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Powder Highway in early April

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of doing a special trip with my daughter for her 13th birthday to the powder highway in interior BC. It looks like the best time for her school schedule is the first week of April. Is this a good time to do that kind of trip?

Also we were at least open to discuss a possibility of doing a cat or a heli day if things line up right. Is this worth it this time of year? She is doing a few stops of the junior IFSA tour this year, so she is a pretty capable skier and won't have a problem handling the terrain. Any local experts on the interior BC here? @DanoT?
post #2 of 15

It's the end of the season. 

 

What are your expectations? 

 

The big mountains will be prime. The lower elevations will be mushy/dirt.

 

Average Temps in Revelstoke will be slightly warmer to what you would expect in Tahoe. (base elevation ). 

post #3 of 15

Many cat and heli operations do not run in April. Demand is down, unskied snow can become very heavy and challenging, and the snowpack is often unstable.

 

There's plenty of snow in April, but it may not be the kind of snow that people think of when they think of cat skiing.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Is March situation similar to April?
post #5 of 15

As already mentioned April is the end of the season and not worth a trip espeically all the way from California. OTOH the end of February and the first half of March are prime time if you're going to pull her out of school anyway you may as well optimize the experience. 

If she is junior IFSA material you should consider Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, Red, Whitewater, Fernie, Castle, Lake Louise (back side) and not bother with Big White, Panorama, Kimberly. Sun Peaks is in the middle terrain wise. Here are a couple of IFSA clips from Fernie and Castle.

 

FYI the first day qualifier at Castle was held in bounds on the Chutes. 2000 vertical starting @ 38 degrees

post #6 of 15

All of the B.C. Interior ski resorts which includes all of the areas that promote themselves as "The Powder Highway" close in early April due to lack of skiers, not lack of snow. For 2015 most will close April 6, some may go a week longer.

 

Lake Louise and Sunshine Village in the Alberta Rockies have Calgary skiers to rely on for spring skiing usually into May. They are also higher elevation than most B.C. resorts, so they have good snow preservation.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
That week is her vacation, so we were hoping to avoid pulling out of school. How does the middle of March ski?
post #8 of 15

Middle of March is good for BC. If you are going to do April - I would say hit up Alberta instead - Sunshine and Lake Louise will be at their prime. If you end up in Banff area, there's a great cat skiing area in Kananaskis Country, just south of Banff, run by K-Pow. Here is there website: 

 

http://kpow.ca

 

The cat skiing is on Fortress Mountain, and the guides are great. Highly recommended. Cat skiing should be good until mid-May.

post #9 of 15

oh, and April is the snowiest month in Kananaskis, at higher elevations! Fortress Mountain gets over 900 cms annually on average (something like 360 inches, i think?)

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, something else to consider:-).
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

All of the B.C. Interior ski resorts which includes all of the areas that promote themselves as "The Powder Highway" close in early April due to lack of skiers, not lack of snow. For 2015 most will close April 6, some may go a week longer.

I have an inflexible schedule and I"m thinking of skiing these areas closing day and the week before.  I'm fine with any snow conditions as long as there's enough coverage to keep most runs open.    Any local insight? 

 

Also, do any of these ski areas shut down certain lifts midweek or because of end of season?  We're looking primarily at Revy, Sun Peaks, Big White, Apex and Silver Star.

post #12 of 15

Can't speak to most on your list, but Revy should be fine on top. Worst case scenario, you may have to download with the gondola as it could be raining below and snowing up top at that time of year. But...it really depends on what kind of a season it is. 

post #13 of 15

Sun Peaks will close down the Burfield chair mid-week for the final week or two of the season.

post #14 of 15

Big White Silver Star and Apex usually run all their lifts to the end of season, (possible exception is Gem Lake at Big White which faces south and is at the lowest elevation. Still should still be decent spring conditions. Have hit some good powder days at both Big White and Apex on their closing weekends but that's very rare. The Okanogan isn't the powder highway

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post
 

Big White Silver Star and Apex usually run all their lifts to the end of season, (possible exception is Gem Lake at Big White which faces south and is at the lowest elevation. Still should still be decent spring conditions. Have hit some good powder days at both Big White and Apex on their closing weekends but that's very rare. The Okanogan isn't the powder highway

 

So far this season the Okanogan plus the Thompson (Sun Peaks) are doing better than the powder highway.

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