Mt Washington Lifts & Terrain

Mt Washington Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

  • Vertical (m)
    1,084 – 1,593 (505)
  • Average Snow Fall
    11.6  metres
  • Lifts (5)
    1 fast 6-pack
    1 fast quad chair
  • Ski Season
    mid Dec - early Apr
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 81
    Longest run – 1.9 km
    Beginner - 14%
    Intermediate - 35%
    Advanced - 36%
    Expert - 15%

Mt Washington Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Mt Washington Alpine Resort has a good spread of terrain and the trails are very aptly rated. It’s a good all-rounder, although its strengths are really the beginner and advanced skiing and snowboarding.


The Mt Washington Alpine Resort has just 5 chair lifts and 1 of them is a bit superfluous. Three of the chair lifts are slooooooow (luckily the Sunrise Chair is often a warm sunny ride) whilst 2 are express chair lifts. The covered magic carpets are pretty impressive (when they’re running).

The 6-pack Hawk Express is popular due to the easy terrain that it services, and it had some short queues when we visited, although that was probably more a product of the lifties’ inability to group people into 6, and they didn’t have all the magic carpets running. Mt Washington has a rep for not running all its lifts on weekdays (and they wonder why it’s so quiet sometimes!!).

Night skiing is available Thursday to Sunday.

Mt Washington Snow and Weather

Mt. Washington Alpine Resort is blessed with lots of snow, with an average of 11.6 metres (457 inches) of snow per season, yet it’s very coastal snow. The Mt Washington snow quality is generally not well retained because in addition to it falling wet, it has a few things going against it. Firstly, the top elevation of 1,593 metres is very low for a southern BC ski resort, and the temperatures are generally very mild. The aspect is not conducive to great snow, with the hill generally facing southwest. The Sunrise chair lift sits smack bang in the sunshine so it often has spring-like snow, whilst The Outback chair lift has a more shady aspect, particularly the runs on skiers’ right.

Mount Washington is also renowned for a lot of foggy days, but thankfully most of the ski resort is below the treeline so visibility generally isn’t too bad.

Beginner Skiing Mt Washington

This is a forte of Mount Washington Resort. There are a few dedicated runs where novices can learn in peace without experienced skiers and snowboarders whizzing past. And better yet, the runs are serviced by cushy covered carpets (assuming of course they’re open). Progression runs are off the Hawk chair which is fast, so your thighs should be screaming after several laps!

Mt Washington Skiing for Intermediates

It’s easy to progress from beginner to intermediate on some of the short blue runs off the Hawk chair. For the next turns, the Eagle Express offers a few long runs that offer glorious views across the water, yet you may want to keep your eyes on the slopes because we found a couple of groomed runs that suddenly turned into bumps without any warning (the groomers might need to go back to groomer school). The Sunrise chair also offers a few top-to-bottom runs.

The statistic of 36% of the trails being intermediate may be accurate, but in reality, there isn’t that much terrain on offer for intermediates, because daftly, there are various runs where you have to ride a black run to get to the blue run.

Terrain Park

In addition to a small beginner park, Mt Washington Alpine Resort has an intermediate to advanced terrain park with a line of jumps and a line of rails, decks and boxes. It’s OK for a bit of fun, but nothing worth writing home about.

Advanced Skiing On-Piste

Mt Washington has a decent range of advanced terrain, which includes cut runs that are generally bumps, named-run glades, and a couple of open faces. There are also various areas of naturally gladed trees for advanced riders. The question with most of the advanced terrain, is whether the snow quality will be conducive to riding it, or whether you’ll want to retreat to the comfort of the groomers.

Expert Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Mt Washington Ski Resort has some pretty good expert terrain, which provides awesome fun when the snow is on, but when the snow’s sour it can be heinously frightening.

Head down the front face off the Eagle chair for a warm-up on sub-alpine steep terrain with plenty of playful features. Then head to The Outback which is serviced by the Boomerang chair and has a few other Australiana names. It must be a tribute to the sort of snow quality that Australian ski resorts often have! The terrain in The Outback is rated double black and it offers plenty of variety, ranging from open areas to light trees to tree skiing.

As the name suggests, the best snow can be found on North Bowl, along with some of the best terrain. The area riddled with cliffs is out-of-bounds and some sidecountry to the right of this offers some phenomenal terrain, except it terminates in a deep gully that it is the biggest terrain trap you’ll ever see. Head even further right and lines end up on the McKay Lake for a scoot to get back to the lift.

There is also some sidecountry to skier’s left of Rick’s Ride but it has a very sunny aspect.