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The real Powder highway?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
The Powder Highway?
"The Powder Highway is a collection of Ski Resorts, Heli and Cat Ski operations located in the Kootenay Rockies region of British Columbia, Canada. The Powder Highway offers the highest concentration of Ski and Snowboard destinations in the world!"
I've stripped the heli and cat operations and the ski areas I've skied and wouldn't intentionally call them "powder" areas"  except on the rare occasion .  Booted the ones that are a LOT farther to drive as well.  I want to ski not drive!  transparent.png
what is left is:


Making Kimberly/Cranbrrok about as far north as I'd want to drive from the US.  Spokane seems the obvious place to start and end the "Highway" with a decent International airport.


Not skied Kimberly in years.  How consistant is the snow?  Worth the drive?


Lets add Whitefish.  But not Bozeman becasue it is just too damn far East to drive :)


Good skiing south of I 90 but again a long ways to drive if Spokane is the center transportation point.


So you get Mt Spokane, Schweitzer, 49, Silver and Lookout all in one short hop in one direction or another from Spokane.  Push it west 150 miles and you get Mission Ridge.  .


If you are in Seattle, Mt Baker, Stevens,  Alpental and Crystal....But they aren't THE POWDER Highway.  And 300+/- miles from Spokane's better/drier snow belt.


What is your dream loop/area given 5 days of FREE lift tickets and the best snow ever.

Seattle, Spokane or Whitefish as the base.


I am seeing multiple 5 day trips here but what is your trip?

post #2 of 10

Given just 5 days, I'd stick to 2-3 resorts; Fernie/Red/White.  If the snow were good all over and crowds weren't a factor, I'd probably spend much of the time at Fernie and Red, but I'd also be happy splitting time between Red and White, and doing less driving.  I'd love to check out Castle and Whitefish, but 5 days is just not enough.  I think the Washington ski areas would be a bit out of reach for this trip as well.

My opinions are based on my own research, I haven't actually been to any of these places.  But I've thought a lot about doing a trip along these lines, hopefully this year.

post #3 of 10

Best snow ever and out of GEG.


I'd just go to Red and stay there. 

post #4 of 10

For 5 days with a drive in starting with a early am wake up in a Spokane hotel I'd do 49, Red & White.  Otherwise too much driving in not enough time.  In a fortnight ex SEA I've done Alpental, 49, Red, White, Fernie, KH, Revy, Silver Star and Baker as a road trip without a down day.  Worst leg of that  is the apres slog from Okangan to Abbotsford to Bellingham.


If you started Kalispell , Whitefish - Fernie - Castle could be an option.

post #5 of 10

You could also fly to Kelowna and hit Apex, Big White, Silver Star, Revelstoke, and Sun Peaks, though it would take from 1 to 2.5 hours of driving each day.

post #6 of 10

5 days is long enough to hit just about anywhere (even from Vancouver if you don't ski all 5 of them )

but I would second going to Whitefish then 2hr to Fernie 2hr to Castle or the other variations on that theme for  5 straight ski days from Spokane. You still wind up with a fairly long drive on the return when you do it after a full days skiing. To add other areas you should either take more time or just go directly to that region instead.

post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

You could also fly to Kelowna and hit Apex, Big White, Silver Star, Revelstoke, and Sun Peaks, though it would take from 1 to 2.5 hours of driving each day.

or fly Calgary and do Sunshine Lake Louise Panorama Kicking Horse and Revy although it would take 1 to -2.5 hour driving each day - what a tough choice you'll have to make 

post #8 of 10

Spokane, Silver, Schweitzer, Whitewater, Red Mountain, 49. Minimize the driving maximize the skiing.  You could reverse this route just as easily.  Just watch out for closed days at Silver and 49.


 Would also follow the weather map very closely and be flexible by who is getting the snow.  Would drop the day at Silver or 49 first if it is happening up North.  


Kimberley is a cool little town but a lot less snow.  Red and 49 both have recently added lift skiing, always a carrot.

post #9 of 10
Red's expansion is huge, adding 1000 lift-serviced acres. I'd focus on Schweitzer- Red- Whitewater (I think this would make a great Gathering). Silver and 49 if you need to have 5 resorts on your trip.
post #10 of 10

I think the choices are between (Schweitzer - Red - Whitewater) and  (Whitefish - Fernie - Castle).  Though Whitewater has the best snow of any individual area in this group, the second group is overall more reliable.  Kimberley really does not belong in this discussion in terms of terrain variety and especially natural snowfall.  I agree with the comment that if you get there and the snow is really good, you should concentrate on Red.  Red's terrain is amazing, but it needs fresh snow to realize its potential.  And yes, either of the above groups are worthy of consideration for a Gathering, preferably mid-January to mid-February.

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