Where to Ski on Vancouver Island

Mount Washington

Mount Washington is legendary in North America for its crazy amount of snowfall. An average year will see over 10 metres of snowfall. That’s over 30 feet! Providing choice terrain for those on a snowboard or skis, the runs vary from steep and difficult to extremely kid friendly (including a series of new “Magic Carpets” that transport beginners up the bunny hill with ease.

Experience the thrill of Mt Washington’s Snow Zone. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned veteran, the mountain has a wide variety of runs to meet your skill level. And now with the new high-speed quad chair (The Eagle Express), you can get to the summit twice as fast. Snowboarders and skiers alike will delight in Mt. Washington’s incredible diversity. There’s so much to do day or night, and the way to find out is to experience it yourself. You won’t be disappointed.


vancouver skiing

  • Summit : 1,588 meters (5215 feet)
  • Vertical rise: 505 meter (1657 feet)
  • Winter Season: Early December to late April
  • Average snowfall: 800 cm (26 feet!)
  • Over 50 alpine runs (25% easier, 40% intermediate and 35% expert)
  • Eight lifts: One high-speed quad, one 6-pak, three triple chairs, four magic carpets and one tube lift.
  • Lift capacity: 17,500 riders per hour.
  • All-natural snowboard park and halfpipe accessed off the Whiskey Jack Chair and Eagle Express Quad.
  • Magic Carpets for make the bunny hills extremely accessible for beginners and kids.
  • Cross-country trails: Forty kms of track set trails partially located in Strathcona Park (some are lift serviced).
  • Snow-tubing park: Lift accessed featuring night tubing.

This mountain is not to be missed. Check out their website for more details: www.mountwashington.ca

Mount Cain

If Mount Washington is Vancouver Islands’ skiing and snowboarding Mecca, then Mt. Cain is our Jerusalem. Really — the snow here is holy and to top it off, the vibe varies between mellow and non-existent. The lifts are only open on the weekends and select Mondays, but if back country is your style, then you can still access the mountain mid-week. Check out their website for more details: www.mountcain.com

A Day of Skiing and Snowboarding on Vancouver Island

The chairlift whips you to a mile above sea level and the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and Strait of Georgia.

You adjust your goggles and head down Linton’s Loop, one of 50-plus alpine runs at Mt. Washington Resort, halfway between Courtenay and Campbell River on Central Vancouver Island. You pulled into the resort last night, unpacked your gear in the rental condo and marvelled at the amount of snow – 23 feet and rising – and at the brand new high speed detachable quad chairlift – THE EAGLE EXPRESS – installed during the summer of 1998.

You begin the day with breakfast at the main lodge, sitting out on the deck to admire the mountain views. Picking up a map of the runs, you snap on your skis and head to the Eagle Express and a very quick trip to the top.

Halfway down the trail Linton’s Loop you veer to the left onto Rainbow, an intermediate run that finishes at the Sunrise Quad lift. The lineup moves quick, and soon you are on a second mountain top and ready to take on Fletcher’s Challenge, a black diamond run with moguls galore.

You spend the morning on the south side of the mountain, meeting at the lodge at noon for a quick snack with the kids. While they head back to the beginner’s runs, you spend the afternoon skiing the intermediate runs, which make up 40% of the hill’s runs.

Just before closing, you make that final run that deposits you at the skiable trail to your condo. Tomorrow it’s a day of cross-country skiing on some of the 40 kilometers of track set trails. The kids, meanwhile, have their day planned around the new tubing park and snowboarding.

You decide to check out Vancouver Island’s third ski hill, Mt. Cain. Located on the north end of the island, you’re after the powder on Mt. Cain’s 18 runs. Open weekends and Mondays, the mountain has a day lodge and cafe, but you’ve been told that accommodations are limited. Phoning ahead to reserve a room in nearby Sayward, you point the car northward to another Vancouver Island alpine adventure.