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Old 10-30-2012, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey All. The Mrs and I will be spending two months in Whistler in the new year, and are then going on a three week boarding road trip across BC to Alberta before flying out of Calgary. We have some definite places we want to hit on the way, and a rough idea of a path, but I was kind of hoping you Western Canadian experts can let us know what you think! Are we missing anything, well, unmissable? Are there places we have listed that are worth cutting to spend more time elsewhere? And so on - you get the idea.

We've a RV/campervan (not sure what you guys call them!) booked for the trip, so routes, flexibility or staying on public transport paths is not an issue

I should probably be clear on what we are looking for. I'm an intermediate boarder, my better half is a beginner/intermediate (ex skier), though we will be hoping to progress a lot over the two months before we hit the road. That's more relevant to what we are not looking for than what we are: while we'd love to do a cat boarding, split boarding, backcountry tour of interior BC, we're simply not at that level (yet ) so we'll be sticking to more usual spots. But, and this is the important part, we are not looking for safe, family friendly, "nice" spots. We are looking for those places we absolutely have to go, those places people organise dream trips to visit. It may be their amazing steeps, the wonderful powder, the epic views and locations, brilliant small local hills or just an all round good spot, but it needs to be something special. Think your dream trip ('cos it is ours!), what would you do?

So, basic idea as it stands (you can ignore the Vancouver to Whistler bit, just figuring out mileage etc):





(the order of the route is not set in stone, so for example something like Vancouver to Red, up to Revy, across to Golden/Kicking Horse and Lake Louise, down to Fernie and over to Calgary is also an option - just brain storming based on destinations at the moment)

Revelstoke is an unmissable definite. I've been there, can't wait to go back, and can't wait for the better half to experience it. Fernie is probably an unmissable too - what do people think of it?

Kicking Horse I get the impression is unmissable, but am looking for opinions on. I hadn't really considered Red Mountain until recently but the more I hear the more I like and think we need to really consider it. Thoughts?

What about the Banff three? My thinking: I always considered Lake Louise a definite stop on the trip, mainly because (a) we would be passing by on the Trans Canadian Highway and (b) I was curious to see the place having stopped over night on my to Revelstoke last time I was out that way. From what I hear it's huge and amazing scenery. Similarly, Sunshine has amazing views, while Banff itself (Mt. Norquay) is more a small hill at the town which we could cover in an afternoon or a day - i.e. likely to miss it if we're stuck for time. However, if we're including Red or Big White (or both) and heading to Fernie (originally we were just going to go the Trans Canadian Highway from Revy direct to Calgary) I don't where any of them stand anymore

Is Big White a must visit? Even if we're hitting Red Mountain and Revy? Or should be cut Red Mountain, BW, or both?



Are we missing anything major, or are there some wonderful local hills, smaller spots that it would be a pity to miss out on while we're on the road?




I think the above may be too much in three weeks, so we really need opinions from those in the know so we can figure out our priorities. Sorry it's so waffly, but in case you can't tell we are very excited about the trip! I know we've a lot of question, but really I'm not so much looking for direct answers, more just your take on this. We've done a lot of reading and research, but there's nothing like local knowledge... We'd really value your input in this. Thanks!


PS. Road closures: we're prepared to have to change plans, but given the tight timelines how bad can it get (last week of Feb, first two weeks of March)?
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File Type: jpg places.jpg (55.1 KB, 101 views)
File Type: jpg route4.jpg (173.6 KB, 101 views)

Last edited by RagJuice Crew; 10-30-2012 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think that's too many places to hit over three weeks. Also you may have trouble with sketchy road conditions at that time of year.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You are going at the right time of year. Got proper snow/winter tires?

Make a flexible plan, if you get stuck somewhere stay put and shred!
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Will you adopt me?
I'm not kiddin', I have no family.

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Old 10-30-2012, 04:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I hear that sunpeaks is better than big white but i don't know from experience.

If i had that much time and flexiblity i would probably not get to planned out. I would just go with what the forcast is like. There is also White water in nelson bc that is supposed to be unreal. Red Mountain is fun but not very big so unless the snow is good (which it usually is from what i hear) then there isn't tons of stuff to ride.

Castle mountain is near Fernie and again i would just let snow dictate which one you go to.

Kicking horse has almost no beginner terrain, so you might want to consider what yours and your wifes skill level is. There are some mildish runs to get you off the top ridge but it is just a cat track so kinda boring to be lapping that all day.

My guess is that after a few months in BC you will be much better and both be able to ride a lot of terrain at any resort.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just looking at the route I'd be tempted to Go Whistler to Kelowna, to Revelstoke, to Kicking Horse, and then depending on who's getting better snow, either head south to Fernie and Castle (with a stop at the Lussier Hot springs on the way!), or head east to Lake Louise and Sunshine.

For must see resorts Fernie is great if it's puking or has puked snow (if it's puking the bowls will likely be closed) but it can also get a lot of rain.

I prefer Lake Louise to Sunshine, but if I was making a trip across the province I'd do both just to say I'd done it, and then go back to whichever resort I preferred.

Other than that I'd let the snow tell you where to go!

snowseekers.ca has a daily/48hr/weekly snowfall total list so you can keep track of who's getting dumped on... I'd rather board at one resort for a week with amazing snow than tour all over with lackluster snow.

I wouldn't say three weeks is too little to do all that. Once you're in Revelstoke all the resorts are 1.5 hrs or less away. I remember doing an east coast trip a few years ago where we did three resorts in 5 days, and another on the way home.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grafta View Post
You are going at the right time of year. Got proper snow/winter tires?

Make a flexible plan, if you get stuck somewhere stay put and shred!
We're hoping/presuming the rental company will have it properly kitted out for the time of year.

Yeah, we're not going to set a day-to-day schedule that's set in stone, more just an rough plan to aim for and places we want to go. The only dates we have to keep are the first and last!

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmytard View Post
Will you adopt me?
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Originally Posted by Justin View Post
My guess is that after a few months in BC you will be much better and both be able to ride a lot of terrain at any resort.
Thanks for all of that. As I said to grafta, we're not going to have things to set in stone and will (hopefully) be able to follow the snow to some extent and be able to stay longer/shorter in places as we choose (it's one of the reasons for going with an RV instead of buses/hostels). Your last point I quoted is a good one - we'll learn more in the lead up to it about what we want. Thanks! EDIT: I actually read your post wrong and thought you meant we'd have a better idea of what the other places are like and where we'd like to go! Still, my response still applies and what you said is still relevant!

Quote:
Originally Posted by poutanen View Post
Just looking at the route I'd be tempted to Go Whistler to Kelowna, to Revelstoke, to Kicking Horse, and then depending on who's getting better snow, either head south to Fernie and Castle (with a stop at the Lussier Hot springs on the way!), or head east to Lake Louise and Sunshine.

For must see resorts Fernie is great if it's puking or has puked snow (if it's puking the bowls will likely be closed) but it can also get a lot of rain.

I prefer Lake Louise to Sunshine, but if I was making a trip across the province I'd do both just to say I'd done it, and then go back to whichever resort I preferred.

Other than that I'd let the snow tell you where to go!

snowseekers.ca has a daily/48hr/weekly snowfall total list so you can keep track of who's getting dumped on... I'd rather board at one resort for a week with amazing snow than tour all over with lackluster snow.

I wouldn't say three weeks is too little to do all that. Once you're in Revelstoke all the resorts are 1.5 hrs or less away. I remember doing an east coast trip a few years ago where we did three resorts in 5 days, and another on the way home.


By Kewlona do you mean Big White? Is it that good?

Last edited by RagJuice Crew; 10-30-2012 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well I'm a local in Calgary but my ski pass is for Kicking Horse.. thats how amazing that hill is. Having said that, its pretty dull if you're not up to riding the black runs and chutes off the ridge, which will be steeper than anything you've ever seen before (and some double blacks can be dangerous if it goes wrong).
Revvi is probably a better bet, its so huge you can always find powder and the terrain always has an easy route. stick up near the ripper chair and you'll have great fun.
Fernie is hit & miss, when it snows it really snows and its just awesome, but being so low it tends to be the first to thaw/freeze and ice up.

Lake Louise is more of a 'family' hill, and busy with all the Calgary locals. its fun over the back side (do not bother with the front), and is very beginner/intermediate friendly. try to hit it mid week before the whole of Calgary hits at the weekend.
Sunshine is the same, higher up so usually better snow, but there are lots of flat spots that get annoying.

So I'd say get out somewhere around Revvi and then just follow the snow. And yes I think your trying to hit too many resorts, just relax and go where the snow takes you.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd watch the snow reports and hopefully just follow the powder (unless there is none)... If I heard you left powder at Revy to slide down some ice at Lake Louise I'd track you down and bitch slap you myself.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagJuice Crew View Post
We're hoping/presuming the rental company will have it properly kitted out for the time of year.

Yeah, we're not going to set a day-to-day schedule that's set in stone, more just an rough plan to aim for and places we want to go. The only dates we have to keep are the first and last!






Thanks for all of that. As I said to grafta, we're not going to have things to set in stone and will (hopefully) be able to follow the snow to some extent and be able to stay longer/shorter in places as we choose (it's one of the reasons for going with an RV instead of buses/hostels). Your last point I quoted is a good one - we'll learn more in the lead up to it about what we want. Thanks! EDIT: I actually read your post wrong and thought you meant we'd have a better idea of what the other places are like and where we'd like to go! Still, my response still applies and what you said is still relevant!





By Kewlona do you mean Big White? Is it that good?
If you are intermediate you should hit up Big White for sure. Great snow, great facility....only downfall is it gets socked in quite often and thus often referred to as "Big White Out". Has some of the nicest powder I have ever experienced....not like the heavy stuff we get on the coast i.e.. Whistler
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