British Columbia’s Hidden Gem
Apex Mountain Resort
If you’re looking for some of the best skiing in British Columbia, then look no further than in the Okanagan Valley. Located about 35km (22mi) from Penticton, and 96km (60mi) from Kelowna – Apex Mountain Resort sits on Beaconsfield Mountain and features some of the best skiing in the Okanagan Region. Apex opened in 1961 with just one poma-lift, but over the last couple of decades, they’ve seen steady growth and plenty of ‘Okanagan Champagne Powder’ to go with it. With access to steep chutes and wide-open bowls, Apex has a little bit of everything.
Standing at 2178m (7145ft), Beaconsfield Mountain is home to Apex Mountain Resort – which provides over 600m (2000ft) of vertical, spanning across 79 marked runs. In addition to this, Apex provides another 40+ unmarked runs and over 5000 hectares of backcountry terrain. With four terrain parks scattered across the mountain as well, there’s plenty to explore. To top it off, you’ll rarely find a lift line – as Apex has remained one of British Columbia’s best-kept secrets.
The once family-owned ski area has maintained its values through new ownership and continues to thrive with their ‘mom-and-pop’ feel. With only four lifts spread out across the mountain, the layout of the terrain is very unique. Limited lift access provides for more exploring, and plenty of hidden powder stashes as well. There are times when Apex can even feel like your own private resort. If you’re willing to work for your turns and find your limit, then Apex Mountain Resort could be the place for you.
Open from about late December to early March, Apex relies on heavy snowfall and consistent temperatures to keep things running smoothly. Fortunately, the area receives the ideal mix of precipitation combined with low humidity to provide that ‘Champagne Powder’ all year round. In addition to this, Apex is the only resort in the Okanagan that faces northeast, leaving fresh snow less affected by sun and warm temperatures. With an average of 600cm (236in) of snow each season, this place consistently provides the goods for skiers and snowboarders alike.
Although the mountain lacks a true village scene, Apex makes up for it with awesome terrain and all-around great experience. If you’re expecting a ski vacation to the likes of a Vail resort, then chances are this destination isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking to ski hard all day and settle into a cozy little village at night - then Apex Mountain Resort will suit you perfectly. If I had to summarize the place in a few words, I’d say it’s a skier’s mountain. Likewise, it’s certainly not for everyone - and more suits people looking to do some skiing rather than some relaxing.
In my experience, the ‘mom-and-pop’ feel of the mountain is very appealing and can be a nice change up from the larger resorts in North America. I’d recommend booking accommodation right at the base of the mountain so you can experience everything the village has to offer. Complete with a couple of shops and restaurants, this little village has plenty to offer. If you’re looking to rent gear or grab some new gear, then The Rental Shop at Apex and The Mountain Shop have everything you need.
The Edge Bistro and Gunbarrel Saloon are must visit, and if you need anything else you can stop by The Trading Post general store. The Edge Bistro is a great stop for breakfast and lunch or even just a quick cup of coffee. Once you’re done skiing, The Gunbarrel Saloon is perfect for après or even dinner later on. Additionally, the Longshot Wine & Tapas restaurant can be a great option as well. There may not be a ton of options up at Apex Mountain Resort, but what is there will surely please anyone looking for a nice ski getaway.
With endless terrain and plenty to explore, Apex Mountain Resort is perfect for anyone looking to do some serious skiing. Located in the Okanagan Region, the ‘Champagne Powder’ is sure to keep anyone entertained. Easy access to and from Kelowna International Airport makes getting to Apex convenient and provides for the perfect ski vacation. If you’re looking to find your limit while visiting one of British Columbia’s best-kept secrets, then Apex Mountain Resort could be the place for you.
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