Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2015.  I hope everyone out there has at least one epic powder day this season.  But to date we aren’t having one of our better snow years so far.   Does that really matter?  There are so many ways to have winter fun in the mountains and ripping up some hero snow is just one of them – admittedly one of the better ways to have fun 🙂

Screenshot 2015-01-01 16.38.15Apres ski is often every bit as fun as enjoying fresh air and exercise on the mountain.  In fact, some of the best Apres Ski I’ve experienced has been after an amazing snow day.  There’s so much excitement in the lodge that the place is just humming.  I’m thinking of the Griz Bar at Fernie where I’ve consumed many a pitcher listening to great music and shouting about the days exploits amongst close friends.  The Valley of the 10 Peaks lodge at Lake Louise has also provided some great memories but there does seem to be something magical about the energy level when I’m at Fernie.

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Spending Christmas and/or New Year’s Eve at a ski resort is also something you need to do at least once in your life.  For me, family and friends always come first this time of year which precludes running of to a resort of any kind.  But my dream would be to some day rent a big chalet and get everyone together for a ski vacation over Christmas.  Many years ago my wife’s family arranged Christmas in Chamonix and it’s one that I’ll never forget.   There wasn’t a ton of snow but the skiing was still fun and the dining was absolutely awesome!

Fireworks at  Squaw Valley

Fireworks at Squaw Valley

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Sunrise at Kicking Horse Resort

Now if I had my choice of any resort in Canada to spend my Christmas vacation, the top two would be Whistler and Le Massif.  Whistler is an obvious choice because of the incredible variety of terrain between Whistler and Blackcomb but the village get’s two thumbs up for nightlife and dining opportunities.  Le Massif get’s my pick because of the charm and coziness of the resort.  There is also the possibility of some awesome pow pow and amazing Quebec cuisine is guaranteed.  You also can’t beat the night life.  Sorry Whistler but Quebecers really know how to party.

Since I live in Calgary, Whistler and Le Massif are rather expensive options.  Ditto for US destinations, although I dream of a ski vacation in Utah, Wyoming, or Colorado.  The more affordable Christmas ski vacation would lie closer to home and that puts Fernie and Kicking Horse at the top of my list.  Both places offer rentals of large ski Chalets right at the base of the ski area. Fernie has the added benefit of a reasonable drive into town to provide some better dining options.  Staying in Banff or Canmore would provide a lot better night life and options for shopping, pubs and restaurants but I prefer the feeling of staying right on the mountain.  We do that every year at Big White and we have enough fun with our friends that we don’t really need any night life.  And not having to drive anywhere for a week really adds to the relaxation quotient!



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