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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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First West Coast Trip



Next month I'm planning on a solo trip for Jan-Feb 2016. 5-6 days at the most.

I want to get some pow experience... Really want to get into backcountry riding. A bit tired of the ice groomers here in Ontario.

So far I've read whitewater is great... other options? big white? revy? whistler?

Let me hear your suggestions!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 04:00 AM
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If you never ridden west coast big pow...get some inbounds big pow experience before even thinking about bc


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 10:15 AM
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If you have the flexibility, I'd wait to see how the weather is panning out for the season. A lot of people are predicting a 'super el-nino' which could mean a lot of things (rain, high-freezing temps, etc).

Places like Big White & Whitewater have base elevations around 1700 m which may help. Also consider what type of terrain you are looking for. Some places (like Kicking Horse) have lots of steep alpine terrain, whereas other places (like Whitewater / Red) have mainly steep trees / glades with little alpine.

Also, most places are at least a couple hours apart (if not more), and the driving can be sketchy (again we'll see what el-nino brings). Consider how much driving / travelling you want to do. Personally I'd limit it to 1-3 resorts max. I'd rather spend more time on the mountain than travelling.

Not sure what your riding level is, but if you're coming from Ontario, you'll probably find plenty of in-bounds terrain to keep you stoked. Most resorts out here have loads of 'off-piste' terrain (that can be pretty wild / gnarly) that will make you feel like you're out-of-bounds without as many of the associated risks. If you're going into the backcountry, make sure you have all of the avy gear and know how to use it. Given that you are travelling alone, it would be best to hire a guide or go with a heli / cat-ski group.
If its your fist time in the mountains and you're only here 5-6 days, I personally wouldn't bother with it.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 11:06 AM
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don't worry about the backcountry, learn how to ride the snow inbounds, if you're lucky enough to get it, and gain experience reading terrain features.

Consider Marmot Basin if BC gets another winter like last year. Jasper stays significantly cooler than the Kootenays/Okanagan, so they didn't suffer this past year, and they have a decent mix of terrain, mostly intermediate I found, but fresh tracks everywhere due to lack of lines.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 12:15 PM
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Next month you're planning on a solo trip for January? I'm confused....
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kalev View Post
If you have the flexibility, I'd wait to see how the weather is panning out for the season. A lot of people are predicting a 'super el-nino' which could mean a lot of things (rain, high-freezing temps, etc).

Places like Big White & Whitewater have base elevations around 1700 m which may help. Also consider what type of terrain you are looking for. Some places (like Kicking Horse) have lots of steep alpine terrain, whereas other places (like Whitewater / Red) have mainly steep trees / glades with little alpine.

Also, most places are at least a couple hours apart (if not more), and the driving can be sketchy (again we'll see what el-nino brings). Consider how much driving / travelling you want to do. Personally I'd limit it to 1-3 resorts max. I'd rather spend more time on the mountain than travelling.

Not sure what your riding level is, but if you're coming from Ontario, you'll probably find plenty of in-bounds terrain to keep you stoked. Most resorts out here have loads of 'off-piste' terrain (that can be pretty wild / gnarly) that will make you feel like you're out-of-bounds without as many of the associated risks. If you're going into the backcountry, make sure you have all of the avy gear and know how to use it. Given that you are travelling alone, it would be best to hire a guide or go with a heli / cat-ski group.
If its your fist time in the mountains and you're only here 5-6 days, I personally wouldn't bother with it.
Thanks for the heads up!

I don't plan on going off terrain, just interested for future adventures. I would only do backcountry with a group of people. I noticed some guides for hire if I decide to head that route.

Also not going from resort to resort as that's too stressful in a short time frame.

I'm looking to book by the end of September/early October, getting the research in now.

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Next month you're planning on a solo trip for January? I'm confused....
I can't plan a trip within short notice so yes?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 06:04 PM
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Also not going from resort to resort as that's too stressful in a short time frame.
If that's the case, I would seriously consider Big White.

Big White is really easy to access from Ontario. You can fly direct from Toronto to Kelowna and take a shuttle from the airport to the mountain. You can easily stay in the village the whole time and not need a car. It has lots of restaurants / bars / hot-tubs etc as well as a small grocery / booze store.

As far as the terrain goes, it has lots of variety. Generally speaking it gets nice dry powder and has some awesome tree / glade runs. If you avoid major holidays, it will be pretty quiet during the week too. The place is huge so you won't get bored.

Nelson / Whitewater is a solid option too, but it requires more travel (in the winter we usually fly out of Kelowna which is a 4 hour drive away). The town has a laid-back ski town vibe with all of the amenities of a small city. Lots of cheep accommodation too, although its about a 15-20 minute drive to the hill (there are shuttles / hitchhiking available). The whole area also has endless back-country opportunities (something Big White is lacking) and loads of cat-ski / heli-ski / back-country lodges etc.

Otherwise Whistler (personally not a fan), Banff and Fernie are probably good options (but I'll let other weigh in on them).
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kalev View Post
If you have the flexibility, I'd wait to see how the weather is panning out for the season. A lot of people are predicting a 'super el-nino' which could mean a lot of things (rain, high-freezing temps, etc).
This. Especially if you're going solo, there is no reason to lock in plans more than a week before other than your flights and a car rental. There can be feet of powder at one spot, and nothing less than 45 minutes away, so being able to follow the snow is key.

Winter is the low season in the mountains around here, so unless you book on a long weekend you'll have plenty of choice of accommodations the week of.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Appreciate the info! I'll try hold off booking as late as possible.

Started reading about this el nino winter
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 01:48 PM
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Big white is crap. I had always heard how awesome it was.

Until I went there.


TT

If whatever doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.

Then I am so close to immortality
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