I have been to most of the resorts in Nth America and have found Big White to have some of the best dry snow, however you are definitely captive there if you wanna check out other places. Its 1 road in 1 road out. It is very true of the big white out experience, so I have found feb and march to be the best time to be there. Kelowna is ok, but for me, the area is best spent in summer for the lakes and the peach and thunder festivals they have there. Okanagan summers are worth it. If you want mountains, you cannot beat the rockies... Many moons ago, I spent a season in Banff as well (97-98). The season was pretty crap (which was still amazing... 5 or more meters of base) - I believe it was my first experience of el nino, but there was still loads of work etc. Banff is also good as you have the tri mountain area which includes sunshine village, lake louise and the local hill, mt norquay. All 3 are well worthwhile hills. Just living in the rockies... incredible scenery. (That john denver was not full of shit man). Banff is a good town for party as well and the hills that i mentioned, if working at them have mutual recognition of passes etc. So if you wanna burn it to fernie or whatever then its easy. Speaking of fernie, its well worth a look. Living off hill is pretty easy there and it still has a rad pioneering vibe. Check out 'our fernie' website and accom options. Banff is pretty easy to get accom and town jobs as well... the only drama is the hourly pay rate is lousy - so go for a waiter/bar tender job as soon as you can. From what i remember, alberta has a lower hourly pay rate than BC so you definitely wanna be in hospitality for the tips (they can be great, i recall pullin 250 p/day from cashed up americans). On hill server/tender jobs are probably the best as you get a pass and food and booze and you definitely get better hookups that way as well. You can also swindle daytime riding time. They are competitive jobs though as you often get return applicants etc. Make sure you fudge your CV or have some experience at least. Kitchen jobs arent bad either... you get food, riding time and a share of tip out. Versa Services used to run the restaraunts and bars on hill at sunshine village, maybe check them. You can apply for on mountain accom, but it feels a bit isolated... so i would look on the notice boards in the hostels, online and just get your lurk on in the bars in town for roomies etc... Team up with other crew and throw down for a house. One place that was famous for packing in bums was 'northwoods manor' - they were classic good/ghetto units, but there were also houses around that were pretty available (there was a great rowdy place called the green house that I woke up at alot, but it got knocked down, i digress)- you just gotta get there well in advance - as usual. I rate banff highly and consider it as the best bet for all the things that you may be looking at outside of going to whistler. Whistler is good, but its gonna be hard for the olympics. I would definitely be signing up for the employment drives they do with the aussie/kiwi hills they recognise. Yes you may get only lifty jobs, but you arent going there for the jobs. As far as being at whistler is concerned, its a good party vibe... its a good place... its expensive... the hill is good - but there is alot of traversing. I see there is a new peak to peak gondola - which is great if it gets tracked or fogged out on one side. However, for me, I have been backcountry there a few times with snowmobiles and that was the best time riding i have had there. Again, whistler is good, but everyone will be thrashing it there. Vancouver is a great town, but the local hills arent what you would be going there for. If you wanna stay there, your best bet is to stay at the nomads hostel on granville st. there is a bar downstairs full of jr travellers there for the party and stuck in the rut of working at the local hills. You may get some hookups there, but i wouldnt recommend getting caught up in the vancouver thing. If you can, buy a beater car and drive to the rockies. I hope this is of some help NZGnu.... I love Canada and I will be there again for 09/10! Good luck!