We delayed our trip report since we did it about three times but the page expired and we lost it all!
Here’s a TR on our Ski Safari, in February this year!
We're from Brazil and this trip was planned for months. We started off in Vancouver, where we have friends and took off for a first day skiing in Mount Baker. It was an easy drive from Vancouver, and such a beautiful scenery going past Glacier. We were lucky the mountain had received tons of snow the previous days, it was what locals were calling a dry day and skiing was perfect. It isn’t a huge terrain, but was plenty to get us excited to get back to the snow and pretty quiet too.
By early afternoon it was snowing again and we left the mountain with a perfect taste of famous Mount Baker.
We spent the second week of February in Sun Peaks. It did not snow all week, but the mountain had snow for us to enjoy it thoroughly. At some point, too much sun made conditions almost springlike, but of course, on departure day, it poured snow.
We enjoy Sun Peaks a lot, having spent over a season there, the mountain is almost our home mountain and with our friends who were just learning, it was the ideal mountain, serving all levels and providing numerous other activities in the snow. We did the First Tracks breakfast – a chance to ride the lift before opening time, with about fifteen other skiers/boarders and enjoy the perfect corduroy left by recent grooming. I had no idea how smooth First Tracks is, for 25 dollars you not only have the mountain to yourself for a couple of hours, but enjoy a mountain top breakfast in the lodge to kick-off the day.
We also did the Evening Descent and Fondue Dinner, riding the lift at around 5pm to have dinner on the mountain lodge and ski/ride down in the dark, in groups of 7/8 friends. Lots of wine, cheese and meat, and skiing down an easy run in pitch dark, it was a highlight of the trip (for me at least).
Back in Vancouver we did a two day trip to Whistler, where crowded lines were diluted in the massive mountain terrain.
Following, we flew from Vancouver to Cranbrook where we rented a car and began our interior BC trip, starting in Rossland. All I thought of was thank you to all epicski friends who pitched in their suggestions. The itinerary came out perfect and we couldn’t have had a better time.
Rossland is very charming and Red is simply an awesome mountain. From the top of the main lift, Motherlode, you have a 360 access to the mountain, and an impressive terrain covered by a limited, but ideal number of lifts.
The second day skiing Red had tough conditions with excessive wind, and the closure of one of the main lifts impeded the access of newcomers to the main lift, leaving those who were already there with the chance to enjoy the area with practically nobody else.
Red is opening a new area in the next winter, and access is provided by cats. There are several a day and for 10 dollars you can catch a ride. That's Thiago going for the cat ride.
This is me on Ruby Tuesday, off Paradise.
From Rossland we drove to Nelson, only a couple hours’ drive away. Locals were in a complete frenzy to enjoy the 35cm that fell in Whitewater, which on top of it being time for Cold Smoke Festival made the local ski area a bit overcrowded, with huge lift lines seeking access to the double chair lifts. Once on top of the mountain, no crowds, though... it is so huge...
We left Nelson with a bit of sadness, the town is extremely friendly and the mountain is truly appreciated by locals.
We drove past the bridge over Kootenay Lake to Ainsworth Hotsprings, a considerably short drive from Nelson, and which would enable us to avoid going back in the direction of Cranbrook through the Salmon Pass, which on that day would for sure be closed. The road is scenic and the hotspring was a unique experience. It has a ‘horseshoe’ cave with water at around 42C and a cold water plunge too. It was a short stop, as we had a long road ahead of us, but totally worthwhile. Thank you for the suggestions on Epic Ski to stop by here!
After the break, the Ferry took us across Kootenay Lake and we started the drive towards Fernie, through a very scenic lakeside road, along Highway 3A. We entered Fernie at dawn, which made the mountain scenery and snow even more mystical than it was. The town surrounded by the majestic rockies makes its presence, is very extraordinary.
In Fernie, we stayed in a B&B near town, and it was a quick drive in the early morning to the resort. The mountain is so huge, the first day was a bit confusing as we tried to get around it, but it was clear to us this was a terrain that we could ski for years and not get bored. On the second day skiing Fernie we had the chance to see impressive verticals, sections of the mountain with 43 angle drops. It was a bit intimidating to me, an ideal mountain for Thiago and the perfect closure for a memorable Kootenay/Rockies monthlong ski safari!