Big White History
Big White was opened up in 1963 by two local families from Kelowna, the Serwas and the Mervyns. They saw a future on this large mountain located in the Monashee Mountain Range and they built their first day lodge with a T-bar tow lift that accessed some of the best powder snow BC had to offer.
"Champagne powder" is the phrase that local outdoor enthusiasts call the Okanagan's lightest, driest powder snow conditions that happen to grace our world class ski resorts and the surrounding backcountry mountain ranges.
Big White Ski Resort is located about 56 kilometres or 35 miles from Kelowna which is about a 35-45 min drive on a well maintained paved road.
Big White's summit is at 2319 meters or 7608 ft. and sits partially above the tree line. The trees near the summit are called 'Snow Ghosts' in the winter because of their mass of wind blown snow. It's 2,765 acres of patrolled terrain is accessed by 16 lifts. The area offers everything from beginner to expert slopes with beautiful glades, lots of groomed runs and the 'Cliff Bowl' for the advanced riders/skiers. It enjoys an average 300cm's of packed base every year and over 700 cm of annual snowfall.
Big Whites night skiing is serviced by three lifts, the 'Bullet Express' Quad chair, the terrain parks double chair and and the Plaza Chair. The Happy Valley area has a Kid's magic carpet teaching centre, tube park, outdoor ice skating and snowmobile excursions located near the Happy Valley Day lodge and Laura's Gondola. In the same area there is 25 kms of groomed cross country skating and classic nordic trails.
The Telus terrain park was opened in the winter of 2004/2005 with a double chair installed to access the boardercross course, the half pipe and the terrain park which has some large single and double jumps, tabletops, rails, gaps with a few smaller features located throughout the park. The terrain park is also lit for great night riding.
The Gem Lake area is the newest addition to Big White's expanded versatile terrain. Serviced by a Quad chair the Gem Lake Express, its runs are a little longer and steeper than the original village area and is also located about a 10 minute drive closer to Kelowna. A large parking lot and a day lodge with all the amenities like a ticket centre, washrooms and hot food and drink to keep the belly warm on those very cold days.
The village centre has a main day lodge with ski/snowboard rentals, a ski tuning shop, Big White's real estate office, local artisans and a world class ski school. Just outside the day lodge are the Kids centre, 3 hotels, restaurants, retail stores, coffee shops, bakeries and bars. There is accommodations located all over the mountain, whether you want to be centralized in the village or stay in a quiet chalet all within a 10 minute walk from the village centre. Most accommodations on Big White are considered to be ski in and ski out.
See www.BigWhite.com for more.