Pros: Small lift lines, good lift network
Cons: pricey meals
A group of us went to Big White in March of this year, during spring break. Surprisingly, there were very few people! I had been concerned about going at that time because of the possible crowding, but it never was an issue.
It snowed the afternoon and overnight the day we arrived, with 8" to greet us on our first morning of skiing,. The next two nights received a light dusting of 2-3" overnight. We skiied all over the mountain, hitting the Cliff first thing in the morning with the fresh snow. it is a fairly steep pitch, serviced with a 2 person chair. No line-ups, up and down. We made our own tracks all morning until 11:30, when it was all tracked out. We moved across the mountain , and hit the Falcon chair next. A nice steep section of hill with funny little trees to ski through. Again serviced with a 2 person chair (possibly the worlds slowest!),again no waiting! Although I had heard about poor visibility, we experienced very little of it. We cut our own tracks for most of the afternoon. We ducked under the ropes off the Gem chair, ( I think its allowed. There is a warning about the cost of rescue, but you're never really far from anything) Nice tight steep trees, with lot of snow! Sweet fun! The rest of the week we explored all over the hill, finding fresh snow off the Gem chair 2 days later.
If this was more of a 'Skiers mountain" I'm sure all the snow would be tracked out by 10:30 the first morning. As a 'family resort' it seemed that only the blue runs close to the main lifts got busy and scraped. Anything with a black diamond on it was passed by, and the snow stayed for days.
The lifts are very well positioned, and you are able to get around quite easily. It doesnt take more than 1 lift to go from one end of the mountain to the other. Its very easy to hook up with people during the day, which is important for people in a group that are all skiing at different levels. The terrain is varied, and there are a lot of intermediate runs, good to keep some of happy, and enough of the black runs to keep the rest of us occupied.
The village is a little different, not a completely manufactured main street feel like Sun Peaks or Whistler or Tremblant, but more subtle. It took a while to figure out that there is a lot there, because a lot of restaurants and bars are scattered in the hotels, and are not immediately apparent. It really is a ski in/ ski out village. Since the village is sort of uphill ,from every hotel you can walk out and slide downhill to a lift. We stayed at the White Crystal Hotel, quite a nice place. We would start every morning at 8:30 at the Bullet chair, and rip down some warmup runs on beautiful fresh corduroy, until the rest of the mountain woke up, and the we would take of for other , less crowded parts. It was almost too easy.
The one thing I would say negative about the place , was the food at night was expensive and mediocre for the prices we paid, with a few exceptions. Daytime on the hill food was ok, in line with most resorts.
Thanks to Josh Foster for the tips and tricks beforehand. They were quite helpful.