We arrived in Panorama Ski Resort in late February, after an evening drive from Calgary Airport via Canmore. The temperature at 11pm was -28C, and had been colder on previous evenings. The daytime temperatures were unusually cold for first few days, (sometimes -20C at the summit) however it warmed up to more pleasant temperatures after a few days.
Situated in the Purcell Mountains, in southeastern British Columbia, Panorama has a ski-in, ski-out village at 1,150m . The locals refer to the resort as being in a ‘doughnut’, the resort often having pleasant weather while it is snowing in the surrounding mountains above. (Click any image to enlarge.)
As well as being linked by road, skiers can travel between the upper and lower village by gondola.
There are 10 lifts, and 120+ runs, some of which are very long. The ski area has a vertical drop of over 1200m. This year there was plenty of snow, with a settled base of 1.5m .
The Summit Lift takes skiers to 2,375m, from where there are spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
Locals take advantage of calm days to take-off and land on the ski slopes. There are also tandem paragliding rides available.
At this altitude there were not many birds to be seen at this time of the year, however this little bird landed in a tree just near our condominium.
Lake Windermere is a 20 minute drive from Panorama. The town of Invermere is beside the lake, and we travelled there for food supplies. Many workers at the resort live in the town. Lake Windermere is situated at about 850m. The lake is in the Columbia Valley, between the Rocky Mountains and the Purcell Mountains. The shallow lake is about 17km long and 2km wide (really just a widening of the Columbia River), and at this time of the year is completely covered in thick ice. This winter was unusual in that the ice was very clear, and fish could be seen swimming under the ice. However when we were there, the ice was covered in snow. The Whiteway is 34km of groomed tracks that circumnavigate the lake, for skiers and skaters.
Our flight out from Calgary, at the end of our trip, gave us a grand view of the central city and snow-covered prairies. A city of over one million people, it is the centre of Canada’s oil industry.
Our afternoon flight gave opportunity to see vast mountainous areas as we flew from from Calgary to Vancouver.
About 40km east of Vancouver, we flew over Pitt Lake and surrounding mountain range, with its tarn on the right.
Click here for more information about Panorama Ski Resort.