Off the grid and off the radar for most for most skiers, Shames—located in Terrace, B.C.—is the little mountain that could. Reams of reliable powder, big mountain backcountry, and fare worthy of much fancier ski resorts, Shames is a co-op with a big emphasis on community. Here’s why you might want to check it out.
With an average snowfall of 12 metres (480 inches), Shames sits in a near perfect location, far enough north and close enough to the coast to capture moist air and produce perfect powder. And with only one double chair, a T-Bar and a kiddie’s handle-tow, there’s no need to be first in line on a powder day. Even when it’s busy, which means a handful of hardcore locals, you’ll get fresh tracks till the end of the day.
Venture beyond the lifts, and enter a world of deep alpine bowls, scary-steep couloirs and cruisy-fast glades, all easily accessible from the ski area. Few mountains are as surrounded by world-class backcountry skiing as Shames. But make no mistake; this terrain is for experienced skiers with avalanche training and equipment.
When the previous owners needed to sell, the whole community jumped in to save their ski hill. Shames is Canada’s first not-for-profit community run ski resort. Local businesses have chipped in with cash and equipment and countless volunteers keep it afloat and thriving. The locals are welcoming and happy to show off what they’ve accomplished.
It’s Family Friendly
The first thing you’ll notice is that there are a lot of kids here. With three-quarters of the runs rated green or blue, there’s ample terrain for families and little ones. There’s also a great toboggan area. With lift tickets priced much less than most mountains and kids under six skiing for free, Shames is an affordable and family-friendly ski destination.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality of food at both the Panhandler Cafe and Galloway’s Mountain Bar. Daily specials are varied and include dishes such as beef rouladen, chicken Korma and homemade naan. But don’t worry; standard pub fare is also available. After a hard day shredding on the slopes, chow down on a Shames Mountain burger, one of the tastiest burgers you’ll ever eat on a ski hill.