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Advise for trip 2010

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am fortunate to have flexible extended time available to travel next year and I am looking at a ski trip.  I want powder, exciting pitch and terrain and I want it to be inexpensive.  I will be leaving from the East Coast.  Right now I am looking at flying into Calgary and taking the bus to Revelstoke and Kicking Horse.  Revelstoke has a hostel ski package for $560 for 6 days and 7 nights.   Looking at a hostel in Kicking horse as well.  I will be traveling solo, but a friend may meet me for part of the trip.  Thinking I will ship my skis to save on plane fees. I am thinking mid/late february would be the best time to go-to get the hostel package I am anticipating booking early. I have been to SLC and want something different.  Hopping for a trip of 15 to 20 days and spending less than $1800.  Any thoughts/advice would be great.



post #2 of 7

Sounds like a fun trip! I haven't skied Revelstoke yet, but Kicking Horse is one of my favorite destinations. I usually travel with friends, so for me a cheap motel (there are plenty in golden) is better value than the hostel.


I have done the Kooteney's solo though, and I think that a trip to Whitewater and Red might be worthwhile, especially if you stay for 20 days.


Nelson is reasonable drive from Revelstoke, without too much elevation gain. You need to cross a lake by ferry, so it does take a bit of time, but if you leave from Revelstoke in the early afternoon, you should be able to make it there before sunset.


In Nelson, the Dancing Bear hostel is great. It is very clean with friendly staff. I find Nelson to be a more interesting town than Revelstoke, and much better than Golden. Ski and stay packages for Whitewater are about $60.


Whitewater is a small hill with a great day lodge, lots of snow, and nice trees. It is most famous for its backcountry access, but a tourist can have a lot of fun exploring the inbounds area over a day or two.


An hour's drive from Nelson is Rossland, home of Red Mountain, a great hill with a lot of challenging trees. The downside is low elevation that results in the occasional rain shower, but if you time it right, Red can be one of the best resorts in Canada.


In rossland I stayed at the mountain shadow hostel. It was alright: great staff, but not as well kept as the place in Nelson. Rossland is a neat Alpine town, but sleepier than Nelson.


Just a couple options (other than the obvious Banff resorts) if you find 3 weeks is two long for two resorts.

post #3 of 7

I have done two trips like yours where the wife and I flew into Calgary but rented a car.  It is only about a 3 hr drive on the Trans-Canadian Hwy to Golden, and you go very near Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise ski areas.   I think you have a good plan.  If the hostle is at the KH resort, there is not much up there.  If you stay in Golden it is a small town with a nice selection of bars and restaruants.  Revelstoke is a little bigger and also a very nice town, but both are pretty small and not really "resort" like. If you do not have a car your options are pretty limited, depending on where you are staying.  Both areas have great terrain.  KH has some of the best steeps on the continent.  70 inbounds chutes, and 50 of those don't require any hiking.  We combined our trips with some backcountry skiing at Rogers Pass, which is in between the two resorts.  There is a Best Western Lodge at the top of the Pass with the Avalanch Center right next to it.  You can ski right from the lodge if you are bc proficient, but that requires additional gear.   KH has 4,100 vert and Revi has close to 6,000 now, so there is plenty of good skiing.  You also may want to check out the cat and heli skiing options by the day out of Revelstoke.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.  Not renting a car is a big part of stretching the trip budget.  I think that makes Whitewater and Red a bit more difficult to get to-I have not looked into bus transport. The hostels I am looking at are in Golden and Revelstoke and there appears to be a shuttle up to either mountain.  Just noticed the link on the kicking horse site to a snowmax card-4 days for $134 last year, that is a great deal and I hope they offer it again.  Not finding as many deals for Revelstoke.  I am planing to bring my AT gear to allow some variety for the trip.  I also thought I would check out what I might be able to get for a standby on the cat or heli operations in Revelstoke.  I appreciate the information.  How does late January, early February sound for timing?  I have read particularly about Kicking horse conditions becoming poor down low later in the season.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well no go on bus to Nelson.  And I read a bit deeper into the link on the snowmax card and you need to be a resident of Western Canada.... 

post #6 of 7

The main problem with KH is that the lift system is very screwy.  Most of the good skiing requires that you ski all 4,100 vert to the bottom and take the gondola up every run. Not a big deal on a good snow year, but it causes lift lines at the bottom sometimes.  Some years the lower mountain has had bad snow.  Revelstoke has two lifts up top so you can ski 1,700 vert runs and stay on the top of the mountain.


If you have backcountry gear there are fantasitic options off KH.  They have a $25 (may be more now) one gondola ride ticket for bc skiers.  Revelstoke also has some off area options, but I don't think they are as good, although you can hit the adjoining cat skiing terrain.  At least they let people do it in the past.


Before going up you should read the story about the people that got lost off area at KH last year and died, just to make sure you have the proper respect.  They get fog up there alot, so a GPS is a good idea if you plan on getting very adventurous..

post #7 of 7

There used to be a bus route from Vancouver to Calgary that stopped at all the ski area hostels.  You could stop at any one for a few days and then get picked up by the next bus . It did a northern route to Calgary and a southern route on the return.  I think it was called the Abominable Snow bus but I am not finding anything on it now?

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