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How BIG is BC’s Powder Highway?

IT’S COLOSSAL!  After polling all of the alpine, cat, heli and most of the backcountry lodges – we found out that it is GIGANTIC!

7,074,515+ ACRES (2,862,955+ HECTARES)

Photo by Doug LePage at Whitewater Ski Resort 

In comparison to other cities around the world, it is:
* 247 times the size of the City of Vancouver
* 45 times the size of the City of Toronto
* 34 times the size of the City of Calgary
* 131 times the size of the City of Seattle
* 36 times the size of New York City
* 36 times the size of the City of Los Angeles

The skiable tenure for the ski ops along the Powder Highway is massive! In comparison (in no particular order), we size up:

The PH is 1,378 times larger than… a couple of the Wyoming resorts (Grand Targhee & Jackson Hole);

The PH is 435 times larger than… several Salt Lake City resorts (Alta, Brighton, Deer. Valley, Park City, Snowbird, Solitude) combined;

The PH is 502 times larger than… all the ski resorts in Alberta (Castle, Lake Louise, Marmot, Mt. Norquay, Nakiska and Sunshine);

Photo by Kari Medig at RED Mountain Resort 

The PH is 770 times larger than… Vancouver’s lower mainland resorts (including Cypress, Grouse, Mt. Seymore and Whistler/Blackcomb);   

The PH is 208 times larger than… several Colorado resorts (including Aspen/Snowmass, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper Mtn, Crested Butte, Keystone, Silverton, Steamboat, Telluride, Vale, Winter Park & Wolf Creek);

And, the PH is 10 times larger than… Ayeska & all of the Backcountry/Heli Operators in Alaska combined.

Photo by Dave Heath at the Fernie Alpine Resort 

The Powder Highway has the highest concentration of cat, heli and lift service resorts in all of British Columbia. In fact, the skiable tenure makes up 49% of the entire ‘Kootenays’ region (the southeast corner of British Columbia, Canada).  There is endless pow to be found within the 8 alpine ski resorts, 16 backcountry huts, 23 backcountry lodges, 15 cat-ski, 3 community ski clubs, 6 guiding operators, 20 heli operators and 16 Nordic Clubs/Centres!

What are you waiting for?

Photo by Steve Ogle; Valykr Adventures 

*** We have a ton of in-bound skiing operators. Alpine resorts are boarded by wilderness, so don’t be tempted into thinking that there aren’t any hazards on the mountains. If an area is closed, respect the signage and go rip on the next run. These areas are closed to keep you safe – always ski and ride responsibly. Protect yourself from tree wells by steering clear of areas near tree trunks that are close to low hanging branches. Canadian Ski Patrol, local resort ski patrol and avalanche professionals are some of the best in the world and do their utmost to keep as much of the alpine area as possible safe and open for use and we can’t thank them enough! BC Adventure Smart is a great resource to help you get informed before heading into the outdoors ***

Know Before You Go!

~ Take extra time to research and plan your trip in advance. Many of our tourism businesses and services have adopted new COVID-19 protocols and changes to their schedules or policies to ensure your safety. You’ll want to become familiar with them ahead of time.

~ If you normally travel with extended family or with several friends, consider travelling in a smaller group this summer. Travelling with fewer people makes it easier for you to practise physical distancing in public, and may have less of an impact on the destination.

~ Consider a slower travel pace this summer to help curb the spread. Instead of checking in and out of multiple destinations during one trip, choose one or two destinations and one/two accommodation properties for your entire trip (and explore all the things to do & see nearby).

Related Stories
~ Family Fun on the Powder Highway
~ Funky Finds on the Powder Highway
~ Guiding Services: Powder Highway’s Backcountry
~ Learn to Ski or Snowboard on the Powder Highway
~ Road Tripping the Powder Highway Like a Ski Bum
~ Powder Highway 101
~ Slackcountry Touring at our Powder Highway Ski Resorts
~ Up the Ante: Day Packages for Cat & Heli Skiing


Story by KootRocks Staffer (Shannon Harrison).  Cover/top by Steve Ogle.

Please tag your images with #PowderHighway on Instagram to be featured in future stories.   

(Original story published during the 2016/17 season.)

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