PEMBERTON Discover A Winter Playground
Nestled in the heart of the Coast Mountains, Pemberton is a small, unassuming town. But despite its
sleepy ambiance, it is home to a vibrant
community of outdoor enthusiasts.
Whether it’s skiing steep chutes on the
surrounding mountains, jumping off cliffs
on snowmobiles or hiking from cabin to
cabin through the backcountry, Pemberton’s
residents make a lifestyle out of enjoying
their natural playground.
Upon entering Pemberton, you’ll quickly
take note of the surroundings. Endless
expanses of snow-capped mountains
surround the community, and the
magnificent Mount Currie looms over the
south side of the town — its rocky face
standing 2,591 metres ( 8,500 feet) above sea
level (And yes, people ski down it!). Even
though Pemberton’s winters are relatively
mild in temperature, big snowfalls are
certainly not rare in the village.
Backcountry skiers, snowboarders and
snowmobilers flock to Pemberton to
take advantage of several excellent
backcountry areas. To the west is the
massive Pemberton Ice Cap, with access
from several points south of town; and
to the north and northeast, the Hurley
and Duffey Lake roads offer access to
world-renowned backcountry terrain.
For the ultimate one-day backcountry
experience, heli-skiing and snowmobile
tours are available. Many local attractions,
such as Nairn Falls Provincial Park, are
accessible in the winter. Following the Sea
to Sky Trail, visitors can access Nairn Falls
directly from One Mile Lake on a wide,
crushed-gravel path that’s popular for
winter hiking and snowshoeing. For cross-country skiers, trails are track-set around
the Nairn Falls campground each winter.
In January, the Village of Pemberton marks
the season with its annual Winterfest
celebration. Most Winterfest activities occur
at One Mile Lake, where the frozen surface
is the venue for a shinny hockey tournament,
curling tournament and skating rinks, as
well as the ever-popular Polar Bear Plunge.
Other event features include live music,
outdoor movies and fireworks. (Activities
are weather dependent. For up-to-date
information visit pembertonwinterfest.
com). One Mile Lake is also an ideal place
for younger anglers to try ice fishing; and
during Winterfest a youth fishing derby is
hosted by local guides. For more experienced
anglers, local waters such as Mosquito Lake,
Blackwater Lake and Gates Lake offer great
ice fishing for rainbow trout, bull trout and
For those who wish to escape the cold of
winter, soaking in one of the area’s natural
hot springs is a sublime experience. Visiting
the Skookumchuk/T’sek or Sloquet
hot springs is a popular day trip from
Pemberton, each offering its own unique
setting and character.
After a day of adventure, why not settle
in for a warm, hearty meal at one of
Pemberton’s restaurants? The Pony, The
Station, Mile One Eating House and the
recently opened Town Square all offer a wide
variety of entrées and often feature local
produce and meats.
STORY BY STEVE FISHER
IMAGES BY JOERN ROHDE