SnowPass program makes it easy for kids to ski

Trent Ernst, Editor

After one of the nicest autumns on record, winter came crashing through the front door last week, and is looking like it might just decide to put its feet up on the coffee table and stay a spell.

While many people have expressed disgust at finding white stuff on the ground so early in the year, there are some people who are overjoyed to see snow.

While the most obvious candidates in Tumbler Ridge are the snowmobilers, there is also a good contingent of skiers and snowboarders looking forward to carving a few turns on their favourite local hills.

If you’re a member of the latter group and parents of a child in Grades four or five, the Canadian Ski Council has a program that will make getting out a little easier.

Called the SnowPass, kids in Grade four and five are able to ski free at any of 150 participating ski hills across the country, including Powder King near Mackenzie, Nitehawk near Grande Prairie and Whispering Pines near Worsley, AB.

“This is so exciting for us,” says Patrick Arkeveld, Canadian Ski Council (CSC) President and CEO. “In the past, SnowPass holders could only use it in the region in which they lived. Now they can use it anywhere. Which means, if they live in Ontario and are vacationing in Quebec, Alberta or BC, they can ski or ride free there, too.”

The Canadian Ski Council’s SnowPass gives kids in grades four and five (born in 2002 or 2003) up to three free coupons for lift tickets at each participating ski area… all for a one-time administration fee of $29.95, including taxes. This means, you can’t spend the winter parked at Powder King; the program is designed not only to introduce kids to the joy of skiing, but to introduce them to the wide variety of skiing across the country.

There are 149 participating ski areas across the country. While that’s not every mountain, it’s a fair sampling. In addition to the hills listed above, other possible destinations for local skiers include Bear Mountain in Dawson Creek and Peace River’s Misery Mountain.

This will be season 16 for the SnowPass program, and it will begin on December 1, 2012. Parents are encouraged to get their applications filled out in November. To apply for the program, visit www.snowpass.ca.