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Is Kicking Horse worth a visit in 2002?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We have planned a trip to Canada next year - 2002 - and have included Kicking Horse in our itinery. Looks like they have had a really bad year for snow - do you think this season is a one off bad snow year?

We are going to be flexible, and have a rental vehicle so could move on if it's no good. Maybe next year they might have a mid station on the gondola, I read somewhere it was designed for one.
post #2 of 15
Kicking Horse is a great place from all accounts. One of the knocks on the place is that they don't get enough snow to support skiing seven days per week. Before they added the vertical they were Friday, Saturday, Sunday only.

As for the snow year, it was a really bad year. Over the last thirty years there haven't been two bad years in a row, but no one can say for sure.

Also a "bad" snow year by Kootenay standards isn't truly "bad" it is just less good.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
thanks for the comment, we will still definitely include it in our itinery. When we came to BC/Alberta in 2000, some locals made coments on the lack of snow - we thought it was excellent, so I guess it's what you get used to. Hopefully Mother Nature will be find next year.
post #4 of 15
Two Kiwis - Wanted to go this year, but never made it. It was a bad year for snow, but as has been pointed out, that can be relative.

My nephew loves Kicking Horse. He's 25, real athletic skier, and says it's great, when there is snow.

Put it in the itinerary. If the snow's miserable, you'll have to do an extra day at Panorama, or Lake Louise. Darn, life can be tough!
post #5 of 15
Well did get out there this year for a day on their last weekend on April 14. It was very good , a litte slushy at the bottom but great at the top. A few stumps were showing but that was more due to it was a new hill than anything. As there is no "resort" there you would have the hill to yourself on a week day. I would certainly prefer skiing at Kicking horse to lake Louise or Panorama especially if good or really good skier.
post #6 of 15
post #7 of 15
"no" what? I f your going to be in the area I would certainly go. I've talked to people on the lifts who say that KH was great later in the season and won't go to Fernie. I wouldn't say that. Personnaly I don't find LL that interesting myself.
post #8 of 15
"no" I wouldn't fly half way 'round the world to go to Kicking Horse next year. Not when there's more interesting places w/more interesting terrain in every direction.
post #9 of 15
well, assuming our downunder friend is flying in to Calgary anyway as a starting point and normal conditions at each hill and 12 sking days. Lets see:
fernie 3 days
castle 1
Kicking H 2
Lake L 2 being kind
sunshine 1-2
panorama 1 maybe 2 as I haven't skied Tauton sp? area
Norquay 1
Kimberly 1
Now outside of that nice circle route you've got Red and Whitewater and some places in the states.
If you want interesting terrain go to Fortress, well for a day anyway
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
We are not coming to specifically go to Kicking Horse, I've been asking because there have not been any magazine reviews yet. Have researched the other fields we want to go to. This will be our third trip to Canada, and have already been to Whistler & B, LL, Norquay, Sunshine, Silver Star, Big White, Red, Whitewater, Fernie. Our last trip we thought we'd visit lots and find a couple we really wanted to go back to. Problem is we'd love to go back to all of them, so with the exception of Fernie we are going to visit new resorts. Only spent 2 days at Fernie, which was not enough.

This trip we thought we would fly into Calgary, as Dougw guessed, pick up a 4WD, and then hit the road for 3 weeks - Edmonton (see the mall), Jasper, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Fernie, Castle. We thought by ending up at Fernie/Big Mountain/Castle area earlier than anticpated then we have a lot more choices than if we did the loop the other way. eg. go to Fortress. We are not going to pre book our accomodation so we can move on if the conditions are no good, or if we've had a good look around the resort.

Our dollar is very weak at the moment, we only get about 65c Canadian for our NZ $1. Our $1 in NZ buys the same as a $1 in Canada, so we don't get much change from $20,000 NZ each trip for two. Skiing in the US is out of our reach until we win Lotto. Luckily we got our seasons passes for the NZ winter for $299 so that will help the finances to make sure we can get to Canada next year. I am entering any travel competition I can find as well. Have enough air points to get one of us from home to Calgary.
post #11 of 15
Kiwi if your going to get up to Marmot at Jasper consider heading back south through Blue River and try getting a standby seat with Mike Weigles heli ski outfit for a day , theres usually no problem getting on. This way you can check out Sun Peaks at Kamloops or some cat skiing at Revelstoke on your way back to catch Kicking Horse at Golden . From here your at Panorama in a little over an hour or any of the other areas in 1/2 a days drive.
post #12 of 15
Your making a special trip to Edmonton for the mall. My wifes relatives in Edmonton will not be pleased. Hate it that Edmonton's claim to fame is the mall . " why do all the trees in Calgary lean north?
Because Edmonton sucks"

My weighting were more in resonse to cheap's comments as was my comment on Fortess. I mean I wouldn't drive alot out of your way to go to Fortress but leave it as an option. IE if Castle doesn't have snow ( it was very poor until mid Feb this year) and Fortress does. Also Fortess leaves you a much shorter drive to Calgary for the plane and has very cheap on hill accomodation at $50 can / room/nite. The thing about Fortess, though very rough around the edges, a dump mid week will last along time as very few skiers and lots of acres. A 2 minute lift line anytime on the weekend is considered long. And hey it had the best conditions of any of the mountains in early April. Well the 80cm dump helped a lot.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have to confess we are going to Edmonton especially to see the mall - shock horror - but we will have a look around the city too. We like to also play tourist when we go skiing, bodies are getting too old to ski every day for 3 weeks. After being in transit for over 24 hours to get to Calgary from down under, thought we'd have a look around Calgary and Edmonton for a couple of days before hitting the slopes.

The heli-skiing would be cool, but won't be in our budget unless we win lotto. We thought we might try the cat skiing at Big Mountain, its a lot cheaper. We also want to do the drive from Jasper to Lake Lousie, if we go via Blue River do we miss that section of the park?
post #14 of 15
Kicking Horse is definitely worth it, I went there at the end of their season, and it felt like we were the only ones on the hill.Very interesting terrain, and its definitely worth it to bring avy gear and hike a bit. We had fresh tracks all day and at one spot (20 min hike) we got knee deep first tracks. The runs are so long and challenging that you wish the high speed gondola was slower! Warning: If you only like groomies and never venture into the bumps, this mountain is NOT for you! Like I say, my mom would hate it! But I had one of the best ski days of my life, definitely best this year.
post #15 of 15
I haven't skied KH since it was Whitetooth(?) but always looked uphill with desire! Snow in Koots is relative, usually good...this year, as I hear it...bad! I thought they moved Marmot into the mall! But if northern, standby at Valemount?...Panorama has the best snowmaking in the region...plenty of vert (can be HARD) and Roger (RK Heli) I think still does standbys...I also think TBM in Whitefish does loonies at par...somebody else might know!
Since I am knee deep in Calgarians...update on Erwin...is he in foothills...can't get no info!
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