Trading sand for snow, sunshine for snow pines…

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Summer is often considered the most anticipated time of year for holiday goers of all ages. The lure of crystal blue ocean, sand and sunshine paints a picture of paradise that many dream about throughout the winter months, and doggedly save their hard earned money to make a reality when summer next rears its head. It might seem crazy then, that anyone would want to trade this in for an extended Winter… but more and more of us are doing it, and with good reason.

A native of Brisbane, the capital city of Australia’s ‘sunshine state’ Queensland, this time of year usually signifies the strapping of surfboards back onto the roof racks of our cars, cramming in as many people as our beat-up 1986 Holden Commodore can fit, turning up the music loud and migrating to any given part of the east coast’s golden coastline. We are seemingly completed by these days of beach cricket, packed eskies and sunburn; that is, until we turn on the television to see skiers blazing down slopes of fresh snow, snowboarders flying off jumps and families sharing a ‘White Christmas’ by the fireplace…

Taunted by this void we will save every dollar to make our dream a reality at the next possible chance, but we don’t want to do it small-scale… there is one place that stands out on our radar above all others: Canada. We leave our soaring temperatures and the opening days of the first cricket test to board our flights into a world obscure to the one we know. We land in British Columbia still dressed in our board-shorts and t-shirts, bestowing upon us a freezing cold welcome to the Great White North. Unfazed, we dust off and put on our jackets, collect our bags and excitedly prepare for the weeks ahead.

We want the true live-on-hill experience, so we start crossing resorts off our list. We also wanted a good nightlife and to be spoilt with powder and terrain…  the crossing-off continues.  On top of this we decide that we want to be able to experience other activities and adventures while we’re here… Finally one resort stands out above all others, Big White Ski Resort.

We’ll arrive at the mountain, soaking up the energy-filled atmosphere of the Village centre before picking up our gear and meeting some of the local staff. After our first days out on the hill, mastering the art of skiing or snowboarding, we’ll go back to our chalet and treat ourselves to a hot tub before conquering the mountain’s exciting nightlife. We’ll go tubing and skating, even try ice hockey… climb the ice wall and even fit in some snowmobiling: all the while taking hordes of photos and creating tonnes of memories to share with our friends back home, so that they too can enjoy the reward that comes from trading in their summer, for the winter at Big White.

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