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Best Canadian resort for a season instructing.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

G'day all. I'm just trying to get an idea of where would be best to look for work for the coming 2011/2012 season. I'm a ski instructor and have so far only worked in Europe, but I think it's time to check out what Canada has to offer. I have skied in the Banff area but many years ago so I can't quite remember what it was like and I'm sure it has changed since then. I'd like to head some where with decent season round snow and some challenging skiing for my time off, a fun, social town with fairly rocking and reasonably young night life and not too expensive. Not too big (Whistler?) but not too small. I'm sure this sounds like the idea ski resort to a lot of people and might be too much to ask for all at once, but now you know what I'm aiming for and I will happily compromise if the 'ideal' isn't out there. Any advice or ideas are much appreciated. I hope you all managed to get some decent skiing in this season, I have been stuck in the Australian out back jealously looking over the photographs of this years snow. Joe

post #2 of 6

Hello Joshmo

Here is a beautiful description of instructing last season at a mountain you (and most Canadians) have never heard of in southwestern Alberta. The instructor's Epic avatar is lady_Salina in case you want to contact her.

http://www.parkersspace.com/news.php#story30.  I 

Incredible skiing and isolated with negligible nightlife. Even though it doesn't fulfill you wish list I thought her experience might be of interest to you.

Dave

 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey Dave,
Thanks for the link, sounds like she had a great time. Funny thing is I can relate to that initial feeling she had as I have experienced it on a job before. The skiing sounds amazing, so much untouched powder! But saying that I will be spending the best part of this year in a place where all the food we get is flown in by helicopter so I think I'm looking for something a little bigger. I wouldn't mind a bit of rowdy apre ski.
Is there a huge difference in the conditions and feel of resorts on the west and east coasts?
Cheers again,
Joe

post #4 of 6

I suggest you focus on Western Canada. Althought it may be a controversial statement the goal of most Canadian skiiers is to ski British Columbia and/or the Rockies on the western edge of Alberta as that is where the true mountains are. In fact BC is basically all mountains 600 miles wide. Since our weather moves West to East it is also were the snow tends to fall first but that is not always the case.

Resorts near communities would be

*Fernie -> Fernie

*Red Mountain ->Rossland

*Whitewater (small but most noted for backcountry)->Nelson

Silver Star ->Vernon

*Revelstoke ->Revelstoke

*Kicking Horse ->Golden 

*Lake Louise/Sunshine ->Banff (not real close but doable)

 

Fernie, Red, Revy, and KH are within 10 minutes of town

 

Resorts not near communities but big enough to have a life of their own

*Whistler of course

Big White

Sun Peaks (smallish)

 

Resorts with * could be considered 'hard core' with lots of challanging terrain and and skiers to match.

 

I'm sure I have left some out and therefore offended some folks but that should get you started. Hope that helps.

Dave

 

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

I suggest you focus on Western Canada. Althought it may be a controversial statement the goal of most Canadian skiiers is to ski British Columbia and/or the Rockies on the western edge of Alberta as that is where the true mountains are. In fact BC is basically all mountains 600 miles wide. Since our weather moves West to East it is also were the snow tends to fall first but that is not always the case.

Resorts near communities would be

*Fernie -> Fernie

*Red Mountain ->Rossland

*Whitewater (small but most noted for backcountry)->Nelson

Silver Star ->Vernon

*Revelstoke ->Revelstoke

*Kicking Horse ->Golden 

*Lake Louise/Sunshine ->Banff (not real close but doable)

 

Fernie, Red, Revy, and KH are within 10 minutes of town

 

Resorts not near communities but big enough to have a life of their own

*Whistler of course

Big White

Sun Peaks (smallish)

 

Resorts with * could be considered 'hard core' with lots of challanging terrain and and skiers to match.

 

I'm sure I have left some out and therefore offended some folks but that should get you started. Hope that helps.

Dave

 

 

Excellent advice.  Since you mentioned you're looking for a social scene as well, I'd recommend Whistler or Banff.  Golden & Revelstoke are great towns but the nightlife will be limited as compared to Banff/Whistler.  I can't speak for the other resorts/towns as I have not spent much time there.  Good luck!
 

 

post #6 of 6

I like Castle Dave's list but if the OP is looking for lots of students to teach, then the "hard core*" areas are a lot less likely to have very many skiers looking for instruction. At Revelstoke, for instance, you will find no intermediate skiers as there is almost no intermediate terrain.

 

Best party mountain is Whistler, but it is crowded and expensive and gets lot of rain and wet snow (they still call it powder even when it is so wet you can make snow balls). Although I have skied dry thigh deep powder at WB, you get at most two runs and then it is skied off and I have heard that on powder mornings there can be a 20 min. line up at the Peak Chair. Partying can be expensive especially on a ski instructor's wages and at WB you line up and over pay for everything.

 

Banff is a pretty good party town but there is more going on in summer than winter and of course it is a staff bus or car ride each day to the skiing. Sunshine gets lots of flat light and is currently being boycotted by many skiers due to the owners unjustified firing of senior safety and patrol staff. Lake Louise is the second largest ski resort in Canada and imo has the best in bounds terrain in Canada but most seasons it does not get enough snow. They don't call it the Rockies for nothing. Also the cold snaps are colder and last longer in the Rockies than in the British Columbia interior.

 

Fernie might be a good choice because they do get lots of Calgary skiers on weekends and mid week skiers from all over, and many of them would be looking for lessons.

 

Ski Canada Magazine rates the Thompson-Okanagan area of the BC interior as having the best ski weather in Canada and this means the driest powder and driest, easiest to carve snow pack. The three main resorts of Sun Peaks, Silver Star, and Big White have all been developed with family skiing in mind (but still have their black diamond areas) so there are lots of ski lessons to be taught.

Of the three, Big White is the best party mountain and gets the most snow, but it also gets the most fog of any mountain in Canada.

Silver Star is only 20 min from Vernon and like all the "hard core" areas usually is skied off by 11am on a powder day.

Sun Peaks is Canada's third largest ski resort in skiable acres and gets slightly less and slightly drier snow than the other Thompson-Okanagan areas (about 18 feet of snow in an 18 to 20 week season and a lot less rocks and stumps to cover than other areas) Like most areas, most of SP is skied off by 11am except for the Burfield area. The Bufield Chair is over 10,000 feet long and offers almost 2900 vertical of mostly black diamond runs but it takes 22 min. from bottom to top making it possibly the slowest fixed grip quad chair in the world. Most out of towners ride the Burfield chair once and never come back and many staff and new locals avoid it as well. Several times this past winter there were not enough skiers riding the Burfield on a powder day to ski it off in a day. All the powder hounds are at WB or the Rockies or Kootnays not at SP.

 

Hope this helps.

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