CANADIAN SKI & SNOWBOARD VACATIONS
Whitewater ski resort
Whitewater ski resort. Photo credit: Destination BC/Kari Medig

Whitewater Ski Resort is home cooked skiing, the old school kind that gives all the feels. Life takes a slower pace here where time is measured in powder turns, where wifi doesn’t exist literally, where phones don’t ring and friendships matter.

They call Whitewater, WH²O, the Powder Formula for good reason with over 39.3 feet (12 m) of snow fall a season and some of the best lift accessed backcountry in Canada found in the Selkirk Mountains. Did we mention the simple base lodge with an award wining dining menu and the funky lakeside town of Nelson down the road?

Why Whitewater?

Because life was meant for skiing and snowboarding. As the locals say, it’s all about the vibe. Fresh turns with your neighbour.  Euphoria after a long day of powder shredding, fuelled by great food, and the feeling of being disconnected to reconnect.  Get ready to unplug, fuel up and enjoy, because at Whitewater high fives are free, and encouraged, even with social distancing!

about whitewater

THE SNOW

Skier at Whitewater Ski Resort
Whitewater ski resort. Photo credit: Destination BC/Kari Medig

Whitewater is on the Powder Highway for good reason.  Nearly 40 feet (12 metres) of good reason. The average winter temperature sits around 18F (-8C), so it’s cold, but not seriously cold. This temperature means, the snow is so light and dry and devoid of moisture you can’t make a snow ball stick. Imagine that. Sorry kids!

 

The best way to get to know Whitewater and the amazing terrain on offer across three main areas (Glory Ridge, Summit and Silver King) is to take a free 2 hour mountain tour twice a day.

 

Otherwise take an In Deep Guided tour of the resort for minimal cost with others of similar ability to find the best in bounds powder stashes.

 

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THE TOWN

Nelson heritage houses on a hill overlooking the west arm of Kootenay Lake
Nelson, BC. Photo credit: Destination BC/Kari Medig

There’s no village at Whitewater, just a base lodge and a car park. That’s part of the charm. The resort is located 13.5 miiles (22km) from the city of Nelson, British Columbia. Whitewater Ski Resort offers a daily shuttle service between the resort and the town of Nelson.

 

Twenty minutes from Whitewater Ski Resort, you’ll find the funky town of Nelson where most skiers and snowboarders stay – an eclectic mix of colourful heritage houses perched on a hill overlooking the west arm of Kootenay Lake.

 

It’s filled with baristas and craft beer, artists and outdoor gear, boutiques and bars and diverse restaurants. There’s enough to keep you entertained night after night at the end of powder fuelled days.

 

Try No6 for espresso and Marzano for gourmet breakfast (and lunch and dinner) and Nelson Brewing Company for organic beers.

 

Contact us for the best Whitewater snow holiday.

WHERE TO STAY

Nelson town hotels, inns and lodging
Nelson BC. Photo credit: Destination BC/Kari Medig

Some folks include Whitewater as a day trip from Red but we think it’s worth some serious time of its own. Bed down in Nelson at the town’s plethora of hotels, motels, inns, lodges and bed and breakfasts either lakeside or higher on the hill.

 

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TOP 5 REASONS TO VISIT WHITEWATER

Skiing at Whitewater Ski Resort
Whitewater Ski Resort. Photo credit: Destination BC/Kari Medig

#1. The best tree skiing in Canada – fall line glades as wide or narrow as you wish.

 

#2. Off the grid – no wifi reception so you can truly unplug.

 

#3. No crowds, and 39.3 feet (12 + metres) of cold smoke snow that’s super light and dry all to yourself, and maybe a few locals!

 

#4. On mountain food that is as good as the snow. Shelley Adams, the chef and author of Whitewater Cookbooks is world renowned, in fact her cookbooks have gone global. People come to Whitewater for the food almost as much as the skiing, and with good reason.

 

#5. Nelson’s historic town down the road. It’s authentic, it’s real, it’s worth a visit.

 

Contact us for the best Whitewater snow holiday.

RESORT FACTS

Whitewater Ski Resort skiing view
Whitewater ski resort. Photo credit: Destination BC/Kari Medig

DESIGNATED TRAILS:

#Trails Beginner Intermediate Advanced Extreme
82 10% 32% 47% 11%

**Marked runs include groomed, open bowls, glades, chutes, and tree skiing.

ANNUAL SNOWFALL:

Whitewater Ski Resort 1200cm 40 feet
Average Winter Temperature -8°C 18°F

TERRAIN:

Lift Accessible Terrain 479 ha 1184 acres
Total Skiable Acres 958 ha 2367 acres

VERTICAL DROP:

Vertical drop: 623 m 2044 ft
Summit Elevation 2042 m 6700 ft
Lodge Base Elevation 1646 m 5400 ft
Glory Ridge Elevation 2045 m 6710 ft
Silver King Elevation 1900 m 6250 ft
Ymir Peak Elevation 2398 m 7867 ft

NUMBER OF LIFTS & UPHILL CAPACITY:

Whitewater Ski Resort 4
Uphill lift capacity: 4500/hour

NORDIC SKIING

3 miles (5km) of multi-use trails, which are dog friendly and will accommodate skate skiing, classic skiing, snow shoeing, and snow biking. Trails are track set on Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays.

NIGHT SKIING

Not offered, head to Nelson for lots of après ski.

 

SEASON DATES & OPENING HOURS 

Whitewater is usually open from early December to early April each year.

 

WINTER HOURS OF OPERATION 

9.00 am – 3.30 pm Note: These times are provided by the ski resort and can vary based on external conditions, day of the week, school, and public holidays.

GETTING THERE

Road to Whitewater Ski Resort

Whitewater Ski Resort is located 13.5 miles (22km) outside of the city of Nelson. Head south out of Nelson along Highway 6 (toward Salmo). Travel for approximately 7.5 miles (12km) until you see the sign for Whitewater Ski Resort. Turn left and head up the mountain for another 6 miles (10km).
Guest can fly into Canadian Rockies International Airport (Cranbrook, British Columbia) or West Kootenay Regional Airport (Castlegar, British Columbia) Kelowna International Airport (Kelowna, British Columbia).
 
City Driving Distance (km) Driving Distance (mi)
Castlegar 44 27
Creston 125 78
Cranbrook 231 144
Spokane, WA 240 149
Osoyoos 262 163
Penticton 323 201
Kelowna 346 215
Kamloops 459 285
Banff, AB 509 316
Calgary, AB 619 385
Vancouver 661 411

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TRAIL MAP

Whitewater Ski Resort Glory Ridge trail mapWhitewater Ski Resort Silver King trail mapWhitewater Ski Resort Summit trail map

Things to do at whitewater

TERRAIN PARK

You’ll get plenty of air and have a bird’s eye view of the spectacular mountains of Whitewater, whilst your ripping it up in the Whitewater Terrain Park. A favourite with the locals, this hidden gem, this resort, is fast becoming a must-do ski destination for snowboarders and skiers alike.

 

The grooming team have their hands full every night, whilst you après, moving bucket loads of deep powder snow, to shift around to make the berms, jumps, and half-pipes ready for you to explore each day. Riders can showcase their crazy skills on a variety of creative park features. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Tribute Boardshop is a core snowboard, backcountry, skateboard, lifestyle apparel and accessories retailer located in the heart of Nelson, British. Drop in and say hi to guys, and share your shredding stories. In this laid-back ski town, there’s always time for a story, and pay tribute to the mountains.

SNOW SCHOOL

Person skiing at Whitewater Ski Resort
Whitewater ski resort. Photo: Destination BC/Steve Ogle

Ski school here offers the usual group and private lessons but smattered amongst them are some insanely good programs including the full day Beyond the Piste program to get you into the off piste terrain with tips and tricks to float through powder, glide through trees and have the confidence to handle it all. Book ahead.

 

Week Skiers program is for the little ones aged 3-5 years age with a 2 hour program in the mornings or afternoons mid week with snack time included.

 

COVID-19 Policy: The resorts’ products, programs and prices may change or vary for the upcoming 2020/21 season as they continue to act in accordance with the instructions of the BC Ministry of Health and other Government officials.

 

Whitewater also offers single day Avalanche Awareness Courses inside the area boundaries as an introduction to avalanche awareness. If you have the time then the Avalanche Canada recognized 3-day Avalanche Skills Training (AST) 1 course is considered the bare minimum education for anyone venturing beyond the rope and into the backcountry without a guide.  This is the course where you learn to identify avalanche terrain and perform companion rescue. It also covers the basics of avalanche formation and release, trip planning and what tools you have to work with when it comes to safe and fun times in the backcountry.

 

Whitewater also offers courses for those looking to hone their skills. The Companion Rescue Skills course is a hands on full-day practicing avalanche search and rescue skills.  This Avalanche Canada recognized course is an excellent annual refresher – dust off those skills!

 

Managing Avalanche Terrain is a new offering from Avalanche Canada. It is a full field day focused on moving through terrain safely.  Students will plan and execute a trip in the Whitewater backcountry with guidance and feedback from one of our friendly avalanche forecasters.

 

Contact us for all your Whitewater snow school needs.

RENTALS

Avoid those expensive airline baggage fees, and hassle, and leave your gear at home!

 

There is a rental shop on-mountain at Whitewater, and they guarantee to have all the skis and boards to best fit your approach to our mountain’s wide variety of terrain. Heading into the backcountry to enjoy the amazing terrain and deep pow surrounding Whitewater? They have a solid selection of avalanche safety, and touring equipment, to kit you out for any of their avalanche or backcountry courses.  They’ve got your back covered, literally.

 

The wilderness of Whitewater is breathtaking. If you are into Nordic skiing, their Nordic fleet includes both classic and skate skis, as well as snowshoes.

RETAIL SHOPPING

Nelson town, Baker Street
Nelson BC. Photo credit: Destination BC/Kari Medig

You don’t go to Whitewater to shop, but if you do then you can grab some merchandise in their store in the base lodge. Otherwise head into Nelson and wander Baker Street for artisan products, antiques, adventure gear, interior design, outfitters and more.

 

Nelson is also known as the Number One Small Arts Town in Canada, with artisans and craftspeople in abundance. Local art hangs on many café walls, and you’ll find artisans’ wares at several local markets.

 

Craft Connection, an artist co-op in downtown Nelson, has a gallery and shop space to showcase some of our artisans’ best work. The store itself features more than 150 artists and artisans.

 

Contact us for all your Whitewater travel needs.

 

THINGS TO DO

Nelson town restaurants
Nelson, BC. Photo credit: Destination BC/Steve Ogle

You come to Whitewater to ski so you’ll most likely spend your spare time stretching, skiing or eating.

 

You could go heli skiing with nearby Stellar heli skiing, take a trip to Ainsworth Hot Springs for some mineral soaking or check out Touchstones Museum that some say is haunted.

 

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APRÈS SKI

Nelson town après beers and soul food Head straight to Coal Oil Johnny’s Pub in the base lodge for après beers and soul food at the end of the day.

 

In Nelson try Mike’s Place British style pub for après beers, Marzano for pizza and vino, Finley’s and Sage wine bar for tapas style après, Bloom for late night DJ dancing and Spiritbar Showroom for events.

 

Contact us for all your Whitewater and Nelson travel needs.

Contact us for all your Whitewater vacation needs.