Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Hit the Slopes in British Columbia

Posted: Thursday, December 01, 2005
British Columbia's ski resorts are welcoming the white stuff, as heaps of snow are blanketing the slopes ? and, for some, this means an early start to the skiing season.

"Tie the Knot" at Sun Peaks and Get a Free Ski Honeymoon: Calling all guys in 'committed relationships' ? Sun Peaks Resort has got a deal for you. Tie the knot at Sun Peaks this November, and enjoy a powder-perfect honeymoon free of charge. For those ready to take the plunge, the ceremony will take place immediately prior to the chairlifts opening for the ski season and will be witnessed by hundreds of excited skiers and snowboarders. In addition, the resort will cover the cost of the marriage commissioner and a Sun Peaks honeymoon. All lucky couples will also be the first guests of the season to ski or snowboard the mountain, fifteen minutes ahead of the public. After skiing, the newlyweds will be escorted to their honeymoon suite in the Sun Peaks village. Couples will receive complimentary accommodation for two nights and lift tickets for two days. The bride and groom must pre-register with Tourism Sun Peaks by calling 250-578-7842 before 12:00 pm P.S.T. on Friday, November 18. Eligible couples will meet at the bottom of the Sunburst Chairlift at 8:00 am ready to ski or snowboard ? and exchange vows. Participants are responsible for and must present their marriage license to the Marriage Commissioner prior to the ceremony. Marriage licenses can be obtained from British Columbia Government Agents office. For more information on costs and procedures, visit www.sunpeaksresort.com

Silver Star International Night Sprint Event Combines Nordic Racing and Big Beats: They're calling it ? XC Amplified. Olympic cross-country racers and a deejay mixing heavy beats will be rockin' Silver Star Mountain Resort on December 6th. The world's top racers (including Olympic gold medalist Beckie Scott) will compete in the first ever International Night Sprint - a 650 meter 'dash for cash' skate race, where racers will be skate-skiing amidst a soundscape of deejay driven music. Under the lights, competitors will take on a stellar international field for a share of the $10,000 purse. In another twist, the Sprint is open to amateur racers who will have their shot at toppling the pros for a chance at the cash. A seventeen foot JumboTron screen promises to magnify the on-course action. This sprint course will start and finish in Silver Star's picturesque Victorian village; the time trials will start at 2pm with the top 16 men and women advancing to the finals, starting at 7pm. Endurance (to survive the grueling heats), power, and flat-out speed will be what's needed to take home the dough. Expect to see some finish-line heroics, as competitors battle it out head-to-head in races that are often decided by the length of a ski tip, or hundredths of seconds. Nordic director Glenn Bond says, "We guarantee the International XC Night Sprints will energize the crowd beyond belief. In Germany, these events have drawn hundreds of thousands of spectators. It is a must-see event, even if you've never donned skinny skis in your life." www.skisilverstar.com

Calling All Easterners - Getting to Big White, Silver Star, and Sun Peaks Resorts Has Never Been Easier: This winter, Kelowna International Airport (Canada's 11th busiest) will be serviced by thirteen non-stop flights from Toronto. WestJet Airlines will be continuing their six flights per week service, departing Toronto at 9am EST and arriving in Kelowna at 10:40 pm PST. On February 4, 2006, Air Canada will introduce daily non-stop service into Kelowna featuring their brand new 93-seat Embrader aircraft. Providing the best access to the slopes in all of Western Canada - WestJet flights are timed to arrive and deplane at just before the noon hour (Pacific Time), making it possible to fly and ski on the same day (Big White and Silver Star are only a 45 minute shuttle ride away). In addition, Sun Peaks Resort will also offer two daily shuttles from Kelowna. The Kelowna International Airport is also serviced from Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton on a regular basis. In other flight news, Harmony Airways out of Vancouver is offering once-weekly flights from Honolulu to Kelowna. Those surfers love to snowboard, apparently. Rates will vary depending on date of travel. www.westjet.com, www.aircanada.com and www.harmonyairways.com

Busiest Winter Ever for Hosting World Cup Racers at Panorama: The World Cup alpine ski racing circuit may be contested primarily in Europe, but a multitude of the world's best ski teams will be training on the slopes of Panorama Mountain Village beginning Friday, November 4, 2005. With races scheduled for both Lake Louise, AB and Beaver Creek, CO later in the month, this marks the busiest pre-season training time Panorama has seen in its thirteen years of hosting international teams. Teams from Canada, Austria, Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden and even Chile will be preparing for both the World Cup circuit and the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. Alpine Canada named Panorama as a National Alpine Training Centre in 2003, and this partnership between Panorama and the Canadian Alpine Ski Team continues to grow. Panorama's General Manager, Mark Woodburn says, "international teams return to Panorama for many reasons. The most important are easy to identify - snow, terrain and people. Although we offer great lodging steps away from their hill space and an environment that is peaceful and respectful, if we did not have excellent, reliable, early season snow conditions these elite athletes would not be here." www.panoramaresort.com

Ride, Sally, Ride ? Mustang Lodge Cat Skiing Opens for 2005/2006: After opening to rave reviews as part of the Monashee Powder Adventures company last season, Nick and Ali Smith-Holmes are pleased to announce the opening of their brand-new Mustang Lodge and snowcat skiing operation for the winter of 05/06. Now complete, the remote Mustang Lodge (located near Revelstoke) is a magnificent timber frame structure with spectacular alpine and glacier views. Largely through client referrals and the underground 'powder telegraph,' Mustang Powder is already a major player in the BC snowcat skiing industry. The skiable terrain encompasses 125 square kilometres, accessed by over 200 kilometres (120 miles) of cat-roads. Mustang Lodge is also situated on one of the snowiest locations on the planet ? the snowfall depth at a nearby mine was once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Unlike some cat skiing operations, Mustang Powder offers vast, above-treeline terrain on the nearby glaciers and in alpine meadows. There's high quality powder snow from the beginning of December through early April. During storms, the best skiing can be found in the trees where the visibility is good and where guests learn the meaning of 'steep and deep'. At Mustang Powder, cat skiing is not an inferior second choice to heli-skiing. Some of the prime weeks are sold out, but well-priced pre-Christmas blocks are still available. Nick Holmes-Smith says, "some of the year's best powder skiing is in December when the temperatures are colder." Limited seats over New Year's are also open ? note that families with kids fourteen and older are welcome at Mustang Powder. www.mustangpowder.com

Selecting the ultimate ski destination just got a whole lot easier: Tourism British Columbia is proud to unveil its new gateway to the slopes ? an online ski link (which can be accessed when visiting HelloBC.com) highlighting the ultimate in vertical thrills and alpine family fun at ski resorts and destinations in British Columbia. This webpage offers a glimpse of the province's top 12 resorts, provides a heads-up on hot winter deals, and even houses an opportunity for browsers to determine which locale is best suited for them, by indicating what matters most when holidaying on the slopes (ie: varied terrain, family-friendly amenities, apr?s ski offerings, etc.). It's simple. Preferences are entered, and visitors to the site will then be able to navigate to those resorts which best suit their interests. And with direct links to the resorts themselves, visitors can view maps to determine locales of the destinations (and their proximity to each other) as well as view up-to-date info on each resort's ski conditions. Be among the first to make tracks on the slopes this winter?and visit the site that will point your skis in the right direction. Visit www.HelloBC.com/ski or www.HelloBC.com

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