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Interior BC, Canada Mar 4-14.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I am going to the Powder Highway area next week and a half and seeing snow/rain in the forecasts. Is this normal?. Should

i seek out the highest elevation,,cancel the trip?!..my powder dreams are turning into crust nightmares....I am flexible,

can ski the PNW or Montana if it looks better..Flying into Spokane and renting a small SUV..PS traveling with my woman who is not a skier so want to take a day off here and there for a museum etc.We love local history.

 

I am a good skier. like steeps, but don't like tight trees, like them spaced FAR apart (I am thinking Northstar).

anyplace i should avoid? Revelstoke might not be good for me. (seems BC is all about tree skiing too) But dont want to get stuck on groomers. Or maybe i will just learn to ski trees better.

 

The itenerary at the moment is: Red mountain, Whitewater, Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, Lake Louise(maybe), Panorama(maybe)

Fernie, Castle. Pretty much a day at ea resort, if i find something i like stay 2 days. Probably take every third/fourth

day off to travel, rest, site see. Fernie, Castle, Kicking Horse, lake louise, are the places i am guessing will like most.

Maybe I should can the whole left side tree resorts?( Red. Whitewater, Revel)

Should we book rooms in advance?..I am thinking to float but have something lined up for the weekends

 

 

Thank you!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 10

We just got back from an 8 day trip to Revelstoke, Whitewater and Red, and we thought all 3 places had the best tree skiing we've ever skied. You'll find all sorts of tree skiing, from tight trees to more open spaces. Just ask any of the locals around the mountain for recommendations on what you're looking for. We found the locals to be super nice and more than willing to point us in the right direction. In terms of weather forecasts, we found Environment Canada to be the best site. But keep in mind that most forecasts are for the actual towns, which are lower elevations than the ski hills. Most of the days of our trip, it was raining in town but dumping on the hill. Keep an eye on the freezing levels - if the freezing levels go above 1,000-1,500 meters then it could be a factor. Also, with all the mountains, keep to the north facing aspects for the best snow. It seemed to make a bigger difference in BC than in places like Colo or Utah. 

 

I'm not sure how much time you have but it seems like you'll be covering a lot of ground. You'll probably want a good 2 weeks given all the places you want to get to, or else you'll be spending more time in the car than on the slopes. In terms of hotels, as long as there are no Canadian/BC holidays during that time, you should be fine without bookings. A lot of hotels had 48 hour cancellation policies though, so you can always make bookings and cancel later if needed. I'm being lazy but will get a trip report up at somepoint in the next day or 2. Enjoy BC!

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you, i feel better already.I am looking at all these distances and thinking of dropping a few resorts.

 

Did you stop at any hot springs?..what restuarants did you like?..we eat pretty simple. How many days at Red?

someone told me it was a one day mountain. Was any mountain hugely better than the others or all good?

post #4 of 10

You'll want to do the longer drives in daylight, for scenery and for ease of driving/safety as well, so the driving days can be your off days. 

We didn't get too crazy in terms of food. We ended up doing a lot of bar food. Places like Village Idiot and Last Drop in Revy, Mikes or The Library in the Hume Hotel in Nelson, or the Steam shovel in Rossland will all fit the bill. All of those do good bar food. Mikes and the Library also do other stuff too and good food. Also in Nelson, a casual Italian place is Max and Irnas. Pretty good and chill. 

 

Of the 3 places we skied, Revy was really the only one with above treeline steeps, mainly in the North bowl. You'll also find some nice spaced trees there. All 3 have tons of amazing tree skiing. It does get tight in places but not too bad. We found the treeskiing in BC to be the best of anywhere we've been (Whistler, Utah, Colo etc). Red is great. No crowds at all. I'd want 2 days there but that's just me. Check out the powderfields and also the area lookers right of the top half of the motherlode chair in the bowl for more spaced trees. And ask the locals for tips. Whitewater is great as well, but a bit smaller so you might be good with 1 day there. Nelson is a cool town as well. 

Looking at the trail map of Kicking Horse, if you like open steeps and chutes, that might be your spot. It's closer to Calgary though so might get weekend crowds. 

 

We stopped at Halycon hot springs near Nakusp on the drive btn Nelson and Revy. Great pitstop. There's other hot springs around as well. 

post #5 of 10

I think Marcs44 hit it pretty well.  I would drop about 1/2 of your resorts, especially if the lady doesn't ski.

We didn't have any reservations and didn't have any problems getting rooms. 

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcs44 View Post

Red is great. No crowds at all. I'd want 2 days there but that's just me. Check out the powderfields and also the area lookers right of the top half of the motherlode chair in the bowl for more spaced trees. And ask the locals for tips. Whitewater is great as well, but a bit smaller so you might be good with 1 day there. Nelson is a cool town as well. 

Looking at the trail map of Kicking Horse, if you like open steeps and chutes, that might be your spot. It's closer to Calgary though so might get weekend crowds. 

 

We stopped at Halycon hot springs near Nakusp on the drive btn Nelson and Revy. Great pitstop. There's other hot springs around as well. 


Red is bigger than Whitewater, but Whitewater is higher than Red and currently has much better snow.

 

Whitewater only has three lifts, so you often have to do a bit of traversing off the top to get to the line you want. The traverses may not always be entirely downhill.

 

Many of the runs at Whitewater are not particularly obvious to the uninitiated. Some don't have signs at all; others have signs but no apparent openings in the trees. Some places, the trees are quite tight. That's where the snow is softest, of course. Other places have much more open trees. Since there is now over 8 feet of snow on the ground, some places with tight, small trees have gotten much more open because the trees have disappeared entirely, or at least gotten much smaller.

 

Skiing at Whitewater is not restricted to in-bounds, but you shouldn't go out of bounds without a local guide. A beacon, probe, shovel and whistle are also good things to have.

 

Halcyon makes an excellent stop on the road between Nelson and Revelstoke. The warm pool has great views over the lake.

 

There is also a nice developed hot spring just outside of Nakusp. And, of course, if you're well funded, you can catch a day of heli skiing with CMH right from Nakusp.

 

Which brings us to another point: If you have adequate funds, don't overlook the numerous cat and heli ski opportunities on the Powder Highway.
 

 

post #7 of 10

you should cancel. 

post #8 of 10

Just got back..8 days 1900 kms hit em all if wife and legs can take it.

What Marcs44 and jhcooley said...

Fernie was all fresh yeaterday but to get really warm this week if that helps make a decision, also Salmo / Creston pass was pretty scary and I would only do during daylight hours.

Keep on eye on "www. Drive BC"

post #9 of 10

28 cm at Fernie today chopped but very good in the trees especially Cedar Bowl. Of the resorts you list Castle is the only one truly above tree line and has big, big bowls and chutes. Trees on North/Siwash are better spaced (ie; perfect) than any other place if you are allergic to bark implants. Go there if it's raining in Fernie 'cause it's 1000 feet higher and on the East side of the Rockies so drier snow. But go midweek when it's deserted. Cheap modern hostel on site is excellent.

post #10 of 10

Forgot to mention the museum in Coleman (Crowsnest Pass between Fenie and Castle) is very cool in a funky way. Like all mining areas. there is always lots of interesting history most of it focussing on disasters.

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