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Old 09-18-2007, 06:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Canada and US - where to go?

Hey all,

I'm making my first trip over to North America at the end of this year, and am looking forward to seeing some snow again soon (I'm from Australia, and we've pretty much hit the end of the season here...)
Just wondering if you might please be able to give me some recommendations for where to go do some boarding? I'd say I'm an intermediate rider - down here, I usually do blue and black runs.

I'm going to be based in Vancouver for 4 weeks - Whistler-Blackcomb is definitely on the agenda...but there are also 3 mountains close to central Vancouver (which I believe offer night skiing/boarding?) - are any of them better than the others for boarders?

Then...I;m heading to Banff - and from what I've read, there are 3 resorts there to choose from? Problem being - I only have 2 days Which of those would you recommend??

Then a little later, I'm heading over to Quebec, and will be doing a couple of days on Mont Tremblant....

And here's where I need the most advice - I've probably got a couple more days to spend boarding in the US - most likely in Colorado - where would you recommend I go??

Thanks in advance for your input - I can't wait to go!!
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In the US. Jackson Wyoming, Colorado (probably Summit county for a first timer), Utah (Salt Lake area duh!), and California (Tahoe) would be good spots to hit. If you get time to hit Seattle area resorts do it. They just don't seem to have "ski towns" like the other places mentioned.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok, if you are going to Alberta (Banff) there are a couple of places but if you had to choose go to Sunshine Village and Castle Mountain. Lots of people swear Lake Louise is better than Sunshine but it's a personal preference thing. You will like Castle because it has some killer (literally) terrain. Make sure that you stop by Kicking Horse on the BC side if you are travelling by car but be careful, Rogers Pass is avalanche prone and you won't even know what has just launched your car off the side of a mountain. If you just want to stick to the 3 resorts in Banff (Sunshine, Lake Louise and Norquay) then pick up a "Tri-area pass" which will allow you access to all three resorts for one price. Parking can be a bitch at the big resorts, but at least it's free.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the recommendations! I won't have a car, so I'll be relying on buses and the like to get me from here to there. I don't trust myself driving on the wrong side of the road (we drive on the left here in Australia!)

Didn't realise there were ski places around Seattle - where abouts are they?? I'm probably only going to be there for a weekend or so...but if I can fit it in, I will.

Another question, what's the snow cover like in Whistler by the end of November? I'll probably head up around Thanksgiving weekend...what's it usually like around then?
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Out of the three resorts in banff I would steer clear of Norquay as its the smaller one, when they refer to the resorts as "Big 3" it really means "Big2.5". Personally I prefer Sunshine as I think theres a bigger variety of runs there, and Louise has a reputation for getting pretty icy much more often. However if you ride park hit Louise instead because the park crew at sunshine have no idea what theyre doing and cant build for shit.

Another thing to take into account if your actually staying in the town of Banff is that Sunshine is only 20 odd km away wheras Louise is 60km away, so theres a big difference in how early you need to get up.

Also if you go to Louise you can come and see me
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Being that I am not a Seattle expert, local, or very familiar with the area, let me refer you to snowboard seattle. Baker, Crystal, Alpental, and several others are all within a few hours (to minutes) of Seattle. Snowolf can probably give you some info on this site. Otherwise the sbseattle guys know the area inside and out.
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, Norquay is pretty lame. What it does have going for it is that if the temperatures drop below -30 Celsius their chairlifts can still operate (Sunshine needs to shut down below -30 because the gondola becomes "brittle"). If you are a strong rider then check out Delirium Dive which is what is known as "extreme terrain" at the resort. You will need the full backcountry ensemble and a friend who is a strong rider or they will not let you through the gate. I always ride alone, though I've had a few offers of a partner...I also need to build my nerve up for it. There is also the Goat's Eye...
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'll be honest the dive isnt anywhere near as hard as its made out to be so long as you know where your going, but if you fall your in for a long roll. Then theres wild west off of goats eye which is killer and will eat you up if you dont know where to go. Then silver city, you arent allowed in without the ski patrol seeing you ride, as if you fall here its all over.

If you do go to sunshine this season and want to hit the Dive then let me know, Im near there so I'll be happy to guide a bit, I know the easiest route down.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowjoe
I'll be honest the dive isnt anywhere near as hard as its made out to be so long as you know where your going, but if you fall your in for a long roll. Then theres wild west off of goats eye which is killer and will eat you up if you dont know where to go. Then silver city, you arent allowed in without the ski patrol seeing you ride, as if you fall here its all over.

If you do go to sunshine this season and want to hit the Dive then let me know, Im near there so I'll be happy to guide a bit, I know the easiest route down.
Sweet dude! I've got a laminated pic of the Dive on my office wall as we speak. There are a few areas that look like a good drop-in point. I've been wanting this for about two seasons now. We will have to kill as many beers as we can after!
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh man that terrain looks gorgeous! I caught a Youtube of one of the drops. Yeah, that is effin' steep, but it doesn't look like anything that can't be done to me. Now do you have to air into everything? It doesn't look that way to me, but for sure there is a lot of it that you do. Got a good pic of what I would consider madatory air here. Damn that has me droolin'. Jackson, Squaw, Crested Butte all have steep assed shit like this. Though I have to say, that cirque might be the most impressive one I have seen. Man, at my old job I had a free trip to Sunshine in the bag. Then I got an offer with a huge pay increase from another department that I couldn't pass on. So the group I was working for wasn't about to award me the trip. I looked at the map and knew I was missing some good stuff, but I didn't realize how good until now...
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