2012/13 first timer...advice please! - Page 2 - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The terrain at Revi is good but it is mostly trees. Unreal amounts of snow though.

Big White is lots of families and full of Australians. (Like most ski towns in Western Canada.)
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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For town vibes, so far I like Fernie the best. It's just a little ski town in southern BC, lotsa people do outdoor stuff in the summer, few trailer parks, cheap motels, etc. and in the winter everybody hits the hill. I've hitchhiked, and picked up a lot of hitchhikers in Fernie and I wouldn't do that anywhere else.

Lake Louise actually has a decent park, great back bowls (but not as many as Fernie) and it faces South so gets some sun during the real short days in the end of Dec, early Jan. Not sure if there's really even anywhere to "live" in Lake Louise though.

Living in Golden, BC would put you right beside Kicking Horse. Close enough to Panorama, Lake Louise, and Revelstoke for a day trip to any one of them, weekend trips to Kimberley, Fernie, Banff, Marmot, etc. would be possible. I've heard the vibe in Golden is very "trucker town with a kick ass ski hill" but I've never been there myself. As far as I know the park was just closed when RCR bought it, and was weak to begin with.

I must stress that out here you probably won't miss a park. There are so many natural features to hit, I get air on every run. Plus there's nothing better than hitting a natural kicker in powder vs. a man made jump any day!

This year's odd, but so far it seems like in the Alberta/BC border area, Lake Louise has had the most consistent snow. In other words the most number of days where you could go and have a good time. Fernie's had massive powder dumps, followed by days of rain. Kicking horse has had rain also. Nakiska actually hasn't been bad, but I'd only hit one good powder day there this year (Dec 18th about 1' of powder on top, 6" at the bottom).

Overall you can't go wrong, so many great resorts in such a relatively small area. Would love to move to Fernie or Canmore but the work keeps me in Calgary which isn't so bad either...
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks heaps. I know its gonna be a case of great time wherever we go just want to try get a feel for the different areas.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've lived in AB/BC for 10 years now, and rode around 50-120 days each season. I can tell you that everyone in this thread has provided some pretty accurate advice.
(except the part about Louise having the most consistant snowfall along the divide.. that's pretty much opposite of the thuth - they don't even get half the yearly snowfall of sunshine or castle. and the part about KH rain - that's extremely rare)

Since you are requiring a park then my recommendation is definitely Red Mountain in Rossland. It's really the only hill that fits your criteria.
Without the park requirement, then Fernie/Golden/Revelstoke would be EXACTLY what you are looking for.


I didn't include Castle because there's no town there, or Nelson because it's more populated than you want, but both are amazing places.
In regards to Big White, they have a cool ski-in-out village and really good park, but the hill is FLAT and the town (actually a city) is 45 minutes away.

There's other hills too that haven't been mentioned (and for good reason cuz they suck) such as Sun Peaks, Marmot Basin, Panorama.

Last edited by chupacabraman; 03-15-2012 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chupacabraman View Post
(except the part about Louise having the most consistant snowfall along the divide.. that's pretty much opposite of the thuth - they don't even get half the yearly snowfall of sunshine or castle. and the part about KH rain - that's extremely rare)
Yeah I said "this year"...

For the last few months Lake Louise has had less rain days than the others around it.

A quick look at the 7 day forecast:

Lake Louise - snow/snow/snow/snow/snow/clear/clear
Kicking Horse - wet flurries/wet flurries/snow-rain/clear/clear/flurries/clear
Fernie - rain/wet snow/snow/snow/clear/snow/clear
Sunshine - wet flurries/wet flurries/snow/snow/snow/clear/clear

It's been like this for a while actually, we were supposed to head to KH during reading week, but they were getting rain, rain and more rain. Hit lake louise and we rode about 10" of powder one morning.

Again, I know this is a freak year, but so far they've been one of the better resorts for snow this winter.
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You're right, it's almost unheard of to get any rain at Louise (same with Sunshine). When it comes to spring riding, those two hills are among the best, and both get a good chunk of their snowfall later in the year.
Rain is always a possibility at ANY mountain in BC (at least on the lower half of most), Fernie of course usually being the wettest.
Still, those other hills mentioned all have almost double as much snowfall THIS YEAR
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:49 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Still, those other hills mentioned all have almost double as much snowfall THIS YEAR
Yeah it's kind of a catch 22. Fernie being warmer than the rest means that when it does snow, it'll likely be closer to freezing which will end up puking a larger volume of snow. The cold hills get less because the colder it is the less it snows (or so it seems).

Again, we can't complain here though. I'm heading to Fernie tomorrow for the weekend, and although it's raining a bit there today, there's supposed to be 6" or so of new snow there tomorrow. And the resorts around here all seem to get a good consistent helping of snow. I'm happy here!
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Come snowboard with me @ Whitewater! Plus Nelson, BC is an awesome place to be!
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Yeah it's kind of a catch 22. Fernie being warmer than the rest means that when it does snow, it'll likely be closer to freezing which will end up puking a larger volume of snow. The cold hills get less because the colder it is the less it snows (or so it seems).
Again, we can't complain here though. I'm heading to Fernie tomorrow for the weekend, and although it's raining a bit there today, there's supposed to be 6" or so of new snow there tomorrow. And the resorts around here all seem to get a good consistent helping of snow. I'm happy here!
You got it man. Closer to freezing = larger quantity of snowfall (when the amount of precipitation in the air is the same). Of course there's the quality thing too... and man, when you get a good dump on the backside of Louis, it's hard to beat that anywhere!
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Come snowboard with me @ Whitewater! Plus Nelson, BC is an awesome place to be!
Shhh don't spoil the secret j/k Whitewater rocks! Nelson has got to be one of my favorite towns in the country, but just a little too eccentric for me to live in.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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You got it man. Closer to freezing = larger quantity of snowfall (when the amount of precipitation in the air is the same). Of course there's the quality thing too... and man, when you get a good dump on the backside of Louis, it's hard to beat that anywhere!
I've had probably 3 great powder days this year...

Dec 18th at Nakiska. Was heading to Lake Louise but the roads were so bad I barely made it to the Highway 40 (Nakiska) turn off. I convinced my GF we should at least head down for a few runs. We get there an there was 6" of snow in the lot (and most people couldn't make it up the drive into the resort), and I head up top to find a foot of untouched powder. I ran a few laps on some of the steeper runs they have up top, and it was amazing, full on high speed wide carving in the powder! Spent a bit of time in the glades too and had a blast, GF loved the glades.

Mid Jan in Fernie. Went down for the weekend. Saturday was rain/snow, very heavy, very tiring, but fun nonetheless. Sunday they bombed the shit out of the bowls, and I ended up in pretty much bottomless powder in the Cedar bowl for a couple runs, then went over to the other side to try polar peak (which was closed) but I ended up in lots of untouched powder again.

Three weeks ago in Lake Louise. Stayed with some friends in banff, went up to the lake on a wednesday. Got in the parking lot at 9:00 on the dot so got a great spot. Headed up the gondola and found upwards of a foot of powder. Rode down to the top of the world 6 pack, did a few laps, then headed for the back side off top of the world. The powder in the back bowl was amazing! Nice steep fall lines and I hit some natural jumps near the bottom of the steep part, then the long traverse back to the slow lifts.


Out of those three days, I have to say the Fernie runs were the longest, but there were also crowds waiting for the bowls to open, so I wasn't in untouched powder. The lake louise stuff was nice and steep, and relatively untouched, but too short. I almost think the nakiska day was one of the best! The steep runs there have a good enough pitch to really fly on a powder day, but not nearly as steep as lake louise, nobody was on the hill, and there's not much flat area at the bottom to tir you out before hopping back on a high speed quad.

Put it this way, if I had to pick only one resort to go to, ever again, I have no idea what I'd pick. The lake is great in late december early jan because of the amount of sun it gets... Fernie has acres and acres of off-piste riding... Nakiska is close and dependable, it's like the Camry of ski hills, no one really gets excited but it's always there and always works. I wasn't thrilled with Sunshine or Kimberley. Have yet to check out castle, KH or Revelstoke but excited to try all three.
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