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Visitor reviews for Big White Ski Resort
November 20, 2017
Scott Martin from Canada
Took the family from flat Ontario to BW in January 2017. At first glance, it looked more like a hill than a mountain. After 5 ski days, however, we were sold. The snow was excellent, the resort was good, access from Kelowna was easy and lift lines were non-existent.
In August, we went back out to BW and purchased our own chalet. That's how much we liked it.
If you're looking for a crowd and a huge party, go to Whistler or Tremblant. If you're looking for a resort with ski-in/ski-out accommodations, great skiing, great snow, etc come to Big White.
Big White Ratings
Overall: 4.0. Based on 49 votes and 32 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Big White.
Public Transport: 3.7
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Big White, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Big White, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.6
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.1
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Big White.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.8
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Big White, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Big White is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Big White relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.3
(1) There are no snow groomers at Big White, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Big White are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Big White is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.8
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Big White, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.6
(1) Big White usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.3
(1) The staff at Big White are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Big White are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.2
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.5
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.4
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Big White has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Big White, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 4.4
(1) Not even a kicker at Big White, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Big White, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Big White has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.8
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 3.1
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.7
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.0
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.0
(1) Overall, Big White is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.1
(1) Overall, Big White is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
December 31, 2014
Richie from New Zealand
Great skiing, great family resort. Staff all very pleasant and helpful. We had plenty of snow and tree skiing was great. Although (Xmas 2014) they thought there wasn't much snow. If you ski in NZ or Scotland this seems pretty acceptable to me!
We've skied in various other resorts in Canada and this is comparable. Certainly for ski in-ski out and for families this is up there.
Things to do better? How about a more coherent lift system, somewhere to eat on the mountain; better staff training (99% of staff were awesome but some hadn't much of a clue about what they were doing, probably because many of them come from that Mecca of skiing: Australia. So I can understand their snow/lift/ski knowledge is average. Clocks on the lifts would help too!
But apart from those minor points we had a great time.
[note from the editor: some minor alterations have been made so sentences are coherent.]
January 27, 2014
nrocz from Canada
I don't want to write too good a review of Big White because if I do, more people might come and track down all of my pow. I don't want to say how beautiful Stone Gate resort is because I might not be able to get my favourite room next time. I really don't want to tell people about what an awesome place Big White is. Instead, I'll say this and hope this is the only part they read "stay away from Big White!!" because I want it all to myself.
December 09, 2013
Nicki from Canada
Love this mountain! 9 years with a seasons pass here; proud owner of a studio apartment right in the village. The family skis and boards every weekend; it's our happy place. We take advantage of everything. The snow coaster, the skating rink, après ski in happy valley. Go for walks, snow bank adventures. Have eaten in every restaurant. Love the gun barrel, the bull wheel and am looking forward to afternoons in the Blarney Stone. Danced the night away at Sams and Raakels. The snow is amazing and for those who don't know..mother nature brings all mountains their fair share of wind and fog and sometimes dry patches (what, no pow pow!) but we have a great time no matter what is going on outside! But, normally, when it's cloudy in Kelowna it's sunny up on the hill. Kids carnival, fireworks, new years eve...they try to think of everything. Very proud of our mountain and all the fun memories it's given me. I've visited a lot of mountains and so have many of our friends and Big White always ranks top!
January 10, 2013
Elizabeth from Canada
Big White is an awesome mountain! And it is true, the snow is 'float in the air' powder, something you do not get on the coast at Whistler or back east (which is mostly ice). There are never any lineups. I have been skiing this mt. for 6 years and other than El Niño the snow conditions have been great.
Big White has tons of activities for those who don't ski as well. There is a world class ice climbing wall for beginner, intermediate and expert climbers, snowshoe and cross country trails, skating, tubing, mushing ( dogsled ding) horse drawn slay rides, snowmobiling, swimming and plenty of restaurants and bars and it's 1/2 the price of Whistler. There are plenty of intermediate to expert runs as it is a huge mt but most tourists just ski the center of the mt and don't go exploring to find the hidden gems that we locals know about.
Big White has free Snow Hosts that will guide you around the mt based on your skiing level so you just have to ask. There is a great snow school with well priced lessons for families or just the kids; Live music after 4:00 in the happy Valley lodge and lots of planed activities for families après-ski .
Don't know why there are any negative comments on this resort as I have skied all over the US and Canada and feel very blessed to have this mt in my back yard :))
February 01, 2012
chris stannard from United Kingdom
I note that the ratings for Big White are in some cases low. For example there is only one snow blower, on the boarding park, because Big White gets enough powder on its runs not to need artificial snow. Some complain about the lack of black runs; but a lot of the locals, and others in the know, ski the glades and that can be very challenging particularly for European skiers who are used to skiing above the tree line.
Big White does have its faults but no more than any other resort and is a great place to ski.
January 27, 2012
Chris Stannard from United Kingdom
If people do not like Big White they could go to Apex, Silver Star or Mount Baldy to name but a few alternatives.
We have been coming here for 12 years after spending hours in ill mannered lift queues in Europe, where the runs are almost all above the trees and wide open. Okay, Big White is not the most challenging resort but you can always run up to Revelstoke for a couple of days if you want a serious challenge. I also think that the ski school organisation is not good, five days lessons five different instructors. Apart from that it costs us to get here and we keep coming back so Big White must have something going for it.
As the lady from Eastern Canada, who we met on the lift this morning, said "You complain about the snow, in Eastern Canada we would think this was heaven."
January 04, 2012
Scott from Canada
I live in Kelowna and have skied Big White for 20 Years. Don't like it, don't come.
November 23, 2011
Anne Franklin from Australia
My husband and I have been skiing at Big White since 2002. Prior to this we skied various resorts in Colorado for over 10 years. After our first trip to Big White we fell in love with the place. The main reason for this change was the fact that the altitude at Big White was quite a bit lower than most resorts in Colorado thus we no longer suffered breathlessness. Other reasons for the change of venue were the quality and quantity of the snow, the ski-in ski-out accommodation and the lack of crowds during the week.
After reading the reviews posted, it appears to me that the reviewers have not accepted the fact that the resort is “family oriented”. Its runs are mostly Blue and Green and wide open. If someone wants to really rip down a run or be challenged by the steeps, maybe they should choose another resort whose runs are made for that type of challenge. If one wants a comfortable place for their children to learn how to ski or if one just wants to enjoy the experience of carving on well groomed runs than Big White is the place. I have taught both children and adults to ski and have found the snow and runs at Big White more than adequate for newbies and experienced alike. Not everyone who wants to ski wants the challenge of black and double black runs. There are plenty of resorts that provide that experience.
Much has been said about the fog at Big White and yes it can be an inconvenience if you are only there for a few days. However, having skied more than 50 consecutive days in the last few years and having caught the first chair on most of those days, we have only been forced to quit early a couple of days each year. I will agree, and have made numerous comments to management, that the various boards around the resort indicating open lifts and groomed runs do not match, something that should be rather easy to maintain in this electronic world of ours.
Skiing at Big White one feels they are the only person on the mountain and believe me, that is a glorious feeling.
April 17, 2011
witkid1 from Canada
I want to apologize to another reviewer, I was trying to sum the hill up from my two years of experience at BigWhiteout. My facts were plenty straight even according to you. I said in my "PROS&CONs" section: "PRO -Nook and cranny hill! Love this type of mountain because although it's mostly intermediate level terrain the good stuff isn't too easily accessed (only difficult enough to deter the lazy) and is quite hidden." Also, I mentioned the " +'s Easter chutes almost everything off Black Forest chair, East Peak, Gem, Powder chair: fun, fun, fun."
So being Canadian and having rode:
Martock , NS
Pin rouge, Quebec
St. Sauvard, Quebec
Blue mountain, Ontario
Fortress, Alb (closed)
Sunshine (600+ days)
Lake Louise(100+ days)
WinterGreen, Alb (closed)
Kicking Horse, Bc
Big White,(100Days)09/10,10/11 Bc
+ Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Attitache, Jay Peak, Stowe, Killington US, I will still have to come to the conclusion from my experience : "Great family hill! " but for travelers: don't take the chance on a week of fog. At least Silverstar is an option on your lift tix (slightly better fog situation and nicer hill but less amenities, boohooooo). For traveling Aussies and anyone else looking to spend the season, intermediate riding ability at best, good place for you to grow: Black Forest is short and sweet and fully loaded quite often especially with a bit of wind loading, which means you can drop bombs of cliffs until lunch.
So having met many wonderful youngsters and adults alike, co-workers of yours (maybe even you), BC snowboard development boys and girls, Olympic development riders, and locals alike; they have all been kind enough to share their thoughts and opinions with me, helping me build mine. Most of the people I have rode with and met and talked to enough about the ski industry have led me to believe they all take their vacations elsewhere, enough said.
Big White: family hill . Real riders will spend the doh to ride real mountains, ones where when you can't see it 'cuz it's snowing.
[Editor's note : some editing done for the purpose of relevance: Resort Review postings]