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Old 08-03-2012, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Snowboarding Canada for 4 months in 2013. Advice?

Hey everyone, just joined these forums. They look great. I'm a Australian heading to Canada for the first time to snowboard this coming season. I've been snowboarding before a few times over the years so am not a complete beginner.

I'm so lost. It seems like there are so many great hills around! I have no idea where I should go?

I've been working and saving over this year so that I won't be working while I'm over. This means employment isn't an issue.

I'm heading over around the start of January and planning to stay until the end of April (or the end of May if the season will still be going??)

I want to be able to stay on or very close to the mountain in a cheap hostel type accommodation, don't mind sharing a room with however many people.

Should I get a season pass to just one mountain and stay there the whole time? Maybe Fernie?

Or should I get one of those multi mountain passes?

The main thing I'm worried about is finding mountains that are good, with cheap accommodation available.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't have local knowledge, but have been exploring different passes and mountains in CO the last couple years, can share some advice about the choice process:

Coming from Aus as long as you end up in a mountain range (Cascades, Rockies) and not somewhere shitty in Ontario or Quebec :P, ur golden.

Everyone has their own favorites, the best way to choose is try a few over a couple years and go with what you like.

The second best way to choose is if you know anyone. I'm pretty anti-social, and ride about 75% of the time alone because nobody is as stoked as I am to go 4 days a week, so when I do get a buddy to go, its all about matching up passes.

3rd consideration is price. I've heard most of the canadian resorts are still upwards of $1500-2000+ for season passes.

Finally, key info you want is, does "xxx mountain" have alot of cattracks and run-outs where you will be skating and walking everywhere. Some mountains have none of this, others have what seems like a ton and can be very frustrating when you don't know the terrain at first.

Choose any world class resort on a real mountain with at least 3000' or 1000 meters of vertical, and you will be happy riding there the whole season by yourself as you progress.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"I've been snowboarding before a few times over the years so am not a complete beginner. "

Idk, about "a few times"...I would say most any place will keep you entertained...if not kick your ass. But if you ride everyday for 4 months...ya aint going to be a complete beginner no more. Pick some hill as your base, make friends and take road trips to other hills. My choices would be whistler, fernie, baker, nelson and the like.

So do you want to be entertained or get your arse kicked? Just to add...if you are going to travel, spend a bunch of $ to do it...I'd recommend getting the full value of your time and money...thus get your arse handed to ya.

I'd start looking right now for housemates or small studio apt nearby small town and not necessairly at the resort of your chosen base hill. And plan on hitchhiking or pitching in for gas with housemates.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the very helpful replies.

I'll be heading over by myself. Would love a riding buddy though, hopeful will just meet people over there.

As far as price goes, I've found

$1000 - Fernie season
$1150 - Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberley and Nakiska
$1400 - Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberley, Nakiska and Lake louise

Kind of leading towards the last one since I'm planning on being there for a few months. Maybe do one month at each? Or just a season at Fernie?

Probably should figure this out, but how long will the season at these places generally last until? Would booking flights to return at the end of april/first of may be a pretty safe bet?

Should have clarified "a few times". I've been for about a month all up in Australia, A month straight in New Zealand, also skateboarded for about 5+ years which kind of helped. Side note: just started freeboarding? Pretty interesting concept. Probably a massive noob still in canadian terms though Your probably right in saying most places will still kick my ass.

I've found a pretty cheap looking hostel in Fernie, but I'm not to sure about what's available at the others?
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would look at Banff or Revi. Living on a hill and it being cost effective is not going to happen. Revelstoke gets lots of snow but its a bit light on nightlife. Kicking Horse is close as are a few others.

Banff is good as the season is long and the snow is stable. (never rains on hill)Plus you have good nightlife and loads of hills nearby. No matter what your plan having a car will be a good idea so you can road trip to where the snow is. The worst hill in Western Canada with fresh snow on it will still be better than anything you have ridden in oz.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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A big part of your decision will be based on wether you are planning to buy a car.

If not, find somewhere you have VERY easy access to where you ride.

If no car, will it be worth it to get multi-resort passes?
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Grafta is bang on. If no car, a good option is to work at Sunshine village and live in on hill staff accom. U will get a 3 mtn pass with that. And u have more good hills within close distance (ie: kicking horse ticket with return bus inc. for banff locals $55) If you buy early bird passes, they are usually about $600-700 per hill... then $1000+ at full price.
If you have a car... anywhere works. The south kootenays is a good region with castle, whitewater, fernie, red mtn, and whitefish all close.
Best multi-hill pass is probably the new one that includes louise fernie and castle.
Just don't go to Revy, it's not as good as peopke say
In western canada Staff accom from employers costs about $150-235 mnth paycheck deducted. Bedroom to rent in someones apartment usually costs about $350-500.

Last edited by chupacabraman; 09-02-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My vote would be go to revelstoke and kicking horse. Revelstoke's area is more of a ski/snowboard bumb town. Everyone that like there, basically just there to ski and snowboard. Now revelstoke is a pretty small mountain, but the powder is just amazing. Revelstoke is also expanding in the next couple years, its being referred to as the next whistler. So you should go check it out before it becomes to commercialized. Just an FYI, there is no terrain park on the mountain.

Kicking horse is a pretty massive mountain, with a lot of bowls. If its a powder day, its great for snowboarding. If its not a powder day, it sucks for snowboarding.

Sunshine, lake louise, and banff. I like to call lake louise and banff, more hills for forigners. Because those are the places where lot of people from Europe and Japan come to visit. I would avoid Mt Norquay, at all cost, because it just sucks. I do go to lake louise quite a bit because it does get less busy, but it can become very icey here. Sunshine is more of a Calgary local site, everyone I know from calgary goes to Sunshine. There are spots that are good and spots that are bad on the mountain. Terrain park is slowly getting better. I am starting to like sunshine more.

Fernie, is a hit or miss. It can either be the best day or the worst. Fernie, will get rain storms and be shut down for avalanches.

Also none of these places have a half pipe.

I can't comment on Whistler, because I haven't been there.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timetowastetime View Post
Thanks for the very helpful replies.

I'll be heading over by myself. Would love a riding buddy though, hopeful will just meet people over there.

As far as price goes, I've found

$1000 - Fernie season
$1150 - Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberley and Nakiska
$1400 - Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberley, Nakiska and Lake louise

Kind of leading towards the last one since I'm planning on being there for a few months. Maybe do one month at each? Or just a season at Fernie?

Probably should figure this out, but how long will the season at these places generally last until? Would booking flights to return at the end of april/first of may be a pretty safe bet?

Should have clarified "a few times". I've been for about a month all up in Australia, A month straight in New Zealand, also skateboarded for about 5+ years which kind of helped. Side note: just started freeboarding? Pretty interesting concept. Probably a massive noob still in canadian terms though Your probably right in saying most places will still kick my ass.

I've found a pretty cheap looking hostel in Fernie, but I'm not to sure about what's available at the others?
You should keep in mind, that the distance from Fernie to Lake Louise is a 4 1/2 hour drive apart. Fernie and Kimberly are pretty close by and Lake Louise and Nakiska are close by. If your staying closer to Fernie and Kimberly, Fernie would almost always be your go to mountain. If your staying close to banff. Lake Louise will alway be your go too mountain, Nakiska kind of sucks.

You might want to consider staying half the time in BC and then half your trip closer to banff/canmore. because if you plan on staying at one location for the entire 3 months. You will get sick of Fernie or Lake Louise pretty fast.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would say plan on living in Banff, you will find a shitload of people from Oz, probably more than there are Canadians. From there you can access several good hills and a lot of nightlife and other activities. There is bus service to all the hills. If you go to Fernie you might get bored, same in Revy.
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