Apex Mountain Resort
Regarded as some of the best skiing in North America, Apex boasts dry powder, short lift lines and uncrowded slopes. In under six minutes the high-speed quad chairlift takes you to the top of the mountain. From there you can access 1112 acres of magnificent fall-line skiing and boarding. While Apex has more than its share of challenges for expert skiers, with 67 runs, the area also offers beginner and intermediate skiers an inspirational experience on gentle rolling cruisers, groomed to perfection.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Apex Mountain Resort is located in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada, and is easily accessible by both air and ground transportation. 405km east of Vancouver, B.C. and only 33km west of Penticton.
You can drive from Vancouver (about 5 hours) or catch a prop job there (about 50 mins). This resort is about 45 mins from Penticton so stop and do your food shopping on the way up.
1100 acres all accessible from one fast quad chair. Tons of steep fall-line bumps and trees. "Hidden gem" claims are true: no crowds. Low-key, relaxed atmosphere and sociable, talented locals. Excellent ski packages at The Inn and other on-mountain accomodations makes for quite a cheap holiday.
Nice rolling intermediate terrain is accessed by a slow triple chair. High proportion of advanced terrain means novices and intermediates have relatively limited options. Apex is known to the locals as ScrApex, so be sure to watch the weather before heading there. Travel after Jan seems to be the best bet. The peak is very exposed and takes a heap of snow to cut down on the ice.
Phone: (250) 292-8111
Fax: (250) 292-8100
Postal: PO Box 1060 Penticton, British Columbia V2A 7N7 Canada
Transport to Apex can be organised through Cassidy Cabs (Kelowna or Penticton Airport Shuttle) toll free from BC 1800 234 0336 or 492 5441, just ring a few days before to organise. It cost us $45 each one way a year or so ago. For an airport near Apex go to Penticton.
The Inn at Apex is sensational, great size rooms, fantastic loaction and really good deals. They have everything you need in the building and also a great cafe. It is true ski in out and a stones throw from the pub. Ask for a slope side room if available. The Inn can also sort out transfers to and from Apex (which can be very difficult) Staff couldn't be nicer.
Double Diamond Hostel has dorm beds from $22 and private rooms from $68. It is centrally located next to the lift ticket office. (06/07 rates). http://www.doublediamondhostel.com/
Saddleback Lodge is at the other end of the parking lot, a 3 minute walk from the lifts. It has B&B type rooms as well as 2-bedroom suites with kitchens. Rooms start at $99 per night. (06/07 rates). http://www.saddlebacklodge.com/
Apex Accomodations is a rental pool that handles many different on-mountain lodgings. Enquiries to http://www.apexaccommodation.com/.
I wouldn't stay off mountain to ski Apex, with the extensive range of accom on mountain and great prices why drive everyday.
A car may be handy to head to down to do some grocery shopping, however hand a list to the local shop and they can order in for you at no extra cost.
Lift tickets are pretty cheap here no matter how you purchase them. Most accom will package tickets in with your deal or ask your agent to score some wholesale for you. If you haven't managed to package any tickets then check out the Double Diamond Hostel, they sell them at a cheaper rate than the ticket office.
If you are planning way ahead of time, consider an earlybird season pass.
Great ski hire place on mounatin with a full range of gear, excellent tuning and repair facility also is available. Good prices and advice also.
No need for any tranport in the village as it is quite small and very well laid out. There is no resort shuttle or taxi services. Luggage can be dropped at your door at almost all accom places.
There is a massive central carpark which can be used for day parking or week long stays, very handy to everything and very accessable. Parking and resort entry is free. Some condo style accom does have it's own parking lots out the front.
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There are only a few places to eat. A large kiosk is open during the day and the pub offers great cheap lunches also. Dinner time, there is basically two places to eat and after 7 nights I was in definitely looking for something a little different. I would suggest a kitchenette if you were staying more than 4 or so nights. There is a small grocery/grog shop that orders food in for you if you request anything special.
The food at the Sheeprock is sensational we ate there 3 times in 1 week and blew our budget considering we should have been on the pasta and packet sauce. They had a chicken camembert (if they still have it, go for it) It is the nicest meal I have ever had seriously !!!!!!!! maybe it had something to do with the great atmosphere, the wine, the service just everything was perfect and not to mention the fresh half meter of snow falling outside the door. '06/'07 season edit: Sheeprock Lodge - and its restaurant - has been converted to condos.
Bars & Entertainment
Apex generally caters for the intermediate to advanced skier. Most runs feed back into the quad (and I mean high speed) You will never find a lift line here. The triple chair mainly services the area filled with lovely rolling blue/green runs. Great for the first time skiier. If you are just starting out this area is great, although their ski school is not really huge. The black runs at Apex are definitely black, and there is more than enough to keep any expert or extreme skier busy. Favourite run....The Face.
Apex set itself apart in the late 80s/early 90s with top quality grooming from Prinoth cats. Drivers became very talented at working with sometimes thin snowpacks. Today the overall standard has improved to the point where Apex is merely average, but it's still very good for a small resort. No crowds means you can go as fast or as wide as you like on the groomers.
The triple chair area has the most groomed runs, although you can avoid riding this slow old beast by choosing runs on skier's left of the chair and cutting left near the bottom to hit the quad chair rather than all the way to the bottom and the triple.
Apex has a winch cat and grooms some quite steep black terrain. The Chute run is groomed several times a week; the Face and Sun Bowl also receive occasional grooming.
"The Bowls" and "Wild Side" to the south of the summit are obvious off-piste areas with multiple lines and steep chutes. There are many double-black diamond lines here, be safe and ride with a friend. The same goes for the northern end of the resort, where the so-called "Gun Runs" beckon: Gunbarrel, Make My Day, 22, Magnum, Pea Shooter, Dirty Harry, Winchester, Buckshot. If those aren't narrow and steep enough, some glading has been done in the trees between the runs. The locals ski these runs hard, resulting in bumps with trees growing out of them!
Out of Bounds
Easy hiking to the secondary peak of Apex Mtn itself (the ski resort is actually on Beaconsfield Mtn). There are very steep chutes in this area that present serious avalanche risk, so please observe all precautions and be properly equipped. Ski out back to the triple chair. A small but keen group of locals rides this area regularly and they are very welcoming to newcomers.
Apex no longer maintains XC trails although they still exist below and east of the village. Nickel Plate Nordic Centre is 5 km from the village and offers excellent XC trackset skiing. http://www.nickelplatenordic.org/
Parks & Pipes
Two parks, one World Cup superpipe. Both parks are bigger on rails than tables. The pipe is excellent when in service but hasn't been open until well into February in the past two seasons.
This is what Apex is all about. Everywhere you look there are steep, intense fall line bump runs. Literally dozens of them. Make My Day, K, and Tongue are perennial favourites with the locals. Virtually all of these runs contain pitches to 40 degrees and greater. Although Apex is wonderfully uncrowded, the locals are very strong skiers and the bumps get carved deep.
There is a very strong freestyle element at Apex. It's the official training base of the Canadian national team and hosted World Cup freestyle events in 2006 and 2007. Try your luck on Kristi's, the run used for WC competition. This slope was shaped using explosives and bulldozers to create a consistent pitch for mogul events. It is named after local product Kristi Richards, who is currently competing on the world cup and has won medals right here on her home mountain.
Mega powder zones... so much pow pow I almost considered buying a snorkel.