Spring Fests Bid a Stylish Farewell to BC’s Ski Season
While spring promises the bloom of a new season, it also marks festive celebrations throughout the province’s ski resorts, with a mix of gatherings that are nail-biting crowd-pleasers, time-honoured traditions and everything in between.
Enthusiasts can kick things off at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort near Golden, where cowboy boots — or at least the cowboy spirit — are all the rage during the resort’s annual Wrangle the Chute, March 27 – 28. Fresh ground was broken last season with the introduction of a new venue and new chutes, ensuring that this year’s big-mountain celebration will see competitors race along powder-packed, north-facing terrain, complete with eye-popping verticals and extraordinary lines. Off the slopes, festivities promise to be equally enticing at the official Wrangle the Chute Party, a kick-up-the-boots good time sure to feature more than a few fervent yee-haws. kickinghorseresort.com
At Big White Ski Resort, fans are sure to flock to the sidelines during the Canada Snowboard Cross Nationals, April 1 – 5, an annual Okanagan Valley gathering that continues to draw record numbers of athletes and spectators to the resort. For those eager to upgrade their bystander status, Big White’s yearly Dummy Downhill encourages participants to showcase some ingenuity as they launch homemade contraptions down the resort’s Mega Snow Coaster Tube Park. Points for the April 13th event are accumulated for creativity, take off and landing — a.k.a. the inevitable crash. bigwhite.com
A Beach Party in winter? Bathing suits and board shorts are standard attire at Whitewater Ski Resort during the resort’s final day of the season, April 4. This fest near Nelson welcomes the warming sun but pays full homage to Ullr, the God of Snow, for another happy season on the slopes. With live music in the base area providing a steady background beat, adventurers can test their balance and perseverance while they glide through the Slush Cup pit (the bigger the splash, the better) or opt instead to slather on the zinc and simply soak it all in. skiwhitewater.com
It’s been two decades and one of the biggest annual gatherings of winter sports, music, arts and culture in North America is still going strong in Whistler. Anchored by 10 days of out-of-this-world action both on and off the slopes, the 20th Annual World Ski and Snowboard Festival will light it up April 10 – 19 with a host of vertical and slopestyle contests. On the roster: The World Skiing Invitational/AFP World Championship is a heart-thumping, high-flying challenge, while The Shred Show, presented by Monster Energy, features not one, but two snowboard events. (These snowboard challenges will draw the masses, thanks to The Big Air’s massive kicker and Slopestyle’s array of terrain park tricks.) Fans can swap the thump of adrenalin for strolls along the pedestrian-only village, a kaleidoscope of sensory delights that showcases arts and musical presentations on outdoor concert stages and within the resort’s conference centre and nightclubs. A few hot tickets: Intersection, a visual feast of action sport filmmaking at its best, plus screenings of the winners in the film, action sports and photography contests during theBest of the Fest finale. wssf.com
To finish the season, and feel the groove, Fernival promises to crank the classic tunes April 11. As one of the biggest annual spring concerts to rock the Rockies, this one-day jam session at Fernie Alpine Resort is all about showcasing the best of Canadian popular music, attracting living legends like April Wine and Trooper to the mainstage. This year promises no less, with BC-based alternative rock legends 54-40 headlining the day’s festivities. Bonus: Fernie’s on-slope offerings, complete with five alpine bowls, are sure to rock every adventurer’s world. skifernie.com