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40th in interior BC...where to go?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

our dear friend in turing 40 next december, so naturally we are planning a trip to the interior BC. living in Tahoe and only skiing in Whistler, i am not familiar with the interior BC for skiing. i see lots of post, but would love to get a top list of places we should consider.  thanks in advance. 

post #2 of 9

What does he like to ski? Groomers, steeps, off piste, trees? Is he expert, advanced, intermediate? Is he into the 'resort' experience or is he more 'back to nature'? Where will you be flying to and how much time do you have? Since you are talking December is he allergic to rocks?

post #3 of 9

Go cat skiing. or if you are into earning your turns book a hut. Heli if it's blue and you've got the money. 

 

Resorts are often good that time too. December is usually one of the best months for snow. The issue is obviously early season coverage. It's one thing to have a small group with a cat ski a thinly covered line once, it's completely different at a resort where thin areas are getting hit over and over. 

 

If it were me and my friends, I would consider 3 options:

 

Fly into spokane Wa, Ski Red/Whitewater, then do a trip with one of the cat ops at the northend of kootenay lake. White Grizzly, Selkirk wilderness, Retallack. With a day with Stellar Heli. 

 

or

 

Fly into Kelowna, Ski Revelstoke/Kicking Horse, Do a cat trip with K3, mustang pow, monashee powder cat, day with Great canadian heli/eagle pass. 

 

Fly into calgary. Same idea, few days at a whatever resort was doing best, couple days at a cat, possible heli day. 

post #4 of 9

Decembers iffy everywhere.  Book only your flights with Southwest into Spokane.  Then if its no good, you can cancel without penalty.

You won't have any problems getting accommodations before Christmas. 

Most cat/heli ops won't be running before mid December and even then,  I wouldn't book ahead.

 

Better yet.

Pick your dates and have everyone throw $1000 into the kitty.  Then just go wherever it's going off!

post #5 of 9

It snows just as much in Oct/Nov as it does Feb/March. December being the biggest month for snow and the coldest.

 

Average base on Fidelity (treeline rogers pass) Dec. 1st is 57inches. Plenty of terrain is good to go, and preservation is best at that time of year so powder is as close to a guarantee as it gets. 

 

It makes me sad when I see tourists riding the lifts skiing tracked up snow on a weak base, when I spend all my time skiing untracked pow, even if it hasn't snowed in weeks. it would be very easy to not know where you are going and end up skiing tracked up poor coverage inbounds at a resort. The go to spots for early season offer some of the best powder skiing of the season.

 

Cat/Heli/Touring should be the focus of any trip to the interior. Not lifts. Let's face it. Revy has 3 lifts, squaw has 33. Don't come up here for lift access.

 

Biggest concern I  have with December is lack of day light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #6 of 9

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

What does he like to ski? Groomers, steeps, off piste, trees? Is he expert, advanced, intermediate? Is he into the 'resort' experience or is he more 'back to nature'? Where will you be flying to and how much time do you have? Since you are talking December is he allergic to rocks?

 

icon14.gif This information is all required to make a useful recommendation. As for conditions in December, see below.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post

It snows just as much in Oct/Nov as it does Feb/March. December being the biggest month for snow and the coldest.

 

Average base on Fidelity (treeline rogers pass) Dec. 1st is 57inches. Plenty of terrain is good to go, and preservation is best at that time of year so powder is as close to a guarantee as it gets. 

 

The skier in question may or may not want to earn his own turns. And, as pointed out elsewhere, December is sketchy and cat/ski operations may have marginal conditions if they're operating at all.

 

I ski Whitewater, including sidecountry adjacent to Whitewater. There are many, many places I won't go when there is only 57 inches on the ground - not because it gets tracked out, but because there are many obstacles more than 50 inches high which I will hit without seeing. Too much is just below the surface, including rocks, brush and logs you can drive your skis under. Drops that are fun in February or March are ugly in December.

 

You are right that snowfall is often heavy in November, but it's on top of very little base. The snowfalls in February/March are on top of lots of base. Fallen trees that are hazardous in December are fun in February.

 

I do recommend cat/heli skiing - when there is more snow on the ground. 100 inches is just getting good around here.

 

For best (or even Epic wink.gif ) conditions, I recommend a delayed birthday trip. If you're going to ski thin snow, you might as well do it at home.

post #7 of 9

It's a give and take. Some terrain skies better with less base. Some terrain requires a lot of snow to fill in. There are things that are fun to jump off in December that are buried and flat in February. 

 

post #8 of 9

So where is the OP with more info as to abilities, skiing preferences, dates etc. The BC interior is a large area with a lot of skiing variety and options so a list of top resorts is not doable without more info.
 

post #9 of 9

Given your nickname 'opimian', I'd reckon sticking near Kelowna would give you great options all 'round - lots of excellent vineyards, the best reds in Canada come from the Okanagan.

 

I skied Silverstar and it was a nice friendly hill. Decent amount of inbounds terrain with some very nice runs and the side/back country is very good too. Also, everything is ski-in/out. The Village is small but quaint so don't expect Whistler. Big White is owned by the same group, a bit further south but higher up and they are usually open by late November.  Both are easily accessible from Kelowna airport. And you can take a day or two off for a local wine tour and get great food to boot.

 

Further north Revvie has amazing lines as does Kicking Horse. Kicking Horse you'd probably want to access from Calgary.

 

Be forewarned, you won't find the same variety of terrain as with WB but it'll be good skiing. I'd be inclined to follow Shredhed's advice in post #4 - throw in to the kitty and head to where it's going off. December can be a bit early but if they get hammered in November it could be an epic trip without crowds.

 

Good luck!

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