East Peak is really just a bump beside a bunch of other bumps. It is only really special from an alpine touring / backcountry skiing perspective. It is possible to hike across the ridge in summer from Big White summit but little reason to do so. There are few places in the Okanagan for good ski touring. Most peaks aren’t tall enough to sustain good winter conditions and those that are don’t have great access options. East Peak (officially Big White slack-country) has therefore become an objective both for its ease of access and height (2251m).

Skinning up the east side of Smoker’s Bowl. Summit in background.


East Peak is currently out of resort bounds, although there are future plans to one day include it in a Big White expansion. It is possible to hike over from the top of Cliff Chair but there is also a method to completely avoid the resort (and lift tickets). Park at the Black Forest parking lot and head into the backcountry by way of the snowshoeing trails. It is then possible to skin up through the forest and eventually arrive at the (south) base of East Peak.

Touring up through the forest from Black Forest parking lot

Ski Options

The south face of East Peak (locally known as Smoker’s Bowl) is the obvious route to the summit and also makes for a fantastic route down. There are a number of satisfying lines off the backside (north being the more mellow and east much steeper).

Snow Ghosts looking south from East Peak


East Peak has avalanche terrain and users must have the proper training and planning before attempting winter access. The area is also next to the popular Greystokes snowmobile lands and there could be those type of visitors accessing from the east.

East Peak summit with Big White summit in the background