Thursday, October 01, 2020

Treat your Family to a Ski Getaway at Panorama Mountain Resort this Winter

Ski getaways at Panorama Mountain Resort are one of the things I look forward to all winter. On our last visit, I skied down 9000 vertical metres in a single day (roughly the same height as Mt. Everest.) I did top to bottom laps all day adding up to 41 km total distance (which still amazes me!)

My boys love hiking out to the double black chutes in the Taynton Bowl where they get a backcountry experience fully within resort boundaries (patrolled and monitored for avalanche risk.)

Top to bottom laps at Panorama for a vertical drop of 1300 metres summit to base

Not an "expert" skier? No worries! Take the kids to find the Secret Forest tree house (complete with a slide that's fun to navigate in ski boots,) spend an afternoon cruising around the mellow intermediate terrain in the Sun Bowl, or plan a "hut to hut" traverse around the mountain stopping at each of the on-mountain restaurants and cabins for snacks, a gourmet lunch, or hot drinks.

Not a skier at all? This is one resort where you'll find more than enough opportunities to entertain the entire family. Try fat biking around the village, rent snowshoes or cross-country skis for a tour of the resort trails, or spend an afternoon in the slopeside hot pools (included with all lodging options at Panorama.)

Life doesn't get much better than afternoon cruising in the Sun Bowl at Panorama

Introduction to Panorama Mountain Resort

Panorama Mountain Resort is located 20 minutes outside the Community of Invermere in the Columbia Valley. From Calgary, it is approximately a 3.5 hour drive across the border into British Columbia. We've found that we can easily make it to the resort Friday night for a quick ski weekend, but that it's definitely more fun to make a long weekend of it.

Enhance your stay with overnight accommodations in the village and experience why ski in/ski out vacations are the absolute BEST! Panorama is unique for ski resorts in the Canadian Rockies in that it has its own alpine village, complete with accommodations, restaurants, apr├Ęs ski activities and nightlife.

Stay in one of the properties on the hill and you'll also receive access to Canada's largest slopeside  hot pools! The pools are located in the Panorama Springs Lodge and are walking distance from everywhere in the Lower or Upper village (a small gondola connects the Lower and Upper Village and is free to use.)

Soak in Canada's largest slopeside hot pools at Panorama Mountain Resort 

A Ski Resort for the Whole Family

We've been skiing at Panorama Mountain Resort for a few years now, and the biggest thing that continues to impress me is how easy it is to progress as a skier or snowboarder at this resort. Families can start on the magic carpets and the beginner platter lift, work up to four other beginner-friendly chair lifts, and then keep moving up the mountain towards the summit (where there's enough terrain to keep the whole family challenged for a lifetime of skiing or riding.)

Read more on progression from beginner to expert terrain here:

Read: Magic Carpet to Monster at Panorama Mountain Resort 

The Taynton Bowl kicks things up a notch for advanced skiers in the family

More than just Skiing at Panorama Mountain Resort

There are 20 km of groomed Nordic Trails at the resort for classic and skate skiing, and some of the trails are open to skiers with dogs.

And these are GOOD trails, "real" trails, and trails I'd visit even for a day trip. This isn't a case of "ok, you nordic skiers, we groomed you a cute little 3km loop around the ski resort."

We like skiing up to the Pentagon and Hale Huts in approximately 6 km round trip from the Greywolf Golf Course. 

You can purchase day passes for the Nordic trails at the Greywolf Golf Course which is the winter clubhouse for XC skiing, fat biking, and snowshoeing.

Visit the Panorama Mountain Resort website for more information on Nordic Skiing.

You can also rent skis if you don't have your own.

You can also try snowshoeing or fat biking on the Panorama multi-use trails

Rent a special fat tire winter bike from the Panorama Nordic Centre at the Greywolf Golf Course or rent a pair of snowshoes. The new Mineral King Trail is 6.5 km round trip and takes hikers and winter bikers up to the Hale Hut shown in the photo above.

The trackset trails are reserved for XC skiing, but Panorama has six multi-use trails for fat biking and snowshoeing. These trails are usually groomed for easy walking and biking.

Rent fat bikes and explore the trails around Panorama this winter

We took my mother with us on one of our winter getaways and she enjoyed going for walks along Toby Creek. She also enjoyed the variety of restaurants and coffee shops in the village. On another trip with a group of girlfriends, we chose to explore the trails on snowshoes and had a great time hiking up to the Hale Hut for lunch.

Read more on winter activities at Panorama Mountain Resort here:

Read: Panorama Mountain Resort (much more than downhill skiing)

We love skiing up to the Hale Hut at Panorama Mountain Resort

Read more on Ski Getaways at Panorama Mountain Resort here:

Read: Family Guide to Panorama Mountain Resort 

We've been skiing at Panorama since my son was a preschooler and now he skies double black chutes!

Plan more “Amazing Ski Days” rather than just "more ski days" this Winter

Every day should start with a rollercoaster ride and that's exactly what you'll get when you ski at Panorama Mountain Resort. Ride the Champagne Express Chair first thing in the morning to the top of a fast and cruisy run called "Rollercoaster," and marvel in awe at the scenery spread out around you with the sun just rising over the peaks as you fly down the fresh corduroy, beaming from ear to ear.

Every day on the slopes is a "good" day, but to really "kick butt" on the family ski getaway this winter, you need to experience slopeside living and spend a few nights in Panorama's alpine village. 

And special for this winter season: Plan private experiences for your bubble to make your trip extra special!

"Over the past decade Panorama has become renowned for its small group, on-mountain dining and experiences. The resort’s three alpine huts are reservable for gourmet dinners of up to 12 people.

Guests can also rent a 12-seater passenger snowcat to take them to their on-mountain dinner or to privately shuttle their group to Panorama’s steep and deep Monster terrain area mid-week. 

RK Heliski, located in the heart of the resort, offers private day heli-skiing packages for up to nine people. RK also offers a private heli accessed fondue dinner at the summit of Panorama from February to April."

Read more on why my family loves Panorama here:

Read: Find it ALL at Panorama Mountain Resort 

Morning rollercoaster runs at Panorama

Save BIG with a Snow+ Card and pay as little as $80/day to Ski!

Snow+ Cards work a little bit differently than your typical ski discount card. Purchase a 3 or a 5 day ski card and use as many days in a row as you want. This isn't a card where you have to pay for middle days in between your freebies.

Visiting Panorama for a 3 day weekend? Purchase a 3-day Snow+ card and use all three ski days on the same visit. 

The Flash Sale Price (for the lowest pricing) ends on October 31st so buy your cards now (the price goes up in November.) 

A 3-day adult card costs $289.00 which breaks down to $96.33 per ski day. (The 5-day card comes to an even better deal at $79.80 per day.)

And you can also get children's or youth cards which work out to $56.33 (children) or $79.67 (youth)  per day of skiing with the 3-day card.

You can also purchase additional days at a $20 discount once you've used up your 3 or 5 days.

Black out restrictions

Note there are no black out dates if you purchase the "anytime snow card." All prices above are assuming this is the card you purchased so you can visit over Christmas and New Years along with the Family Day long weekend in February.

If you'd like a better deal on skiing, you can purchase the restricted snow card or even the midweek snow card.

The restricted card brings the cost down to $76.33/day for adults (with the 3-day card) and $65.80/day (with the 5-day card.) You'll have all the same benefits as the "Anytime" card except you can not ski over the Christmas holiday period or Family Day.

Visit the Panorama Mountain Resort website for more information and to order your cards.

My boy in his happy place!

Beyond Panorama Mountain Resort: Explore the Columbia Valley this Winter

For families planning a long weekend trip or a multi-day getaway to Panorama this winter, I highly encourage you to spend some time down below in the valley exploring around the community of Invermere. 

We love skating on the Lake Windermere Whiteway, the world's longest ice skating path. The full track is 34 km long but for a shorter day, most families skate the 12 km long Windermere Loop which connects the communities of Invermere and Windermere. 

Read more on winter fun in the Columbia Valley here:

Read: Winter Guide to the Columbia Valley (Golden, Radium Hot Springs, Invermere - and beyond)

Skate the  Lake Windermere Whiteway (the world's longest skating track!)

Disclaimer: My family has received complimentary skiing and accommodations in previous winters. This story is not sponsored and all words/opinions are my own.