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9 Canadian Ski Resorts in 2016 Jan-March- Website

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

We have made a website of the tour we did round 9 Canadian ski resorts and some Heli-skiing in 2016. Hopefully this will help anyone else who intends on doing a similar trip. We absolutely loved it!

http://canadaskitour.weebly.com

post #2 of 22

Very nice! Haven't looked at the details for individual resorts yet but your write up about Travel and Heli-skiing is great.

 

Never considered the idea of buying a used 4x4 just for a long ski safari.  Definitely prefer to drive than try to work with bus schedules.  Have looked into the options for places like Jackson Hole and Big Sky and find a rental car more practical.  But can understand that renting for 2-3 months would be over the top on cost.

 

How much did the car cost overall?  I assume you sold it before heading home to Scotland.

post #3 of 22

Hi @Escotia  - I noticed you wrote this in the review of Red Mountain :

 

Quote:
 The blue runs here would be a red in most French resorts.

 

But blue in North America is supposed to be equivalent to red in Europe. Do you not find that to generally be the case? Was there something unique about Red?

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 


Our car cost £1900 and we sold it on for the same price before we left. Insurance and tax was about £400 and fuel was about £250 for the whole trip. Car rental was crazy money for that duration so made much more sense to buy one in the end.

 

Red was just really steep everywhere, no easy runs really, felt that some of the blues seemed tougher than the given ratings.

 

Thought that single blacks were equivalent to european reds?

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escotia View Post


Our car cost £1900 and we sold it on for the same price before we left. Insurance and tax was about £400 and fuel was about £250 for the whole trip. Car rental was crazy money for that duration so made much more sense to buy one in the end.

Red was just really steep everywhere, no easy runs really, felt that some of the blues seemed tougher than the given ratings.

Thought that single blacks were equivalent to european reds?

There's no direct equivalency - a Euro red sits somewhere between a N American Blue and Single Black groomer. Problem is lots of N American resorts will reserve black designation for slopes that are frequently ungroomed whereas the Euro brutal grooming policy will generally mean that even a black can be frequently groomed (even if its by winch cat on steepest pitches). And as you know it's all relative to the hill - no surprise an average blue at Red would be a lot steeper than one at Sun Peaks. Much like Grands Montets would on average be steeper than a mellow Austrian place like Soll.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post

 Was there something unique about Red?

 

 

Red is a unique hill. 

 

They don't groom much, and they don't have many properly cut runs (though they do exist). Red is all about tree skiing. Even in the easier areas like Paradise, it's mostly glades.

post #7 of 22

Red's a great hill.  But snows never been very good, when I've been there.

post #8 of 22
thank you very much for sharing this. Great write ups and photos.
post #9 of 22
P.S. your article about Sun Peaks - under the Lifts section - there's no real text there, just the latin gibberish designers use as fillers while they make a page before they have real content.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhkc View Post

P.S. your article about Sun Peaks - under the Lifts section - there's no real text there, just the latin gibberish designers use as fillers while they make a page before they have real content.

As a local, I found the entire thing rather ignorant & insulting to be frank.

I welcome their statement that they would never come back as something of a relief.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSatSP View Post


As a local, I found the entire thing rather ignorant & insulting to be frank.

I welcome their statement that they would never come back as something of a relief.

You've come on really strong for SP, and it's good to have your input on the board, but I have to agree with them. Sun Peaks does not tun my crank either, and I've skied there several times with my old ski club. Sorry if you're insulted.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

You've come on really strong for SP, and it's good to have your input on the board, but I have to agree with them. Sun Peaks does not tun my crank either, and I've skied there several times with my old ski club. Sorry if you're insulted.

Sorry if it's come across a bit heavy handed,.... I simply matched the tone of the report.

Look,.... I do get that SP doesn't ring everyone's bell & I have no issue with that (No different to the fact that I detest several "big name" resorts for my own reasons),.... But it's the perceived ignorance & insulting nature that prompted my response in that fashion.

Besides,..... This isn't just a "ski destination" for me,.... It's my home & I'm understandably passionate about it,.... No doubt as you are for your home.

All good.

smile.gif
post #13 of 22
I'm not done reading the whole report yet, been skipping around, but I'm seeing a tendency to hate the place if they'd had no recent snow. Which is typical of skiers who do belt notching, trying to hit as many places as possible. They arrive, the snow sucks, they promptly leave. I mean one day at Lake Louise?

Skipping around some more, it seems like they mostly enjoyed their trip. Unfortunately for Sun Peaks, they had a lousy hotel. That, for us, has had an amazing impact on our perception of places (even Alta, which managed to overcome that hotel, but wouldn't ever stay again.)

Before we moved here, we had a lousy hotel on a "prospecting trip" to Bozeman. I'm sure that colored my thinking even though my daughter went to college there for four years. I've never had any affection for either Bridger or Big Sky. Yeah, I know a lot of people love them, but I started out hating the whole area after a fight with the hotel there that ultimately went on for months. Whereas here, we loved our stay so much we moved here. I'm sure lodging has clouded my thinking on other trips as well. It's funny, when I'm booking, I think, we'll be skiing, the room doesn't matter, but it really sets the whole tone. I love Lake Louise. We always stayed at The Post Hotel the times we went. Of course, I've had very few belt-notching trips. Usually we stay the whole visit on one place. So, we get to know it better.
post #14 of 22
Yeah, they didn't like staying in the hostel, which sounds old and noisy, but what do you expect for such a cheap price?

The things they wrote about the terrain, however, ring true to my experience and that's why I'm not a fan. I don't hate the place, I just find it a bit boring compared to many other places I've skied. To each their own.
post #15 of 22

Something is amiss.

 

At the start, they said they spend 3 month in Canada. So that's roughly 90 days. They've gone to 9 resorts. So on average, they could have spend at least a week or upp to 10 days in each. But in many of them they only spend 1 day (LL), or 3 days (Red, Whistler). So where did they spend the bulk of their skiing? They didn't say. 

To make "ranking" based on 1 day visit compare to another resort they spend several weeks is total nonsense. 

 

Another thing that jump out on me, they ski one day at Lake Louise but didn't bother with Sunshine at all??? 

post #16 of 22

I am guessing that they couldn't afford to ski ever day hence the bad hostel nights.

90 days @ 75 ave  for day tickets is a lot even in Canadian dollars.

All lists are subjective

Is Lake Louise too crowded ? They must have picked a busy weekend or stayed on the frontside.

You get an initial  feel for most hills pretty fast, the terrain doesn't change and snow conditions always do.

but I wouldn't make ratings based on a few days or weeks either.      

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post
 

I am guessing that they couldn't afford to ski ever day hence the bad hostel nights.

90 days @ 75 ave  for day tickets is a lot even in Canadian dollars.

All lists are subjective

Is Lake Louise too crowded ? They must have picked a busy weekend or stayed on the frontside.

You get an initial  feel for most hills pretty fast, the terrain doesn't change and snow conditions always do.

but I wouldn't make ratings based on a few days or weeks either.      


Think we skied 68 days in all, don't think we could physically have skied more to be honest. Gaps were to go see things like bridal falls, Nakusp hot springs, travelling between resorts etc. We were in Whistler, Silverstar and Red for a week each, Big White for two. We pre-booked lots of the places we went to before we travelled to Canada so places like Whitewater and Lake Louise ended up being just one day trips that we managed to fit in between places we had already booked, if we hadn't bought the car we wouldn't have seen them or Kicking Horse. I would love to go back to Lake Louise because really a day isn't enough to have a proper look at it all, obviously if locals want to guide us to the good spots then that would be good!
The rankings are totally subjective and totally based on the time we were there, was something a friend had talked about us doing for them. A caveat being that they can't be fair as we didn't spend an equal amount of time at each one and conditions have such an influence, would be more than willing to do the trip again to work them out properly though. Not really a serious ranking just our preference on the time we spent there.
 

post #18 of 22

Quick thing about your page on Rossland, it's Ferraro's Foods, not Ferrantos. Aside from that, I agree completely. Rossland is awesome. 

post #19 of 22

As noted elsewhere, when visiting a place for the first time I try to take into account if I'm seeing unusually good or bad snow conditions.

 

I would never judge the quality of a ski resort based upon the lodging, especially as seems likely in this case the OP was trying to get the cheapest possible.

 

Nonetheless I think the reviews overall were mostly fair.  I didn't view the Lake Louise report as negative; the OP admitted he didn't have enough time to see the place thoroughly. 

 

Sun Peaks IS primarily an intermediate hill.  Most of the challenging terrain is under the Burfield chair, which in addition to being long and slow, is south facing.  OTOH Big White is also heavily weighted intermediate with a lot of south exposure too.  So I can see that the OP's divergent opinions were colored by getting nonstop freshies at Big White. 

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

As noted elsewhere, when visiting a place for the first time I try to take into account if I'm seeing unusually good or bad snow conditions.

 

I would never judge the quality of a ski resort based upon the lodging, especially as seems likely in this case the OP was trying to get the cheapest possible.

 

Nonetheless I think the reviews overall were mostly fair.  I didn't view the Lake Louise report as negative; the OP admitted he didn't have enough time to see the place thoroughly. 

 

Sun Peaks IS primarily an intermediate hill.  Most of the challenging terrain is under the Burfield chair, which in addition to being long and slow, is south facing.  OTOH Big White is also heavily weighted intermediate with a lot of south exposure too.  So I can see that the OP's divergent opinions were colored by getting nonstop freshies at Big White. 

 

Fair call in most respects.

 

Perhaps it's been a while since you've skied at SP (or maybe you're looking at a "desktop" trail map review,.... I don't know either way),.... But some recent trail development has opened up some "darker" terrain on the North side of Morrisey & some side country accessed from the top of the Burf,..... Not that it will make any difference to the "yahoo & up your bucket" crowd though.

 

That said,..... Most resorts that are "healthy" from a fiscal & skier visit perspective are the ones that also have a good % spread of available terrain,..... In my experience, "extreme terrain" does not necessarily bring in the groups that spend significant amounts of money on hill,...... That experience goes back to the mid 80's.

 

In fact,..... The thing that saved SP from an ugly fate in the GFC days was the fact that it had that good overall spread of terrain & the backing of Nippon Cable that had pretty deep pockets,..... More "extreme" hills did not fare so well from what I'm aware of.

 

Either way,..... Opinions are like A$$es .... everybody has one. ;)

 

All good.

 

:beercheer: 


Edited by MSatSP - 10/7/16 at 8:46am
post #21 of 22

I will be making a trip through Canada (Coming from Alaska) down through Montana, Wyoming, Utah, en route to Cali.  

 

Thank you for the writeup! It is very helpful for me in my planning on how to spend my time! 

 

Unfortunately, I will only have 30 days (moving for work) for the entire trip spread around all the different places I want to visit, so it looks like I may be choosing between Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, Bannf, OR Whitewater, Red Mountain, Fernie. Thanks especially for the accommodation write ups and recommendations, I will be on a similar budget with similar goals: sleep little, ski lots, eat occassional when hungry (preferably on a lift between runs). 

 

And I think based on the discussion, I will be removing Sun Peaks from my destination list.  Still have a few months of deliberation, so much pressure! I wish I had 90 days like you guys did.  

post #22 of 22
If you go to Fernie, be sure to check out Castle. 
 
For budget accommodations, I like The Cube in Revelstoke. The Dancing Bear in Nelson is a really nice hostel, as is the Alpine Center in Lake Louise.  Golden has a number of really cheap motels. I usually stay at the Rondo, not fancy, at all, but it gets the job done. 
 
Mountain shadow hostel in Rossland and the raging elk hostel in Fernie are okay. Raging Elk is a bit more of a party scene.
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