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Some questions about Panorama and Kicking Horse

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Next Easter we will go to a ski vacation in North America for the first time, we will stay in Banff and besides the 3 areas (and maybe Nakiska) we might go one day to Panorama or Kicking Horse, but from what I read both are more suited for expert skiers and specially because of my daughter I have some doubts, because I don´t know what to expect from the slopes classification in Canada.

For those who skied in Europe, what should I expect from blue runs over there? Are they like blue runs in Europe or more like reds?

And single diamond runs compared to black runs in Europe?

How difficult is the green run from the top of Kicking Horse?

And the blue runs from the top of Panorama?

They both have low bases, in which should I expect to find better snow by that time of the year?
post #2 of 8
 Easter is really late next year (April 24th). I don't know if you will have options other than Lake Louise and Sunshine. Both should offer great conditions, though the best late-season terrain at the Lake is the steep stuff on the back side. Sunshine will offer better intermediate terrain.

The rating system between the resorts is actually quite different. Sunshine's runs are about a half rating off from the others. Some blue runs at sunshine would be greens at the other resorts, and some blacks would be blues. Some of the blacks, such as the ones off the standish headwall, bye bye bowl, and tee pee town are legitimate. 

If Panorama is open the blues should be managable. They have a decent pitch, but are groomed. It is a really good cruising mountian.

The crystal bowl at kicking horse should be fine, but intermediates might find the hill a little boring, as there is only one easy way down from the top.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply, just to say that I´m talking about next Easter, which is this year´s Easter, from March 27th until April 3rd.

For what you say it seems that the choice should be Panorama if we decide to make that one day trip.
post #4 of 8
 one thing manchester, many of sunshine's blacks and double d's are as hard as anything out there...humble opinion
post #5 of 8

You are right. The black rating covers a wide range of difficulty. Most of the doubles are consistent with the region.

Sunshine's runs went up to a maximum of "black" until the mid 1990s when they expanded to Goat's Eye mountain. They didn't change the rating system on the old side, so it has some mellow runs like the ones you will find off Wawa rated "black" as well as some steeper sections like the Tee-Pee town area (shoulder), and the standish headwall. You might include the bye-bye bowl in that list as well. Though I think it is important to note that most of the steeps on the old side are relatively short.

The dive and wild west opened up a whole new level of expert terrain. Silver City (though I haven't skied it) is in a league of its own.

But I still think that half the "blacks" would be rated blue elsewhere and half the blues green. Half of the greens are uphill ;)
post #6 of 8
Yeah, Silver City and Derilium Dive were nominated for the most extreme marked runs "out west".
post #7 of 8
 Agreed, Wawa's blacks are kind to the middle-aged skier (yours truly) and beginner-intermediate. One nice thing about Sunshine is that every lift has a nice green route down, and there are some flat traverses, especially on Goats Eye and Lookout. And the entry or climbdown to the Dive is probably more frightening than the slope itself, a kind of Corbett's redux. Yes on a pure pitch criterion some of the blacks are nice and relatively tame but I think they get classified that way because they are never groomed, not sure though.
post #8 of 8
 SkiKing - that Wiki is really good, thanks.
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