FIELD TRIP #591: Lighting Double-Barrelled Drinks On Fire In The Snow Up At Big White

by Andrew Morrison | A recent press trip up to Big White for their Big Reds wine festival was all kinds of jolly. Everyone that I came up with stuck to the slopes for most of the time, so I was largely left to my own devices to explore. Though I couldn’t ski or snowboard (Doctor’s order on account of broken foot still in physio), I did manage to squeeze into a pair of hockey skates for plenty of shinny on the dream-like outdoor rink (the stuff beer commercials are made of).

The pictures below suggest otherwise, but they were starving for snow at the time. They’ve been inundated with white stuff ever since (192cm base with 23cm new as I write), and I trust the good conditions will continue for the next couple of months. Aside from the 118 marked runs, they’ve got a 60ft high ice tower to climb, snowmobile rentals, a tubing paradise, dog-sledding, and a host of other outdoor activities to enthral the easily bored. It’s also home to one of the best masseuses I’ve ever had the pleasure to be set right by, and some sort of famed, frothy coffee drink that involves hard liquor and a double barrelled shotgun (for best results, drink two).

If the mountain had any fault, it was that the restaurants could have used a swift kick in the ass. Unlike, say, Whistler, which is hyper-competitive, all the food ops were being done in house, which is to say there were no outside, independent operators that really gave a clear and present damn about providing a world class dining experience (ie. nothing remotely near the class of Araxi or Bearfoot Bistro). Low bid ingredient sourcing and tired concepts plucked from the 80’s ain’t my Earl Grey, but then again I’m a bit of a myopic stickler in the chow department. If you’re cool doing the cooking yourself or scarfing solely steaks and middling sports bar fare, then bon appetit. The atmosphere of the mountain more than made up for it anyway.

It was a super fun getaway, and I’m looking forward to heading back up, perhaps for their next wine fest – “Big Whites” – which goes down on March 31st. The event is designed to showcase the best white wines out of the whole of the Okanagan Valley, and tickets are just $30. If it’s half as good as Big Reds was, that’s a steal of a sum.

  • Along the Drive to Big White
  • View from Big White
  • Top on the Mountain
  • Top of the Mountain Big White
  • Chair Lift
  • The game
  • Icicles
  • Skis
  • Big White village
  • Horse Drawn Carriage
  • Fondue Prep
  • Big Sky
  • Ice Climbing
  • Staff holding Ice Climbing Harness Lines
  • Ice Climbing
  • Post Climb Descent
  • Taking Pictures
  • Ice Tower base
  • Alpine Architecture
  • Hockey Jerseys on Display
  • Ski Runs
  • Chair Lift
  • Headgear at the ski supply shop
  • Tunnel to the slopes
  • Baby being pulled through village
  • Learning to Ski
  • Gunbarrel Coffee Prep
  • Gunbarrel Coffee
  • Gunbarrel Coffee
  • Gunbarrel Coffee
  • After Ski Beer
  • Kettle Valley Steakhouse and Wine Bar
  • Kettle Valley Steakhouse and Wine Bar
  • IMG_2080
  • Warming Up By The Bonefire
  • Last Chair
  • View of Village
  • Big Reds
  • I can have these, right? | Big Reds
  • Big Reds
  • Big Reds
  • Big Reds
  • Big White Ski-In Ski-Out housing
  • Super Friendly Big White Staff
  • Village at Night
  • Apres
  • Float like a butterfly...
  • Tracks in the Snow
  • All business
  • Skating at Dusk
  • Shinny
  • Rink at sunset
  • Shinny
  • Breaking through up the middle
  • Rink
  • Big White
  • Styling
  • Village at Big White
  • Friday Night Preparations
  • Rink Side Waffles
  • Gondola to Village
  • Little Hockey Player
  • Happy Valley Lodge at Big White
  • Big White Village View From White Crystal Inn
  • Rink Side Fire at Big White
  • Pick-up Hockey Game At Big White
  • Sunset View at Big White
  • Chair Over Big White Village

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There are 3 comments

  1. Yeah. Thanks for the catch (we called it “pick up” when we were kids). Stretch passes and two on ones. The most fun I’d had in a while!