Smitten by Shames: Long fall lines and in-your-face pow
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Terrace, BC – Driving into Shames Mountain Ski Area, you get the true sense that this is a down-home, mom and pop kind of place; there's nothing glitzy or glam about it. But I like it that way and, getting here is half the fun.
The open, winding road lies before you offering up some amazing scenery. You just know you're going to be in for gobs of pow.
And you won't break the bank taking a weekend skiing trip here. With cheap lift passes, you'll be rewarded by the deep snow and the cold brews waiting after an epic day on the slopes. It's definitely worth the price of admission.
The mountains here are massive. But you may not even notice them, because you'll be too busy lapping up the pow, deposited here by the regular coastal storms.
"(It's) skiing on another scale," says Christian Theberge, general manager of the Shames Ski Area.
More skiing in 2018
New this year at Shames, is five-day-a-week operation in January, which will provide more opportunities for families and local school programs. It also gives you that extra day of skiing for your road trip to powder land. Like you needed another reason for face-shots.
Theberge tells me, before ripping through awesome blower pow, the new opening days mean people can stay longer and ski deeper this winter.
He's got a good point. Not only is the skiing in-bounds a delight, but the unlimited touring will take some time to explore. We are not talking a little slack-country offering, but a huge range of lift-accessible ski touring for endless laps.
"With our new guided touring program, we've added an incredible new experience for people to enjoy from first-timers to experts, there is no better way to explore this winter," he added.
Be prepared to have a sore neck
Getting here is part of the adventure. During the flight from Vancouver to Terrace, you'll be gawking not only out the window, but over the shoulder of your fellow seat-mates to see the tall peaks rising into the sky on all sides. You can't help but to start dreaming about how you'll be schussing some of rugged and remote lines.
As soon you arrive, you'll have your face smack dab in the middle of a range of big peaks that dominate the backdrop in all directions from the ski area.
Not only is this big mountain country, but also big fish country. The steelhead trout here are the prize for anyone who wants to pack along, or rent a rod. You can cast your line in the Skeena River watershed and while away a few blissful hours. It's always best to check in with a local guide to find the best fishing holes and hear some epic fish tales.