blackcomb is going cashless, so have your phone on hand or credit card ready to go for any type of purchases, whether it’s food or merchandise. The resort has also implemented a reservations system to manage traffic flow, so all pass holders are required to make a reservation prior to their visit.
Learn more: whistler.com
Big White Ski ResortOpening day: November 26
Where to get passes and lift tickets: Day tickets are available for purchase online only, where you’ll automatically receive 25 per cent off that day’s retail price. Season passes can also be found online or at the Ambrosi ticket office.
What’s changed: Big White’s going contactless this season and asks guests to be ready for purchases with credit and debit cards. The resort will also be temporarily suspending its express bus service from West Kelowna and Kelowna.
Learn more: bigwhite.com
Kicking Horse Mark Eleven PhotographyOpening day: December 6
Where to get passes and lift tickets: With the exception of the Super Pass, all season passes must be purchased online, where guests will also be asked to complete waivers and upload photos. Lift tickets will not be sold at the resort, except for the TIGER lift tickets, so guests must pre-purchase them online.
What’s changed: The resort’s regular daycare services will not be operating this season. They are also offering a new “no questions asked” refund on all unused 2020/21 Winter Season pass purchases. Season Pass and Epic Pass holders will not be required to make reservations.
Learn more: kickinghorseresort.com
Sun Peaks credit Reuben KrabbeOpening day: November 21
Where to get passes and lift tickets: The Alpine Season Pass is now sold out, but day tickets are available for online purchase. Lift ticket sales will be capped this winter, so be sure to book in advance.
What’s changed: Sun Peaks has implemented an online booking system for equipment rentals, where guests will also be asked to complete waivers. To further minimize contact, the resort is introducing an RFID system for more efficient access to the mountain. Ski lessons are also limited to three guests per instructor in order to ensure proper physical distancing.
Learn more: sunpeaksresort.com
Revelstoke Grant GundersonOpening day: November 27
What’s changed: Due to COVID-19 risks, the resort is suspending a few services this winter, which include locker facilities at Revelation Lodge and Guest Services, the warming huts at the top of the Gondola, Stoke and Ripper chairs, and the Terrain Park. The Gnome Zone will remain open minus its features, and the status of both the Terrain Park and Gnome Zone will be re-evaluated in January 2021.
Learn more: revelstokemountainresort.com
As the pandemic is ever-evolving, policies and regulations are expected to change, so check in with your resort on their website for the latest updates before you head there.
P.S. For all outdoor adventures across Canada, subscribe to our print magazine!
Subscribe to Explore magazine today!