British Columbia’s Vancouver Island is home to 800,000 people, British Columbia’s provincial capital, Victoria, and Mount Washington Alpine Resort (MWAR) which has grown to become one of the top ski areas in Canada. With a summit elevation reaching a mile above the nearby Pacific Ocean, 1,700 acres of ski terrain with 1,657 feet of vertical rise, and a historical average of approximately 457 inches of snow each year, the highest average of any ski area in Canada, Mount Washington Alpine Resort has been a must visit destination for snow sports enthusiasts for over 40 years.
Mount Washington is not all brawn, however. It has a beautiful side as well and has been recognized universally as having the best scenery of any ski resort in Canada. With stunning views of the Pacific Ocean’s Georgia Strait, the Coastal Mountain Range of British Columbia, and the spectacularly scenic Strathcona Provincial Park, it has also been named as one of the 10 places that should be on every Canadian’s “bucket list,” whether they are skiers or not!
While the alpine skiing is more famous, the Nordic facilities are equally impressive with its own base lodge and 55 kilometers of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, half of which are in the adjacent Strathcona Provincial Park. In anticipation of the Winter Games that were held in Vancouver in 2010, MWAR upgraded their Nordic facilities to Olympic standards and many of the teams competing made MWAR their training center leading up to those Olympics for cross-country skiing and biathlon. Those same world-class facilities are now enjoyed by Mount Washington’s guests and season pass holders.
In the summer, MWAR offers miniature golf, a bungee trampoline, boardwalk games like giant chess and checkers, and miles of hiking trails. Mount Washington also has a strong history with mountain biking, having served as the host site for the professional freeride competition known as the Bearclaw Invitational which was created by the legendary Darren Berrecloth. Perhaps the favorite summer activities at Mt. Washington, however, are the scenic chairlift rides which take you to the summit a mile above sea level for those all-world views and then enjoying a nice meal at the resort before making the beautiful drive down the mountain through vast alpine forests.
To see for yourself why Mount Washington Alpine Resort deserves to be on your bucket list, visit www.mountwashington.ca.