World Ski and Snowboard Festival set for April 11-20 in Whistler

What do you call 10 days of out-of-this-world action, both on and off Whistler’s slopes? The World Ski and Snowboard Festival, of course. Set to cause a scene April 11 – 20, this fest has earned its cred as the biggest annual gathering of winter sports, music, arts and culture in North America.

Here, massive vertical and slopestyle contests promise plenty of action: The World Skiing Invitational/AFP World Championship is a heart-thumping, high-flying challenge, while The Monster Energy Shred Show features not one, but two snowboard events. (These snowboard challenges will bring on the oohs and aahs, thanks to The Big Air’s massive kicker andSlopestyle’s array of terrain park tricks.)

And when it’s time to trade the thump of adrenalin for a kaleidoscope of sensory delights, be sure to stroll the village for glimpses of arts and musical presentations on outdoor concert stages and within the resort’s conference centre and nightclubs.

Tip: snag a ticket forIntersection, a celebration of action sport filmmaking at its best, or check out screenings of the winners in the film, action sports, and photography contests during the Best of the Fest finale. Both visual feasts that may be just the inspiration required to wax the skis and boards.

British Columbia’s slopes kind to new skiers and boarders

British Columbia’s powder-packed slopes prove ideal for fast-paced runs, cruises through the glades and ventures into the steep and deep. But what about beginner skiers and boarders who have yet to make the move from easy-does it terrain?

It’s good to be a newbie at Sun Peaks Resort, near Kamloops, where skiers can earn their stripes in a setting that offers snow and sunshine in equal measures. Here, Learn to Ski and Snowboard programs promise plenty of gently contoured action — ideal for first-timers eager to build confidence.

Got a budding speedster on your hands? They can put all lessons learned into action with a cruise along the resort’s 5 Mile run, a favoured green pathway that is as expansive as it is crowd free.

Guarantee: a few turns on these slopes and skiers and boarders won’t be rookies for long.

Bunny hills be gone at Big White Ski Resort, east of Kelowna, where the resort’s Mom, Dad and Me Package proves ideal for youngsters aged three to six years.

These two-hour, semi-private lessons (child and parent) provide on-slope tools for both parties: little ones learn the basics while adults discover games and activities aimed to motivate their young charges along the mountain’s twists and turns.

As a bonus, this package packs it in with two nights accommodation, four two-day lift passes and tube park

Further east at Kimberley Alpine Resort, the new beginner slope, Alpine Slide, offers an easier way down to the lower mountain from the top of Northstar Chair.

And while that may encourage newbies to go for the green (run) every time, it might also instill the confidence required to tackle a few of the resort’s 80 tree-lined runs or take on one of North America’s longest illuminated trails after the sun sets. The non-stop fall lines and heart-stopping steeps? Maybe next time.