Whitewater Ski Resort Review
The retro Whitewater Ski Resort (aka WH20) is a step back in time. Whitewater Canada is simple and laid back, but real powder hounds don’t need anything more considering that Whitewater receives a whopping 12 metres of snowfall annually. Ski Whitewater – it’s nirvana for powder hounds!
The best thing about this resort is that you don’t have to share the fresh powder with the crowds. Whitewater is predominantly a community ski resort. They don’t attempt to compete with the bigger resorts and prefer to retain their charm rather than trying to attract the crowds. Currently it’s a low profile resort, but it’s starting to gain some notoriety by winning various awards for the terrain and the powder. The new owners may develop the resort a little and put in some on-mountain accommodation, but traditionalists and powder hounds need not fear. The mantra of the resort will remain “pure, simple and real….deep”.
Where is Whitewater Ski Resort?
Sitting within the Powder Triangle of British Columbia, Whitewater Ski Resort sits beneath Ymir Mountain in the Selkirk Mountains, an area renowned for the plentiful dry snow.
The Whitewater Resort is 15 minutes (19 km) southeast of the town of Nelson BC. The closest regional airport is Castlegar (unaffectionately known as Cancelgar!), and the closest international airport is Spokane (WA, USA) from which various transport options are available.
Whitewater Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Prior to 2010, WH2O was just a wee little ski area with 2 main lifts, only 396 metres of vertical drop, and a reasonably even spread of trails for beginners, intermediates and experienced riders.
The introduction of the Glory Ridge triple chair lift over the backside of Whitewater revolutionized the ski area, doubled its size, and increased the vertical drop to 623 metres. The terrain distribution statistics are now 12% beginner, 32% intermediate, 44% advanced, and 12% expert.
The Whitewater ski area
is an off-piste paradise with steeps, bowls, fabulous tree skiing, glades, and chutes. There are also gentle beginner areas, groomed cruisers and a terrain park. White Water ski resort is also a gateway to an abundance of fabulous backcountry terrain.
Artificial snowmaking is definitely not part of the resort infrastructure at this Nelson ski resort, as Mother Nature ensures that it is not required.
WH2O Ski Resort Facilities
In keeping with its no-frills status, the Whitewater resort facilities are a little limited but more than adequate. These are contained within the day lodge and include ski and snowboard rentals, a retail shop, ski school and a kids’ play room.
Upstairs in the day lodge is the Fresh Tracks Café serving up delicious meals that are many steps up from your average ski resort cafeteria food. The Freshies Coffee Bar has great coffee and yummy snacks, and the Coal Oil Johnny’s Pub serves up pub grub and après drinks.
There is currently no Whitewater accommodation on-mountain, but there are various accommodation options in the town of Nelson Canada only 19km away. One major plus is that Nelson BC hotels
and other accommodations are very inexpensive.
Nelson Accommodation Listings
Nelson is a ski town but it’s a far cry from a glitzy resort town. Life is unhurried in Nelson, the culture is relaxed yet cosmopolitan, and there are various great Nelson restaurants
Nelson British Columbia has a mining history and is the heritage capital of BC. The town features many preserved buildings from the turn of the century, with the historic ambience being most evident on Baker St. The town is colourful, both literally and metaphorically. There are lots of “rainbow” and “organic” people that reside in Nelson and a strong alternative culture exists. Nelson has an eclectic mix of boutiques, organic shops, hippie tea cafes, and adjunct therapies on offer. Nelson is also a vibrant arts community with local artists in residence.
Nelson Cat Skiing
Nelson BC skiing isn’t just about the Whitewater ski resort. Nelson is an epicentre of snowcat skiing
, an activity that powder hounds find very addictive.
The base for Valhalla Powdercats
is in South Slocan, a 20 minute drive from Nelson. Valhalla offer day cat skiing and the sexy terrain is the major drawcard.
Big Red Cats
are a very slick operation that can cater well to a variety of ability levels because they take out multiple snowcats. BRC are based at Red Mountain, about an hour southwest of Nelson.
Or if you want to take it even higher, head out heli skiing with Snowwater
or Stellar Heli Skiing
Best Canada Ski Resorts Awards
The Powderhounds have provided Whitewater with various best skiing in Canada
- ski resort for powder hounds
- low cost ski resort
- best powder
- best tree skiing in Canada
More Reasons to Ski Whitewater & Ski Nelson
Whitewater Canada might be simple, but it’s for real powder skiers and families who don’t need the frills associated with the big resorts. Many also love WH2O for the inexpensive lift tickets, child care and ski school. Food and the Nelson hotels
are also very affordable.
Whitewater Canada has plenty of plans to add more lifts and terrain, and on-mountain accommodation. This is definitely a place to keep an eye on!
Nelson skiing includes the fantastic powder hound trio of cat skiing, heli skiing and resort skiing at Whitewater; more than enough to fuel your addiction for powder. Nelson BC and Whitewater ski area certainly earn the right to be part of the powder highway. It’s probably the capital of the powder highway and considered by many aficionados to have the best skiing and snow conditions in North America. Pack your snorkel!
Tours That Include Whitewater