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Suggestions for an aspiring ski bum? -Part Deux

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey, it's me again. I'm healing up just fine, and saving up money, and my mind keeps going westward. There is no doubt in my mind that I am ski bumming again next year.

 

This time though, I want to try a few places before I decide to ski it all winter. Not that Kicking Horse was anything short of spectacular, it's just that I felt I had to wait a bit too long between dumps. So I have been thinking of where I'd like to ski, and Whistler, Revelstoke and Kicking Horse all came to mind. However, I can't make my mind up based on what people say about them, so I've decided to ski 'em all and decide for myself. After some more research, I also want to check out Whitewater and Red Mountain.

 

So, does anybody have any comments as to these places? Like how much powder I'll find, cost of accommodations (to live there), backcountry potential. Since I'll be going to these places at the beginning of the season, when should I go to be sure I'll find good snow that does justice to what they'll have in the middle of winter? Will I have to wait for mid December, or will early December/ late November be good?

post #2 of 10

Glad you are healing up! Did you ever get your skis back from off the cliff?

 

Where did you end up staying for your season at Kicking Horse? On the mountain or in Golden? I was thinking about spending a month up there this winter (but maybe that's because I visited on a 40cm powder day).

 

Red Mountain and Whitewater are great areas. Not sure what they would be like in November/December (Does Red even open until mid-December?). Both have tons of side/backcountry access and the town of Nelson is surrounded by many catskiing and heli options (if you have the bucks). Nelson would likely be cheaper as a basepoint than staying on a mountain -- but your only close hill is Whitewater (20min?).

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Nope, they're (hopefully) still up there. My friend is heading out to KH soon for biking, so he's gonna take a look for me. With luck, he'll find my gopro too.

 

I stayed in Nicholson, it's about 30 minutes to the hill. If you're trying to find a place to stay, don't fret if you're having problems finding something online, there are plenty of postings on the board at the Overwaitea, Sobey's and the bank that aren't online. It's a great mountain, I can't wait to go back.

 

My plan right now is to head out from Ontario and make Calgary in 3 days, meet up with my friend in Calgary, then head for Fernie early the next morning (day 1) and ski, then drive to Rossland. Wake up the next day, ski Red Mountain and Whitewater for 3 days. Day 5, head up to Revelstoke and recharge the batteries the rest of the day. Day 6-8 (inclusive), ski Revelstoke and stay in the town, then head out for Whistler on day 9. Day 10 and 11, ski Whistler and then head to Golden on day 12. Then on day 15, head back to Calgary and try to figure out which hill I liked best. Then, drop off my friend and head to the hill of my choice to ski the rest of the winter biggrin.gif

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by angrysasquatch View Post

My plan right now is to head out from Ontario and make Calgary in 3 days, meet up with my friend in Calgary, then head for Fernie early the next morning (day 1) and ski, then drive to Rossland. Wake up the next day, ski Red Mountain and Whitewater for 3 days. Day 5, head up to Revelstoke and recharge the batteries the rest of the day. Day 6-8 (inclusive), ski Revelstoke and stay in the town, then head out for Whistler on day 9. Day 10 and 11, ski Whistler and then head to Golden on day 12. Then on day 15, head back to Calgary and try to figure out which hill I liked best. Then, drop off my friend and head to the hill of my choice to ski the rest of the winter biggrin.gif


If you've never skied Whistler you might want to give it one more day. It's HUGE and seeing it in two days will be extremely cursory. It's also a very long drive from Revelstoke and even further to Golden. Remember that you'll be on windy, mountain roads and in the dark with winter conditions for a lot of the drive, so don't believe Google Maps entirely.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post



If you've never skied Whistler you might want to give it one more day. It's HUGE and seeing it in two days will be extremely cursory. It's also a very long drive from Revelstoke and even further to Golden. Remember that you'll be on windy, mountain roads and in the dark with winter conditions for a lot of the drive, so don't believe Google Maps entirely.


I might spend a third day in Whistler. The reason I allocated only 2 days to it is that accommodations and food are going to be a good deal more expensive than the rest of the towns (tickets aren't cheap either, but not 100+% more like the rest will be), plus I'm going to have a hard time convincing my friend to take close to 3 weeks off work. I am taking a full day to get from revy- whistler and whistler-golden, so I don't anticipate we will have to drive in the dark. Is the Rogers pass going to be the most likely impasse that will close after weather moves through?

 

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by angrysasquatch View Post




I am taking a full day to get from revy- whistler and whistler-golden, so I don't anticipate we will have to drive in the dark. Is the Rogers pass going to be the most likely impasse that will close after weather moves through?

 

Remember that you're going on this trip in the darkest time of the year and you will be quite a bit north of your present location. It will get light at about 7:30 and will be dark soon after 4. If everything goes perfectly, you time your trip right and take no breaks, you might be able to miss driving in the dark, but life usually doesn't work that way for me. I think Rogers is the big concern, but I've not driven the route much, and it's been several years since I was there so others should be able to answer your question better than I.
post #7 of 10

Spend a season at each, then move back to the one you liked the most!

 

 

That early in the season, you might as well roll the dice?

post #8 of 10

Sounds like a nice method to me.

Quick question, as I'm a newb to this, and this is a relevant a thread as I might find, you mentioned (post 3)  that finding places around golden (possibly revy in my case also undecided, but I imagine its similar)  are easier once you're in town. I am planning on heading west this coming winter for an extended stay (3-4 months). I was fretting because I have a good job out east, and if I work sept15-dec15 my employer give my holiday bonus in the form of skis, which is hard to pass up. So three things, when did you see ample supply of places in town, and do you think that its getting too late to show up before holidays and expect to find a room for the season? Also what approx cost for a room, as I have friends heading to Jackson, but I think I will be priced out.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by austrian-mtl View Post

Sounds like a nice method to me.

Quick question, as I'm a newb to this, and this is a relevant a thread as I might find, you mentioned (post 3)  that finding places around golden (possibly revy in my case also undecided, but I imagine its similar)  are easier once you're in town. I am planning on heading west this coming winter for an extended stay (3-4 months). I was fretting because I have a good job out east, and if I work sept15-dec15 my employer give my holiday bonus in the form of skis, which is hard to pass up. So three things, when did you see ample supply of places in town, and do you think that its getting too late to show up before holidays and expect to find a room for the season? Also what approx cost for a room, as I have friends heading to Jackson, but I think I will be priced out.

 

Yes, it's a lot easier finding stuff when you're already there. I only slept in a hostel one night, and I had 3 places to choose between. If you need internet, you can go to the library and they will let you online, so you can find stuff via kijiji and craigslist, then there's also the postings in the grocery stores and one of the banks.

 

I was in pretty much the same shoes as you last winter regarding departure date. I could leave soon and get in the early season, or I could work longer so that I had ample cash reserves to live the life all winter. Then I decided I should just stick around and hang out with my friends and family for christmas and new years. And looking back, I really think I made the right choice. The lift lines at KH and (to a lesser extent) Revy are mostly only on weekends or holidays, people coming out from Calgary. And since the gondola is pretty much the only way up, it can really eat into your vertical. Whereas, most weekdays are straight on to the gondola, or a short wait if it's a wicked powder day. So by being out there at christmas/new years, you won't actually get that much more skiing in. Plus, the town is going to be full through that period, it'll be hard to find a place (and even harder to find a hostel with vacancy), and likely most of the gnarlier lines won't have enough coverage yet.

 

So, in short, I recommend either waiting till just after new years, or heading out super-early (late nov/ early dec) and enjoying the early season.

 

Last season, I left Jan 3rd from ontario, got into Golden on the 6th, and was all cozied up in my own room on the 7th. I got a screaming deal, 350/mo for a room in a bungalow in Nicholson. Room was kinda small and had no windows, but I had really nice housemates and glorious wired internet (yeah, I'm a nerd too). The other place I was strongly considering was 400-450 in Golden, another room in a house with cool people, but seemingly sketchy internet, and my fallback was 450, for a converted hotel in downtown Golden, kinda scuzzy, above a restaraunt and liquor store with wireless internet (read: the devil). I can't remember the prices quite accurately, but it's pretty close. It should give you an idea of what to expect.

 

Also, another thing to keep in mind about Jackson vs Golden/Revy (assuming you're Canadian), is that if you have a fall like mine, you are in trouble. Not just a whole lot of hurt, but financially. If I had the fall I did in the US, I would be bankrupt, no if ands or buts.

 

You can see the video I took of KH here, along with my write-up of said injury

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/100182/kicking-horse-ski-bumming

 

And there's probably some information you can glean from the Part 1 of this thread

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/95102/suggestions-for-an-aspiring-ski-bum

 

Happy ski bumming, hope I didn't overload you too badly with information biggrin.gif

 

 

post #10 of 10

No overload at all, its doubly golden information, Thanks a lot, happy summer and safe bumming when the snow comes

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