If you're looking for the best place for cool winter fun, BruceGreySimcoe is it! Located on the scenic shores of Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe, this breathtaking region is an outdoor winter playground that's home to Ontario's greatest ski and snowboard resorts like Blue Mountain and Horseshoe Resort. It's become the spot for winter sport enthusiasts of all levels and ages. It's simply the place to be this winter.
Presented in partnership with Ontario Tourism and BruceGreySimcoe, here's everything you need to know about skiing and snowboarding in the region — from what to wear and rules of the hill, to the resort that best suits your skills.
What to wear
Dressing for winter fun means layering up. Remember these three words: base, insulating and protection. A base or wicking layer usually consists of thermal underwear to keep you comfortable and dry, while an insulating layer involves a pullover or sweater typically made out of wool or a synthetic fabric like fleece. A final protection layer typically is a waterproof jacket shell and pants to repel moisture and protect against the chilly elements.
For snowboarders, it's all about the base. Wearing a solid layer underneath your snowpants and jacket help insulate and keep heat in. And also, wear waterproof pants such as snow pants, to cover boots, keep out moisture and keep skin dry.
Consider snowboarding slopes as no-jean zones. They're simply uncomfortable, not flexible and impede movement. This is not a fashion show -- keep warm and remain agile.
Wearing eye protection is also very important. Goggles or sunglasses are highly recommended as they shield you from the bright light that's reflected from the white snow and any flying debris.
Just one tip for consistently toasty hands: Make sure your gloves are thick and water resistant.
When it comes to socks, it's imperative that you buy ski socks as they minimize rubbing around the ankles and the possibility for blisters. They're also made from a material that wicks away sweat which means your feet will remain extra toasty.
New to the hill?
All the resorts in BruceGreySimcoe feature lessons, equipment rentals and accommodation packages suited to your skill level.
Novices will be pleased to know that resorts such as Blue Mountain will provide a lift ticket and equipment tuned to their specific needs.
Be sure to take advantage of the drop-in lesson circuit, which starts novices down gentle slopes using a progressive series of exercises to get you more familiar with your skis or board. This ensures your skills will grow along with your confidence.
Up for some winter sporting fun in BruceGreySimcoe?
Whether you're looking at visiting Blue Mountain (Ontario's largest mountain resort), Horseshoe Resort, or seeking a family experience at Mount St. Louis Moonstone and Snow Valley, there is something for every novice skier or snowboarder at each resort.
Blue Mountain Resort: Featuring breathtaking views over the Niagara Escarpment and warm retreats for lunch or après ski, the Village and South locations are the best spots for beginner and intermediate users.
Horseshoe Resort: Nestled in Ontario's Greater Golden Horseshoe near Barrie, the scenic slopes of Horseshoe Resort feature courses such as Ponytail, Ponyback and Pinto, ideal for the novice thrill seeker.
Mount St. Louis Moonstone: Offering some of the best snow conditions and hills in Ontario, novices will experience the largest beginner terrain in the province at this resort located near Barrie.
Snow Valley: This resort is perfect for families looking for snowy adventure. Located in Barrie, this resort also offers snow tubing -- and let's be honest, what's better than sliding down an icy hill in a donut-shaped device?
A safe BruceGreySimcoe experience is a fun experience. Here are a few pointers for staying safe on the trails:
1) Always wear a sport-specific helmet to keep your head warm and protected
2) Ski or snowboard each run according to your level
3) Respect the different levels and abilities of others on the slopes
4) Keep a safe distance between you and others
5) Stay focused and always concentrate on your next move
6) Do not attempt another run if you are tired or injured
7) Maintain your equipment regularly to ensure that it's functioning properly
There's something for everyone looking for ski and snowboard fun in BruceGreySimcoe — where hibernation is simply not an option with so much to see and do. Learn more here.