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Fernie vs. Kicking Horse vs. Red Mountain

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
For those that have been to all three. Please rate on scale 1 - 10 (10 being best)in:

1. Terrain for intermed. and expert skiers
2. Snow conditions
3. Night life
4. Families

post #2 of 10
I'v been to Fernie and KH.
Somehow I've never made it to Red...
Also, keep in mind, I've spent two seasons in Fernie but only two days at KH.

1. 9 There lots of excellent, steep treeskiing, and more moderate angled as well. So if the intermed. skier is good/confident enough to ski trees, he/she will be happy as well.
2. 9 Fernie can get real deep! But It can rain all the way to the top... Avereges more snow than KH.
3. 7 Ok, there are a few pubs, and a "nightclub". Lots of aussies around...
4. 8 Um, I'm probably not the right guy to answer the question, but I would think it's pretty good.

1. 10 From what I saw in two rainy days... plenty
2. 7 Doesn't get that much snow. Kind of in a dry spot. All the snow gets deposited on the other side of the mountains. (Rogers Pass, Revelstoke)
3. 2 Mondays at the strip club.. That's pretty much it, I think
4. 6 Lower mtn looked ok for kids, but I don't know if there's much to do if you want to take a day off from skiing
post #3 of 10
Fernie has it all over the other two for family and night life. I would also give Fernie the edge for intemediate terrain. Kicking Horse probably has the expert terrain edge with the others close behind.

That being said I'm not a KH fan and find it a goofy set up not that condusive to lots of good skiing and lacking facilities in most every aspect.

Red is a quiet little place in a quiet little town (city) without that many tourist facilities. Really nice fun place but spread out as far as hill and town go and lacking for night time family activities.

Fernie is more developed with more places to stay and things to do on the hill or by staying in town as well. It can rain some at Fernie and at Red and down low at KH. At Kicking horse you can't really stay high so if it rains you pretty much have to come down into it most or all runs. Fernie can be warm rainy and sucking bad and the temp drops slightly and 2 feet of snow comes and the whole place goes off the next morning. It can also work the other way.
post #4 of 10
Red Mountain

1. Terrain for intermed. and expert skiers
6 for intermediates, 10 for expert
2. Snow conditions
3. Night life
8 for restaurants, 5 for bar hopping
4. Families
Didn't notice but doubt there is much there for families except skiing
post #5 of 10
I 've been to all three, but Fernie was at end of May for the special reopening for the Queen's Birthday weekend, so only the top of the mountain was open. Great time with a ski by the beer tent on the way to the T-bar every run (those Canadians know how to party), but I did not get to ski the bottom part of the mountain there.

All three places have good expert and intermediate skiing. Fernie and Kicking Horse will probably have similar snow conditions on any given winter, but last year they both got rain in the middle of the season, so you never know. Red Mountain seems to have it's own weather and is more likely to be foggy.

In my Opinion Kicking Horse has the best skiing (4,000 vert) but the worst night life. Both Red and Fernie have pretty good resturants and night life. I am not a family man so I cannot comment on that aspect. Hope this gives you some useful info.
post #6 of 10
dunno bout Fernie.... But I'd pick Red over KH because of mountain layout. Red is 360 degree skiing in any direction from the top. As L7 says, the lift setup is poorly thought out at KH. You end up having to ski to the bottom to get back to the top, which may not be what you want depending on snow/weather conditions.
post #7 of 10
Fernie and Red over Kicking Horse for intermediate terrain. All three have good expert terrain. Frankly I'd go where the snow is best, all three Resorts have the potential to be pretty darn good if the snow cooperates. When we skied Red we stayed up by Balfour (won two nights at a hotel there at the ski show), so no opinion on the night life (although I would be tempted to stay in Nelson and alternate Red and Whitewater). Golden was no screaming hell for nightlife, but had some cheap family motels. Fernie is probably the best family bet.

No clear winner, but I think Fernie edges out the others by a nose.
post #8 of 10
Expert terrain: Red 10 Fernie 9 Kicking Horse 8. Red is the best expert tree skiing I have seen anywhere. This is Fernie's strength also, but Fernie has some alpine type skiing too. KH should rate higher, but the layout often forces you to the bottom through flatter terrain with marginal snow.

Intermediate terrain: Fernie 6, Red 6, KH 3. These are all expert oriented mountains. I think Fernie has the most intermedate terrain, but Red's grooming is better. KH is stingy on grooming and not a good intermediate area.

Snow conditions: Fernie 8, Red 7, KH 7. Red and Fernie get their weather from the Pacific Northwest and rain is the main risk. Fernie gets about 20% more snow than Red, thus the higher rating. KH has a completely different climate. The dry snow and high elevation of the top 1/3 of the mountain would give that area an 8 rating. But the lower mountain doesn't get much snow and the layout forces you to ski down there more than you would like.

Night life and families: All 3 are low-key compared to the more well-known places. Red and Fernie have similarities but Fernie is bigger and has more variety.

Everything at Kicking Horse gives me the impression of it being "a work in progress." There is a lot of spectacular terrain there. In its current configuration you want to cherry-pick a trip there for when it's having a good year as in my first visit in 2002.
post #9 of 10
I'm for the most part in agreement with Tele-Swede.

Haven't skied Red.

Think Kicking Horse has by far the best powder. It's extremely light and because KH doesn't get the traffic that Fernie and the others in the area do you can almost guarantee (with minimum walking) the opportunity to make fresh tracks. Beginners and intermediates are somewhat limited and stuck to the lower mountain. Lifts at KH are a little weird and as someone said, you're forced in some cases, to ski the whole mountain. KH nightlife is BYO. A girlfriend or wife works great! KH accommodations are by far the cheapest.

Fernie has variety, more intermediate runs, a better lift system, and better nightlife. It obviously more developed and therefore more family orientated. Fernie has some great skiing and I highly recommend it.

However......... my lean is strongly towards KH. It's presently a diamond in the ruff, yet to be discovered!! When they expand to entice more beginners and indeterminate, and they will, the costs will match the amenities and the diamond will turn to corduroy! You should definitely try KH before that happens.

Nobody mentioned Panorama? They have some good skiing in their new Taynton Bowl, except its a pain to get to and you have to take a long ski out to the bottom. It's a real pain. They need a lift to service it. Also its "Interwest" and I'm not big on them or their packages!

Any thoughts?
post #10 of 10
Panorama gets about a 3 or 4 for snow conditions vs. the other 3 areas. Snowfall is modest all the way up, as opposed to Kicking Horse where it's skimpy at the bottom but pretty good up high.
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