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Kicking Horse avalanche gear question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm heading up to Kicking Horse in early Feb--my first time there. I don't own avalanche gear--so for those of you who have skied there, or who ski there regularly, do you recommend I purchase some (avalung, shovel, beacon, etc)?

post #2 of 9

Not neccessary if you are skiing in bounds...necessary if you are not.

post #3 of 9

If you're intending to ski within the area boundaries in areas that are regularly patrolled and controlled, no, you shouldn't have to worry about it.  If you are intending to go slack country or back country, then that's a much bigger question.  Have you had any avalanche training?  Are you going with partners who have had training that you've toured with before?  If the answer to either of those two questions is no, then don't plan on buying any equipment or going outside the controlled areas.  And I don't want to sound too presumptuous but it sounds like you haven't had the training.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  Good luck and have fun!

Edited by GoldMember - 11/28/12 at 10:18am
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks all. This is very helpful.

I haven't had training, have never been backcountry and wasn't planning to venture out for the first time on this trip. However I understand that Kicking Horse had opened some new areas around Terminator Peak and Super Bowl and I'm trying to figure out if I need to take more caution there than I would on other mountains, even though those areas are now technically within ski area boundaries.


I spoke with a Kicking Horse rep who said that avalanche training and gear for those areas is "recommended but not required."

Edited by Wakefield - 11/28/12 at 10:37am
post #5 of 9

There is large amount of in bounds terrain at Kicking Horse, some of which is accessed by hiking and through control gates.  As long as you do not go through a gate that indicates you are leaving the area or need avi gear to proceed you will be skiing in areas that are controlled by the patrol.


Kicking Horse offers a one ride gondola ticket for those wanting a lift to access the backcounty. There is also some incredible backcountry skiing on Rogers Pass between KH and Revelstoke, but if you are not trained and experienced I agree with Goldmember that it would not make sense to buy avi gear for your trip. It is possible to ski out of bounds and then back in to the lift, which many locals do, so be mindful when following tracks.


KH has over 70 inbounds chutes, as well as some fantastic bowl skiing accessible with minimal or no hiking.  If you do not normally ski with a pack you may want to take a carry strap or something so you can boot climb with your skis on your back more easily, although most of the inbounds climbs are short enough that they can be done with skis on your shoulder.  I don't think you will have trouble finding enough good skiing to keep you busy without going out of bounds.  Enjoy!   I wish I were heading back up there again this season.

post #6 of 9

I have skied KH a couple of times & did some OB skiing both times, one day with the single ride ticket that mudfoot mentioned.  Super Bowl is now considered inbounds, but it was definitely potential avalanche terrain when I was there, So all backcountry etiquette was adhered to.  If beacon shovel & probe are recommended, I would certainly be prepared, educated & cautious before heading out there.


Kicking Horse is high on my list of favorite places for steep & varied terrain.  Here are links to my two trip reports:






Enjoy your trip,



post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Nice. Seriously inspiring stuff. Feb cannot come soon enough.

post #8 of 9

My best inbounds ski day ever was at Kicking Horse after a huge storm.

post #9 of 9
Originally Posted by spknmike View Post

My best inbounds ski day ever was at Kicking Horse after a huge storm.


My favorite hill of all. Ski there every year and have had a number of those days. But to the original poster, there is plenty of challenging terrain to keep you interested without having to venture outside avy control. Super bowl and Fuez both now have control but you can also get into other areas from both that are not. Be very aware of the boundary markings  Terminator ridge also has some very serious chutes which you would not want to wind up on by accident. (hopefully a poor choice of word). If you do go up there be sure of your decent route.

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