Whitewater Lifts & Terrain


Whitewater 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)
    1,422 – 2,063 (641)
  • Average Snow Fall
    12 metres
  • Lifts (5)
    2 Quad Chairs
    1 Triple Chair
    1 Double Chair
  • Ski Hours
    9:00am to 3:30pm
    Early Dec to Early April
  • Terrain Summary
    Area - 529 Hectares
    Runs – 97
  • Beginner - 9%
    Intermediate - 29%
    Advanced - 53%
    Expert - 9%

Whitewater Ski Area

The Whitewater ski area is well renowned for its powder hound opportunities due to the plentiful snow. The powder is award winning (see our best Canada ski resort page) and you generally don’t have to fight ridiculously hard to get some freshies. Whitewater Canada (aka WH2O) is not highly trafficked and is largely a locals’ ski hill. It would be a rarity for there to be a long lift line at Whitewater.

With Whitewater skiing and snowboarding there is something for everyone from novices up to experts. The mountain consists of groomed runs, open bowls, chutes, steeps and tree skiing. The “old part” of the Whitewater ski area is U-shaped and can be divided into two major areas that are serviced by three chair lifts. The chairs provide access to lots of lines for those who are happy to traverse and be creative. Silver King and Raven on the sunny side is the easier area and has groomed trails weaving down the slope. The Summit area, the “dark side”, has a handful of blue runs and lots of black runs.

The backside of the Whitewater ski resort is serviced by the Glory Ridge triple chair lift and includes blue groomed runs, mogul runs, single black diamond glades, and some fantastic double black diamond tree skiing.

Whitewater Lifts

Whitewater ski resort keeps to its “pure and simple” motto with the Silver King chair which is painfully slow. The Raven runs parallel and higher, and is a fixed grip quad. The Summit quad chair is run a little faster and considering that it’s not detachable, you have to be an expert to even get onto the chair! Other lifts include the fixed grip Glory Ridge triple chair which is relatively fast, and the Hummer handle tow in the beginners’ area.

Lift Tickets

Lift tickets at the Whitewater Ski Area are inexpensive relative to most other Canada ski resorts, and a beginners’ ticket for the handle tow is super cheap. Backcountry skiers can purchase a single ride ticket.

Whitewater Snow

Whitewater commonly has fantastic snow conditions, with fresh powder falling frequently. The quality and quantity of the snow is what Whitewater is famous for. However even the most blessed resort still has non-powder days. During these times Whitewater skiing and snowboarding becomes a bit ho hum. It’s OK for the kids, beginners and low-end intermediates, but everyone else starts praying for another snow storm.

Whitewater has a variety of aspects, so as to be expected, the snow quality can vary substantially. The easy side of the resort (Silver King/Raven) is mostly southwest facing, whilst the Summit chair has a northeast aspect, and if you traverse skiers’ right, you’ll hit north facing slopes. The Glory Ridge chair runs east-west, so you can play with the aspects to find great snow.

Even though the Whitewater ski area is small, avalanche control is a big undertaking for the patrollers because of the abundant snowfall and steep pitches at the top of the bowl. Take heed of any in-bounds avo warnings, and backpacks with avalanche safety gear are almost standard dress code for advanced and expert riders at the Whitewater ski area.

Whitewater Skiing for the Beginner

The novice area is a dedicated beginners-only zone that is conveniently located right in front of the day lodge. This novice area is very mellow and great for learning. The next progression is to head up the Silver King chair where there are a handful of beginners’ runs on the sunny slopes.

Ski Whitewater for the Intermediate

Whitewater has a handful of mellow blue runs off the Silver King and Raven chairs, and there are also opportunities for off-piste experiments. All but one run requires some time on a green run to access or exit from the blue run, so the “good part” of the run is over before you know it. At least the quads won’t get burnt out, and if they are tired they’ll get plenty of rest on the slow lift.

Over the other side on the Summit Chair there are another 5 blue runs that fan into 2 runs. These groomed blue runs have some good pitch and are a great place to get some speed. In the Glory Ridge area, Morning Glory is a lovely long run that’s not too steep. There are 11 other blue runs in this area, some that are delightfully steep. Some of them aren’t groomed (potentially because they have boulders in the middle of them which are fun for launching off) and offer a chance to practise mini moguls.

Terrain Park

There is a small terrain park that has hits marked for differing degrees of difficulty, mainly rails and a few jumps.

A natural terrain park is under the Summit lift. Here there are lots of boulders that are ideal to huck off.

Advanced Snowboarding and Skiing Whitewater

The Silver King side has piste and widely spaced trees that can quickly become bumped up, as well as some glades off the Raven chair. The Summit side generally has better snow quality and more interesting terrain. From the chair, traverse to the skiers right for single black runs and pick a line that suits your fancy. The only problem is that the traverses lead to a serious case of déjà vu. In addition to this, the traverses can become gnarlier than the runs down if it hasn’t snowed for a few days. Catch Basin suddenly doesn’t seem so attractive, particularly for snowboarders. Hike up to the Powder Keg Bowl for untracked snow on a steep pitch.

The black run straight under the lift is wonderful for show ponies, and it has an average pitch of 41 degrees so it will keep you on your toes. Just to skiers’ right of the lift is a supposed single black run, but it’s easy to drop fall-line and quickly hit terrain that’s more like double black terrain.

Over in the Glory Ridge area, skiers’ left of the lift has lots of single black diamond runs. These are either mogul runs or through trees and glades (ie wide trees). The only downside is that the aspect isn’t great for snow quality and the snow can turn a little sour.

Whitewater Skiing for the Expert

Whitewater has some good white knuckle terrain in-bounds. Off the Summit chair, anywhere skiers’ left of the lift offers challenging tree skiing including the celebrated Diamond Glades, whilst Terra Ratta is littered with little cliffs.

Formerly out-of-bounds and bus serviced terrain, the Glory Ridge area provides amazing tree skiing for experts. Anywhere skiers’ right of the Glory Ridge chair lift such as Backside is appropriately rated as double black diamond terrain and the snow quality is far superior to skiers’ left of the chair. The steep slopes here offer some wild tree skiing amongst reasonably spaced trees, and there are some gullies that are delightfully deep. This area is superb and an amazing amount of fun for experts.

Whitewater Backcountry

When conditions permit, many experts head into the backcountry. The ski touring and climbing opportunities from Whitewater abound and there are lots of lines that drop back into the resort or onto the access road. The Whitewater shop sells a map (or there’s a wall map in the lower floor of the day lodge) which rates the complexity of the terrain with respect to the risk involved. Or alternatively the ski patrollers run a Ski Deep program where you head out for a bit of touring.