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Where to 'bum' in Canada?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone.

I'm looking to spend a season or more out to western Canada and just skiing partying and working whatever jobs I can to support those habits. Basiclly I'm 25 and going to be closer to 30 than 20 before the season is out, and I'm also single.. so now is the time I think.

The thing is though that I'm not familier with is the lay of the land out west. I like the looks of Whistler especially the whole no-driving part, but worry that it's super expensive and somewhat isolated. ie; no other skiing nearby. Banff also looks expensive, plus it requires lots of driving. Inbetween there's Kelowna, Fernie, etc.. but I worry the nightlife won't be as happening there.

The biggest questions I have to ask though... is where is the best skiing? That might just be most important.

Thanks for reading.

p.s. I ski good, and have been to L. Louise before and held my own there no problem.
post #2 of 27
I have absolutely no real experience in these areas besides whistler, but I have been eyeing a trip to the Interior B.C. for senior year, involving a mix of Whitewater, Kicking Horse, Fernie, and Red Mountain. the interior b.c. seems like a powder haven and kind of the hidden gem that's beginning to get uncovered. so i would suggest get it while you can.
post #3 of 27
I think you would like Whistler. There are some really nice resorts in the interior, but I think women may be in short supply.
Whistler has the whole package.
post #4 of 27
Kelowna is a great spot with Big White, Apex, and Silver Star all close by. As for nightlife and ladies, there's quite a bit to do up there and no apparent shortage of young ladies. I just came back from a golf trip there and just about got my butt kicked by my wife for looking too much. Kelowna also isn't that terribly far from Whistler, Whitewater, or Red so you could road-trip to any of those pretty easily. Kicking Horse and Fernie are both probably too remote for what you want. If you're really interested in finding the best and most consistent powder skiing though, the interior (around Nelson) is probably your best choice. A lot depends on what exactly it is you're looking for.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldMember
If you're really interested in finding the best and most consistent powder skiing though, the interior (around Nelson) is probably your best choice. A lot depends on what exactly it is you're looking for.
No, no, no! Whistler is what you're looking for. Or Banff. Or Vail. Not Nelson. Nothing here. Move along. Everyone here is on drugs. No one skis. It never snows here. The city is planting palm trees on Baker Street. There are no women. Go to Banff. Or somewhere. Else.
post #6 of 27
Fernie night life is great if you want to drink beer to some techno beat track with a bunch of Aussies night after night. Fernie is the place for people like you who ski good. At Whistler, they prefer that you ski well.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley
No, no, no! Whistler is what you're looking for. Or Banff. Or Vail. Not Nelson. Nothing here. Move along. Everyone here is on drugs. No one skis. It never snows here. The city is planting palm trees on Baker Street. There are no women. Go to Banff. Or somewhere. Else.
Well, now that you've demonstrated your signature line (John Cooley - Slacker, layabout, irresponsible miscreant, Social reprobate, constant face-planter)......well.....nothing more be said.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldMember
Well, now that you've demonstrated your signature line (John Cooley - Slacker, layabout, irresponsible miscreant, Social reprobate, constant face-planter)......well.....nothing more be said.
Too true. Anyone got some spare change fer a cuppa coffee? (Talk about a "bum" - Cooley is the worst.)
post #9 of 27
Definitely Whistler. Have you seen the show on TV? It's just like that.
post #10 of 27
Whistler.

You won't get bored skiing there a whole season, and no lack of night life either.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for replying everyone. I'm still kind of conflicted but I am thinking I will try whistler for the season. Has anyone here done a season there? Any surprises to consider? Thanks.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by L7
Definitely Whistler. Have you seen the show on TV? It's just like that.
Thankfully not! I don't recall seeing anyone on that show actually ski or board for more than a nano second as yet. All said Whistler is the dogs b*ll*x and definately the place to be.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Case
Thanks for replying everyone. I'm still kind of conflicted but I am thinking I will try whistler for the season. Has anyone here done a season there? Any surprises to consider? Thanks.
4 seasons down and hopefully many more to come (I live here perminently now) ... usually finding an affordable place to live is harder than getting a job. Not sure if it's accurate but my perception is that more & more people seem to be arriving earlier each year. This place rocks during the summer almost as much as winter time ... so much to do especially if you like your mountain biking.
The cheapest place to stay is staff accomodation ... kinda student halls standard (about $300-$400/month depending whether you want a room to yourself or share with one other ... usually about 3 -4 in each apartment). A good resource for info/accomodation/jobs/etc is www.piquenewsmagazine.com ... this is the local free paper. Any more specific questions just ask away & will try to help.
post #14 of 27
Hey Bonzai!

*high fives*
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by veeeight
Hey Bonzai!

*high fives*
Hey :
Winter is just around the corner ... I feel it in my bones (especially my busted ribs) ... bit of a mountain biking incident involving me, a large tree stump, lots of dust, an awkwardly placed rock, too much speed & a lack of skill.

Hoping I can survive this coming winter with only vacation/holidays plus weekends .. oh yeh, and evenings at Cypress Mountain. Proper jobs suck
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzai
Thankfully not! I don't recall seeing anyone on that show actually ski or board for more than a nano second as yet. All said Whistler is the dogs b*ll*x and definately the place to be.
Ross Rebagliatti (sp?) disagrees. He's suing the producers for basing a character largely on himself. Something about an Blonde, blue eyed, olympic gold medalist dope smoker living in Whistler. He feels he's the only one of those and the show is too close to reality although he claims to have never pulled a hit and run like the character.
post #17 of 27
JC--
these guys are messing with you. If you want powder, interior BC--Red Mtn, Big White, Nelson, SilverStar, Fernie--beats Whistler. There are a lot of Aussies, but they are the studious sorts, you know, focus groups deconstructing Jacque Derrida and whatnot.
Good luck, and have fun.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by L7
Ross Rebagliatti (sp?) disagrees. He's suing the producers for basing a character largely on himself. Something about an Blonde, blue eyed, olympic gold medalist dope smoker living in Whistler. He feels he's the only one of those and the show is too close to reality although he claims to have never pulled a hit and run like the character.
You forgot the bit about the character being a blackmailer having an affair with the wife of a major hotel tycoon ... oh yes, and being dead : ... and the main bar is nothing like anything in Whistler ... I haven't seen a bottle of Kokanee or heard any Aussie accents anywhere
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzai
You forgot the bit about the character being a blackmailer having an affair with the wife of a major hotel tycoon ... oh yes, and being dead : ... and the main bar is nothing like anything in Whistler ... I haven't seen a bottle of Kokanee or heard any Aussie accents anywhere
I knew there was something else but I couldn't remember what it was.
post #20 of 27
My vote would go for Banff as there is a good tourism base that is solid and year round. Lots of resorts to choose from some with a short drive and others with a bit of effort.

It's close to Calgary (major Center) Banff will be slightly cheaper than Whistler and Canmore is cheaper yet than banff (canmore is 15 minute drive from Banff). Alberta has no sales tax (6% cheaper for gear) Gas is cheaper, rent is cheaper, food is cheaper and the women are way hotter in Alberta.

Lots of bars and restaurants in Banff but yes a car is needed or at least buddies that have a car for skiing. But I do beleive there is good shuttle service avail.

Whistler I guess would also be good, but I way prefer Banff.
post #21 of 27
I'd have to agree with Marmot mb about Banff being the best choice...Whistler would be great if you can do it right, but logistically it's very difficult because you'll be competing with a billion other people from all over the planet who also want to live/work/ski there, and there are just so many jobs/affordable places to live there to go around.

Banff/Lake Louise on the other hand, has the advantage of being in Alberta where the economy here is so hot right now, employers are practically begging people to work for them; wages are soaring. There are three great Resorts within 40 minutes of each other, plus Kicking Horse and Nakiska aren't too much further.

You say you're single? Ever been to Alberta and seen the women here? Enough said.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by L7
Definitely Whistler. Have you seen the show on TV? It's just like that.
Classic!

I've had a bit of experience at quite a few of the places that you've listed. I currently live in Kelowna and I definitely agree with what Goldmember has stated, dark sunglasses are required equipment in the summer to avoid getting a smack upside the head from your wife, great scenery. The skiing is also top notch with a great apres scene, I love it but I'll be honest, the choices are a bit limited for a season long mission unless you're more into being a "regular". If that's the case then Big White is ideal.

Whistler is well...Whistler. Lots of "locals" that won't give you the time of day but there's also a growing population of people that don't have their heads up their own asses. It is what it is...still working on what that is however.

Banff is great, great skiing, fun nightlife. I lived there for two stints (4 years and 7 years) and really liked it. Lots of great people but to be totally honest I never really saw it as home (but that's not what you're looking for, is it?). One thing that never really stood out in my mind was an abundance of the opposite sex. If you think fleece and poly-pro is sexy then you might meet someone there.

I also lived in Vail for a short time, loved it. Worked with some awesome people and made some pretty good money. I was 25 and single while I was there, lots of opportunities for a good time.

Hope this helps. If you want to know a bit more about Kelowna send me a PM.
post #23 of 27
It's quite true what the last guys were saying about work in Alberta ... even here in Squamish (45 mins from Whistler) where there is a development boom there are always ads in the local paper trying to entice trades people to go work in Alberta for more money and cheaper living costs.
My bias is for Whistler 'cos I live in the area and have done 4 seasons there, but then I've never skied anywhere else in Canada (other than Vancouver local hills) so it's all relative ... I always put off coming to Canada 'cos I had skied so much in Europe and thought it couldn't get any better. Glad to be proven wrong. Hopefully I'll venture a bit further across Canada one day too.

I hear reports of extreme cold for more weeks of the season in interior BC & Alberta (-30C & below) but then there is the rain that we get in Whistler so you can't be too fussy.

Personally I would say try one this season & then another one the following year ... by the time you're 60 you should have made your mind up : The worse that can happen is that you'll have such a good time that you'll never want to leave (hmmm that's me).
post #24 of 27
To be honest, you can't really lose.
I grew up skiing Lake Louise, Sunshine, Fortress and Fernie - good snow and terrain in abundance. Never lived in Banff, but don't know anyone that regrets spending a season (or more) there.
Moved west and spent 6 years in Whistler, definitely no regrets about that time frame. Skiing and life was pretty good there.
Can't comment on living in the interior, but the snow and terrain can't be beat.
post #25 of 27
Just curious...if you are not Canadian or Australian, are you even able to work anywhere in Canada? I am assuming Justin Case is from the US.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceace414 View Post
Just curious...if you are not Canadian or Australian, are you even able to work anywhere in Canada? I am assuming Justin Case is from the US.
Yes, but you must have a work visa. If you are under 35 & from UK then you can get a Work Canada visa through BUNAC (or if you're a UK student) ... I am on a sponsored visa which was as easy to get as tartan paint!!
post #27 of 27
My vote would go to whistler first, but since everyone and their mother goes to whistler, the banff area would be a close second.

The only real reason banff wouldn't be first is because it can really be hit or miss with the snow conditions. You can spend weeks skiing really awful snow. (and I ussualy say all snow is great snow).

I guess the same could be said for whistler, but whistler has far better nightlife and girls to keep your sanity together during the dry spells.
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