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Hey guys!

I'm on an exchange semester in Canada (origin from Sweden) and when the finals are done December 19 I want to go on a snowboarding vacation for a week (20-27 Dec) to either BC or Alberta, probably BC? I have tried to do some research of my own but it would be a lot easier if someone with experience could help me out with good locations for these dates / where to stay / cheapest way to travel inside Canada / other insider tips!

I'm a decent boarder but sadly without much backcountry experience, something I want to try and change as much as possible. So far I havent met any likeminded people at my university here in Canada so it looks like I'm travelling alone, so staying in a Hostel / a place were its easy to meet other people to go riding with would be a great plus!

The cost of having my gear shipped over from Europe was sick, so I will have to rent my gear, tips on where to do that?

I appreciate all help I can get, either here or you can PM me so we can talk on fb/skype or whatever. If anyone else has travel plans the same dates and would like another travel buddy, also hit me up! =)

(first time poster in this forum, is this the right section or should it be in the Western Canada forum?)

Thanks!
 

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Xmas week will be pretty busy anywhere you go, and accoms will be pretty expensive too, sadly :(

That being said, you'll still have a lot of fun...

Are you in Canada now? If so, where abouts? If not, I'm assuming you'd fly into either Calgary or vancouver.... I THINK Calgary (Rockies) would be your least expensive option (vs whistler), but maybe poutanen can chime in on that one.

That being said, if you end up going to whistler, look into one of the hostels, and there is a bus to/from whistler which is pretty cheap. Or just hitch a ride with someone... ;)

I (or another local) can show you around the mountain... Lots of off-piste stuff, and can do lots of backcountry.
 

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I moved the thread. Western Canada is probably a better bet. Where are you attending school?

Like neach says, Whistler is expensive as bleep, and the local Vancouver mountains are ok but nothing you'd travel to. BC Interior stuff is pretty good, and probably more dependable, but you'd have to fly and drive.
 

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I'm studying at Western University, London, Ontario. So yeah it will be a flight to either Vancouver or Calgary I suppose.

I've also heard that Whistler is one of the top spots but that you really should stay away from it during xmas vacation, so maybe I should aim for something little less busy/expensive for a better experience, like interior BC? Will it be harder to find a hostel/other people to ride with if I go to a less populated place?

I dont have access to a car, is that the only way to get there, no busses/shuttles?

Would obviously be the great if a local could show me around! :thumbsup:
 

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Interior will be more expensive to fly to than van or Calgary... Revelstoke would be the obvious choice, but it is a 4 hour bus from Calgary, and not sure what inexpensive accoms are like there.

I've ridden whistler pre-Xmas and it was busy, but not insane... Post Xmas is where it gets a little batty.

25/26/27 I usually avoid whistler and hit a local hill like hemlock or baker.

If you decide on van, I can tour-guide a bit for ya. I'm not up on the backcountry deal, but I can show you around the mountain, and have a board/bindings you can borrow if the size works (161cm).
 

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There's still time to get your boots shipped if you didn't bring them.

Whistler would be a good choice in terms of easy access, lots of flights to Vancouver and then you can take the bus up there. It's one of the top rated resorts worldwide, so you may want to take this chance to go there.

Alternatively Big White has good access via flying from Toronto to kelowna then taking the shuttle bus. It's a nice resort, a little cheaper and you could also probably visit a 2nd resort such as silver star or apex.

However if I possibly could make it work I'd do whistler if I was you, it's like Disneyland, everyone should go there once at least.

Hope you're enjoying western I had fun there many years ago.
 

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Calgary is a cheap and easy direct flight from Toronto/Hamilton/London/Kitchener-Waterloo (via Westjet) price flights out NOW as they get very expensive around christmas.

Most resorts within a reasonable distance of Calgary have hostels near them. Fernie is good because it's very hitchhiker friendly. Would need to rent a car or bus from Calgary however (About 3:15 door to door). The banff-revelstoke corridor is good, it includes Nakiska, Norquay, Sunshine, Lake Louise, Kicking Horse and Revelstoke (with Panorama off to the side). The good thing about planning that corridor is that if one mountain isn't getting the good snow, the others might.

I've stayed at the Fernie hostel and enjoyed it (the raging elk), and the Lake Louise hostel and had a lousy time.

The main thing with all of this is to BOOK ASAP. Taxes and gas are MUCH lower in Alberta if you're planning on driving. Rental cars are about the same price from what I've seen. Calgary Airport to downtown Banff is $55 via bus each way, and if you have a ski big 3 pass shuttles from Banff to Sunshine/Lake Louise/Norquay are free.

If you're cool with hostel dorm rooms, you could book flights and a rental car now, and then pick the location when you have a better idea of what the snow will be like. Fernie could have killer powder in Dec, but you're more likely to get great powder at Sunshine or Lake Louise at that time of year (due to their elevation).

Hope this helps!
 

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Banff is pretty quiet up until the 27th. I rode Wild West at Sunshine last Christmas day and there was no one around. 26th is also pretty good. Anything before Christmas will be quiet. Things don't get crazy until 27/28. They are two of the busiest days of the season.

Plenty of hostels in Banff and you get free bus with a 3 area ticket. Maybe have a day at Kicking Horse. Last season Discover Banff ran a pretty cost effective shuttle for a day trip. Only go though if they have fresh. not a great hill if it hasn't snowed in awhile. If you want to rent a car your price will jump considerably.

Pretty sure Westjet will fly you direct into Calgary and the airport shuttle from YYC-Banff is about $110 tax in.
 

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Lots of good here. I was gonna mention that West Jet has flights to both Kamloops and Kelowna. You could always ride the dirty dog down the highway from a major city, it takes a while, and it stops in every damn little town. It'll get ya there when almost everyone else is turning back and spinning out. I rode it up north through the Coq (dangerous mountain highway with heavy snowfall) during one of the worst storms of the year last year.
 

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Both me and my cousin will be staying in Revelstoke for 3 months. The plan is to drive up there just after Boxing Day. If u want you're welcome to stay with us...we're in the middle of searching for 2 bdrm apartment. Cheers!!!
 

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Hey man,

I did the same thing a couple of years ago and settled on Rossland, BC. The local resort is really close by making hitching easy (I hitched every day with never a problem). Red Mountain Resort is a small, but super excellent resort if you like trees and steep. Thy being said they've opened anew lift this ear which promises more intermediate trees/runs. The town is tiny and not really crazy nightlife, but there was a cool crew fun people that I met there.

For a bigger experience you could try Nelson/Whitewater. Better snow generally and a higher town/nightlife. Slightly longer ride to hitch. Slightly more expensive accoms.

Bhubble.com is a local classifieds board with an active Accomodation section. I stayed in a nice share house for $450 for the month.

The resorts are cheaper. The lifts are definitely slow! The resorts are completely uncrowded, and the standard of skiing/riding is very high. Great places to push your technique!

First year I flew into Castlegar via Vancouver (Trail airport was another option), managed to score a ride from the airport to Rossland on Bhubble!
Last year I flew to Spokane (USA), rented a car and drove up.

Anyway... Can't recommend Red or Whitewater enough!

Good luck man :)
 
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