You hear the clunk of your wheels hitting the deck as you board your BC Ferry en route to Vancouver Island. While you’ve come for an epic weekend of champagne powder and snowboarding at Mount Washington, but soon come to realize Mother Nature has different plans for you!

The Ferry Ride

BC Ferry to Campbell River during a storm

The ferry ride over was a rocky one at one point we weren’t allowed to even stand up. We knew that there was a lot of precipitation in the forecast, but what we were in for was more than we ever could have imagined! (It sure made for beautiful photos though!)

Up Close With The Locals


While we were waiting for everyone to board the ferry we had two seals playing right next to the ferry. These two were enjoying their playmate and were jumping, wrestling, playing back and forth on local docks and providing entertainment for everyone who was watching. This is one of the reasons why I love taking the ferry on adventures, it’s the most child-friendly way to travel and entertainment and education like this can only be found on the west coast!

Campbell River

Stormwatching at Rotary Beach in Campbell River

After our first night in Campbell River, we woke up eagerly ready to gear up and head up the hill… the only problem? There was too much snow! With blizzard conditions and 30 centimetres in the forecast for that day I had to make the decision that this was not the best conditions for my children and in order to maintain their safety, we would not be heading to the hill. This was a wise decision on our part as the hill was really only open for experienced skiers and ended up receiving over 150 centimetres over that three-day span!

Here are a few pictures from fellow skiers who did manage to make it up to the hill:

I'm still jealous that this could have been me! Photo Credit: Mount Washington

I’m still jealous that this could have been me! Photo Credit: Mount Washington

Everyone trying to dig out their cars! Photo Credit Mount Washington

Everyone trying to dig out their cars! Photo Credit Mount Washington




And when the sky cleared…

Cartwheels over the snow at Mount Washington


Never too old to grow up, a powder day is truly worthy of doing a cartwheel or two! Photo Credit: Mount Washington.

Sunny Skies on Mount Washington. Photo Credie, Lindsay Nieminen, Carpe Diem Our Way.

Sunny Skies on Mount Washington. Photo Credit, Lindsay Nieminen, Carpe Diem Our Way.

Mount Washington Snowmaggedon


Family Fun… so much snow on Mount Washington! Photo Credie, Lindsay Nieminen, Carpe Diem Our Way.
Lodges covered in snow at Mount Washington. Photo Credie, Lindsay Nieminen, Carpe Diem Our Way.

Check out these lodges covered in snow at Mount Washington. Photo Credit, Linsday Neiminen Carpe Diem Our Way

So while the snow wasn’t perfect conditions for our day, when the roads were clear and the sun was shining skiers flocked to the powdered filled runs. (And yes, I’m still jealous!)

Does this mean our weekend was adventureless? Absolutely not! Instead of heading indoors we took to the local beaches to take in the storm from the ocean’s perspective, and wow, was it amazing!

Campbell River Storm Shots


Storm Watching on Campbell River Beach

We had wanted to head over to Tofino and Ucluelet to see the really big waves but many of the beaches and viewing areas had to be closed as the storm was TOO big. The ocean was throwing 7-meter waves at the beach and it wouldn’t have been safe for us to watch.
However, I was able to connect with Tourism Tofino to get some of the professional images that were captured:

What to do when an adventure doesn’t work out like planned?

Head to the local visitor info centre

Campbell River Visitor Info Centre

We decided to stop in at the Campbell River Visitor info centre and inquire about the best places to watch the storm as well as family-friendly indoor activities. We left armed with a map of the town and six different activities that we could check out, including rock climbing, movie theatre, swimming pool, local museums, and more!

Head to “main” street

Storm Watching on Campbell River Pier

Most communities have a “main street” filled with everything from touristy shops to local artisans, to thrift stores. One of our favourite stops in Campbell River was the pier… even though it was blustery and cold! After the pier, we headed to the shops where we enjoyed ducking in and out of stores and staying out of the rain!

Get Lost

Campbell River Used Book Store

One of the biggest treasures we happened to find was one we weren’t looking for… a massive used bookstore! This is one of the biggest ones I’ve ever seen, with books pouring out of the shelves and onto the floor. The kids loved roaming through the aisles and trying to decide what to pick out.

Will we go again?

Storm Watching in Campbell River

While our weekend wasn’t what we had envisioned we still had an absolutely amazing time and can’t wait to go back. While snowboarding would have been amazing, our safety is a priority and the decision had to be made. Campbell River welcomed us with open arms and is an amazing little town filled with so much to do (mountain biking, hiking, beaches galore, and more) We also know that Mount Washington is waiting to share their snow with us, just perhaps under sunnier skies!

If you’re interested in planning your own getaway to Vancouver Island I recommend checking out BC Ferries and their vacation packages. I just started learning about their family-friendly deals and they are definitely worth checking out! They offer great packages to a variety of destinations perfect for the family budget and family-friendly adventures!

Is this a sponsored post? While BC Ferries did invite us to travel on board our words are our own, and advice and recommendations reflect our experience. Mount Washington did not host us on this trip but was happy to provide us with imagery we couldn’t capture! As season’s pass holders to Mount Seymour we get 2 free days of skiing at Mount Washinton so we hope to be back soon!