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Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Location Vancouver Island, Canada
Nearest city Courtenay, Comox
Coordinates 49°44′18″N 125°17′55″W / 49.73833°N 125.29861°W / 49.73833; -125.29861
Vertical 507 metres (1,663 ft)
Top elevation 1,590 m (5,216 ft)
Base elevation 1,083 m (3,558 ft)
Runs 82
Longest run Linton's Loop
Lift system 5 chair lifts
3 surface tows
Terrain parks 2
Snowfall 11 m (36 ft)/year
Website mountwashington.ca

Mount Washington Alpine Resort, is a year-round recreation destination located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Adjacent to Strathcona Provincial Park, BC's oldest provincial park, Mt. Washington is the Island’s only full-service ski and summer resort hosting approximately 300,000 visits per year. Situated more than 1 km above sea level, the resort overlooks the Comox Valley, the Strait of Georgia, the Coast Mountains and the Beaufort Range.

In the winter, guests access over 688 ha (1,700 acres) and 507 vertical metres (1,663 ft) of alpine terrain, 55 km (34 mi) of cross-country skiing and 25 km (16 mi) of snowshoeing trails along with a dedicated Nordic lodge, Tube Park and Fat Bike trails. The resort receives some of the biggest snowfalls in North America: over 11 metres (36 ft) annually on average.

Summer features include a 2.3 km (1.5 mi) ZipTour zip line, lift-accessed mountain biking, quad bungy trampoline, chairlift rides, disc golf, miniature golf, boardwalk chess and checkers, shopping and dining.

History

Mt. Washington Alpine Resort was opened in 1979 by two Campbell River businessmen, Henry Norie and Alex Linton. The idea first started in 1975 when Linton—an avid skier and local businessmen from Campbell River—marvelled at the height and snowpack of Mt. Washington. Together with his friend, Norie, who had a helicopter, the two surveyed the mountain. Sixteen months later, they purchased the land from the forestry company Crown Zellerbach, and hired mountain resort planning company, Ecosign, to master-plan the resort. Construction began in 1977. Mt. Washington, like Whistler Blackcomb, was one of the first master-planned resorts for the province of British Columbia.

In 1989, the founders sold their interests to George Stuart and a group of shareholders who invested into the resort by upgrading lifts, adding terrain and base area buildings, and investing in infrastructure and roads. In 2015, Stuart’s group sold the resort and most of the developable land near the base area to a Canadian subsidiary of Pacific Group Resorts, Inc.

Transportation

Road: The resort is located at #1 Strathcona Parkway, Mt. Washington, BC, approximately a 15-minute drive from the Inland Island Highway, British Columbia Highway 19. Various bus services connect to Courtenay, and during the winter season, the resort operates a ski bus shuttle service with stops in Courtenay.[tone]

Sea: BC Ferries offers daily ferry connections from Vancouver to Nanaimo, as well as from Powell River to Comox.

Air: The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) and Campbell River Airport (YBL) on Vancouver Island are the closest to Mt. Washington, approximately a 40-minute drive from either.

Etymology

Mt. Washington is named after John Washington (Royal Navy officer). For several years Washington was assistant to Sir Francis Beaufort, after whom the range of mountains down the centre of Vancouver Island is named.

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