Originally Posted by Tony Crocker
I agree with noncrazycanuck that Calgary is the logical gateway if you have never been to the region and want to check out a lot of interesting areas. The best argument for Spokane is the cheap airfare. The drive to Revelstoke from Spokane is at least as tough as from Calgary IMHO.
+1 I've been doing these trips since 1997 and had just two road delays/detours during that time. One was a couple hours avy control west of Revelstoke. The other was a truck accident west of Lake Louise, so we had to drive an extra 2 hours to get to Golden via Radium.
Tony, either you are lucky or I am unlucky. I have traveled thru Rogers pass 5 times in the last 3 winters and have encountered road closures twice.
The first time, a naturally triggered slide came down on a snowshed at midnight, April 9 and some of the snow and debris spilled off the snowshed and onto the highway. There was no skiing at RMR because they had closed April 6 so I sat around all day and they finally got the road open at 2 pm.
The 2nd closure for me was last season on the way back from the Utah Gathering (by way of some great pow skiing at Castle). I get in to Golden about 7 pm and instead of pushing through Rogers Pass to Revelstoke, I decide to stop in Golden for the night and get some laundry done. Next morning at 7am the road is closed for avy control work and expected to open at 2 pm. I decide to take a 5+ hour detour through Jasper via the scenic Columbia Icefields Parkway.
I could have gone skiing at Kicking Horse instead of the detour but it was Alberta Family Day weekend and I figured it would probably have some pretty long lift lines with the additional skiers who thought that they were going to Revy but ended up at KH due to the road closure. I was also at the end of a month long truck camper road trip and anxious to get home.
Rogers Pass averages 60 closure days/year. Even though some of those closures come in the summer due to car accidents, the bulk of the closures come during RMRs 120 day ski season. (It's another reason why RMR is such a shaky operation financially).
In general if traveling through Rogers Pass is part of a ski trip, then doing it on the first part of the trip is the best advice. The Trans Canada Highway which Rogers Pass is part of, does get snow removal priority when compared to other highways in the region.