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Great places to ski near Nelson, BC?????

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hey there Epic Ski users i a going out west with a friend this winter and we are staying with his uncle who lives in Neilson. Just wondedring what resorts/ski hills are around that are good because we are probably going to pick up a couple season passes....or if they aren't that great then some that are closeish

 

 

thanks

post #2 of 29

Do you mean Nelson B.C.? If so, Whitewater is the local hill. It is smallish but they are adding a used fixed grip triple chair this coming season. Whitewater gets the most snow in Canada if you don't count the rain soaked slop that they often get at the coastal resorts.

 

Nearest bigger mountain is Red Mountain at Rossland. I plan on visiting some friends at Rossland this winter and i will ski both areas and maybe some nearby Cat skiing.

post #3 of 29

Whitewater....close the thread...hit it and you will see

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 

thanks a lot for your help guys....much appreciated. One question though how far is red mountain from nelson???

post #5 of 29

Red Mtn is Rossland's local ski area and is about 50 miles to Nelson B.C.

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

Alright thanks again

post #7 of 29

You will also want to try cat skiing with Big Red Cats out of Rossland www.bigredcatskiing.com  Have a great winter- it is supposed to snow tonight in the alpine!!!!

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

ya we for sure are going to do some kat skiing....my buddies uncle has some connections i think...again though thanks for the suggestions

post #9 of 29

If you are thinking of cat skiing in the Nelson area you might want to take a look at the Retallack operation, north and west of Nelson. For more info on skiing in that area you might also check out this West Kootenays web site: BackcountrySkiingCanada.com. Lots of like-minded people to talk to, and the moderator seems to know a great deal about the area.

 

http://www.backcountryskiingcanada.com/index.php

post #10 of 29

There are several Bears who ski Whitewater, Red, Fernie, Kimberly etc. Want to get a little idea what Whitewater looks like I just posted a thread entitled BC Whitewater Golf and posted some pic's of the area in July.  It is under TRIPS.  Have skied Red, Fernie, Panorama and Kimberly.  Big Red Cats has a good oepration, Wildhorse Cat Skiing is in Nelson area and Valhalla Powder Cats is right outside of Nelson.  Fernie has cat skiing.   In my opinion Fernie is great lots of expansive off piste skiing,  Panorama has some of the best, longest and best groomed on piste skiing I have ever had, also a back bowl Tayton Bowl that was pretty awesome but a pain in the arse to access.  Kimberly I didn't like but the Mt. was frozen solid when I was there.  One thing I will say is they have some awesome Mogul skiing and a lot of it.  Red Mt. I have been there twice and both times it rained so really don't have any comments as of course it sucked when I was there.

 

As of right now it is almost an even monetary exchange - this makes Canada very expensive so be ready for steep food, booze prices.

post #11 of 29

You will have a great winter in Nelson. If you have a car, get a pass to Red and Whitewater. If without a car, hitch to WW.

 

As Dano posted, WW has some of the best snow in Canada (Powder King is also known for great snow, but it is really small and out of the way). It has great trees, and a good vibe. The restaurant is also very good (seriously). Whitewater is famous for its backcountry access, so get some gear, take the courses, and make friends.

 

Red has the best tree skiing of any hills I have visited. Unlike Pete, I have had great luck with Red. Every time I go, it dumps. Perhaps that is why I rank it (tied with Snowbird) as my favorite hill. 

It is really low in elevation though, so rain can be an issue.

 

If you go to Fernie, overnight it. It is doable as a daytrip, but the driving can be rough (especially the creston-salmo highway). If you go to Fernie, check out Castle on the other side of the divide (about an hour and a half away). I haven't skied Kimberly, but my impressions have matched Pete's...there are more interesting options in this area. 

 

Access to Revy isn't too terrible from Nelson either. Again, it would be an overnighter, but the drive is reasonable (need to catch a ferry but no passes) despite the fact that is definitely backwoods travel.

post #12 of 29

Hope to have better luck at Red this winter.  Manchester do you live close, maybe we could hook up this winter.  Stranger said he wanted to come over too.  Here a couple pic's I took in July FYI

 

IMG_0578.JPG

 

Whitewater in July.   2 existing lifts one goes L that you can see in picture and one goes to the R.  A new lift was being put in down the road.

 

 

IMG_0579.JPG

 

Here the ferry, it is free.   Cross the lake (about 30min ride) and head north to Revelstoke and Kicking Horse or if you have some died in the wool Groomer skiers with you hit Panorama which has about the best groomed, non crowded longest runs my wife and I have ever done.

 

The Salmo hwy that Manchest4er mentions would be a real ride in a storm or if it was icy, hell of a uphill pull and then a very challenging downhill slide.  The July ride over this route was impressive.

post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 

thanks again this has been a big help...i am definately going to hit up Retallack for at least a day that was my plan and we do have a car so it sounds like a WhiteWater and Red Mt. pass would be worth the while for a little variety

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Also i have been to fernie a couple years back....i was a little disappointed that the mountain didn't get real consistant sunlight as in you basically have to ski one face of the mountain in the morning and the other in the afternoon....and it is a tough drive in cuz when we were there we were snowed in for a couple days and almost had to cancel our flight

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Hope to have better luck at Red this winter.  Manchester do you live close, maybe we could hook up this winter.  


I am not close (Calgary), but I try to make it to Red every other year. Let me know when you are making the trip, maybe we can meet up.

post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by manchester81 View Post




I am not close (Calgary), but I try to make it to Red every other year. Let me know when you are making the trip, maybe we can meet up.



Will do, Stranger said he might be able to do the loop this winter too, maybe we can have a small gathering.  Cooley knows Whitewater maybe for a few beers at the end of the day we can have him point us in the right direction.  I am going to keep a close eye on the snow this year and will get hold of you and Stranger when conditions look good.  I know Red Cats and Valhalla have "standbye" status with a little lower price on cat skiing and also thinking of that when I come up.

post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jford View Post

thanks again this has been a big help...i am definately going to hit up Retallack for at least a day that was my plan and we do have a car so it sounds like a WhiteWater and Red Mt. pass would be worth the while for a little variety


Check out Big Red Cats too they have an Intermediate, Advanced and Expert Cat.   Also have standbye status that is little cheaper.  Valhalla Powdercats also has standbye.  Let us know if you find any good deals etc. would like to do this year also.  Usually we have a period in January that it is really cold and never gets above say 22 degrees in the daytime adn the powder is good all day long, make for some great powder days.
 

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post





Will do, Stranger said he might be able to do the loop this winter too, maybe we can have a small gathering.  Cooley knows Whitewater maybe for a few beers at the end of the day we can have him point us in the right direction.  I am going to keep a close eye on the snow this year and will get hold of you and Stranger when conditions look good.  I know Red Cats and Valhalla have "standbye" status with a little lower price on cat skiing and also thinking of that when I come up.

 

I'd like to join the gathering at Whitewater/Red as well. It turns out that thru facebook I have reconnected with a high school friend. Betsy and her husband own a house in Rossland and move the familly, kids and all, out there for three months every winter.

 

I'm not sure if my friend Betsy is a good skier or not but it is quite likely that her husband Chris is very good and would have lots of local knowledge of Red and possibly Whitewater.

 

Late January or early Feb, are the best dates for me and I will take at least one planned in advance trip this winter to Rossland to meet up with a friend flying in from the east, but actually I could be available anytime on a few days notice.

post #19 of 29



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post



 

I'd like to join the gathering at Whitewater/Red as well. It turns out that thru facebook I have reconnected with a high school friend. Betsy and her husband own a house in Rossland and move the familly, kids and all, out there for three months every winter.

 

I'm not sure if my friend Betsy is a good skier or not but it is quite likely that her husband Chris is very good and would have lots of local knowledge of Red and possibly Whitewater.

 

Late January or early Feb, are the best dates for me and I will take at least one planned in advance trip this winter to Rossland to meet up with a friend flying in from the east, but actually I could be available anytime on a few days notice.

 

OK, I started a list, so far Me, Stranger, You, Manchester 81 and I am pretty sure Cooley would join us a Whitewater, maybe Chris at Red that would be cool to have a guide.  Couple years ago my Tahoe bud Ted and I met up with Newfydog at Fernie and he gave us a couple hour tour of the Mt., invaluable.

 

post #20 of 29

Depending on when this is all happening I would be interested in a day at Red as well.  Used to ski there a lot in the early/mid 90's and had some of my best days ever there.

post #21 of 29



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayuse View Post

Depending on when this is all happening I would be interested in a day at Red as well.  Used to ski there a lot in the early/mid 90's and had some of my best days ever there.



On the list.  And, don't know ya etc., but Bonni, GarrryZ ski silver a lot, let us know.  I know Silver really well and happy to show you mt's off piste unless you actually know better than I and could show me.

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post



 



On the list.  And, don't know ya etc., but Bonni, GarrryZ ski silver a lot, let us know.  I know Silver really well and happy to show you mt's off piste unless you actually know better than I and could show me.

Don't know Silver that well.  Used to patrol at Mt Spokane, now ski at 49 most of the time.
 

post #23 of 29

I live here (between Nelson and Castlegar), so it's easy for me to participate. I have to get my season pass for WW before the end of the month.

 

The backside lines might mostly be different this year, with the new lift and the runs being cut.

 

I've never skied Valhalla Powder Cats, even though their office is only 10 minutes from my house. Their standby rate is quite reasonable.

 

Pete, the ferry in your picture crosses Kootenay Lake, and it won't help you get to Revelstoke from Nelson. To get to Revelstoke from Nelson, you drive north up the Slocan Valley through New Denver and then through Nakusp to Galena Bay. You catch a ferry there to cross upper Arrow Lake. It's a smaller ferry than the one in your picture, and it's also free.

 

If you catch the Kootenay Lake ferry from Balfour, east of Nelson, you end up on the east side of Kootenay Lake near Crawford Bay. Going north from there will eventually put you on a logging road north of Riondel. That might be good if you're looking for backcountry access, but it won't get you to Revelstoke!

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post



 

 

OK, I started a list, so far Me, Stranger, You, Manchester 81 and I am pretty sure Cooley would join us a Whitewater, maybe Chris at Red that would be cool to have a guide.  Couple years ago my Tahoe bud Ted and I met up with Newfydog at Fernie and he gave us a couple hour tour of the Mt., invaluable.

 

 

Count me in, last time I was up at Whitewater was the morning after a 18" powder dump. Fun times. :)

 

Still love to see your 'secret spots' at Silver sometime this season. I should be up there about once a week this winter.
 

post #25 of 29

Wildhorse Cat Skiing and Powder mining company  http://www.kootenayexperience.com/catskiing.htm

 

never been there but I am hoping it's epic  (January 10-17) .....

 

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by spknmike View Post



 

Count me in, last time I was up at Whitewater was the morning after a 18" powder dump. Fun times. :)

 

Still love to see your 'secret spots' at Silver sometime this season. I should be up there about once a week this winter.
 


Mike, you're on the list.   Will pull it out after Christmas depending on the snow and maybe we can have our own Southern BC Gathering.  Glad to hookup at Silver let me know ,when the snow gets decent enough to  get off piste.   I don't do a lot of off piste early on as watched a friend at Norhstar do a tib/fib compound when is R ski went under the limb and he went over, it was ugly.
 

post #27 of 29

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

Wildhorse Cat Skiing and Powder mining company  http://www.kootenayexperience.com/catskiing.htm

 

never been there but I am hoping it's epic  (January 10-17) .....

 

Good luck. You never know until the time comes.

 

If you're sitting next to a window opening, pay attention. Last time I went with Trevor (a couple of years ago), his homemade passenger box didn't have anything in the windows to prevent the branches from hitting you in the face. Goggles will protect your eyes, but they might get scratched.

 

Of course, he might have upgraded since then. Or not.

 

We did a long day and got towed down on skis at dusk behind a snowmobile, rather than riding down in the cat. Always a bit exciting, since you can barely stand up by then.
 

 

A small low angle glade at Whitewater is shown below. No, you don't get to see my face, and no, I didn't hit the tree.

 

100b5502manipulated.jpg

 

My wife takes most of the relatively few pictures of me. She doesn't do tight trees or steeps, but they certainly exist at Whitewater, even though this doesn't show it.

 

 

View from Whitewater, late afternoon:

 

DSC03603.JPG


 Both pictures were taken December 31. It's quite possible to have good snow for the New Year. But not always. No promises.

post #28 of 29

I don't think anyone has mentioned it but Salmo Ski Hill is about 40 minutes south of Nelson and has a 1,000 vertical foot t-bar and seven or eight slopes. I skied there one Saturday night in heavy snow and it was a great time. I think night tickets are like $10.

post #29 of 29

Who knew? Thanks for the tip.

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