or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Driving from Nelson to Revelstoke?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Driving from Nelson to Revelstoke?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

A few of us will be heading up to Nelson BC in early Feb. to ski Whitewater for a few days.  Flying into Spokane, then we have 7 days on the ground and are debating on whether its feasable to make a 2 or 3 day trip up to Revelstoke from Nelson.  Hard to tell from the map, but looks like a potentially grueling drive.  Has anyone driven it in the winter?  How are the roads and the apparent ferry ride?

 

We might do Red instead, but have spent a week there before and wanted to hit something different.  Considering Schweitzer also on a loop back to Spokane, but not sure how good that is without recent snow, if it turns out that way.

 

We have enough time to split the trip up, but not sure if Revelstoke is doable from Nelson.

post #2 of 19

I've done the drive, it's really not that bad. About 3 hours on 2 lane roads with lots of logging trucks, as long as that doesn't freak you out it shouldn't be a big deal, just make sure of the ferry schedule.

post #3 of 19

Whiteroom was moving right along. It's always taken me a bit more like 3.5 hours, but as he sez, you want to hit the ferry at Galena Bay just right, or you'll be sitting there for a while. It only runs half as often in the winter as it does in the summer, and it's not a big ferry.

 

Highway 6 up the Slocan Valley is beautiful. It pays to take your time and enjoy the view. It's a good road, but some sections will be slow if they're snow covered. Four studded snows are recommended. 4WD is not required. Unfortunately, the best skiing weather is also the worst driving weather.

 

Make time to stop at the hot springs at Nakusp or Halcyon, if you can.

 

Fernie is also about 3.5 hours from Nelson.

 

You might want to check out www.powderhighway.com. It has links to many resorts, cat ski and heli ski operations.

 

I have a season pass to Whitewater. PM if you wish to share a run or two.

post #4 of 19

Jcooley has it right about the driving time and distances. I just checked the BCAA site for distances and directions. You can do the same with AAA.. The time estimate provided by BCAA is 3 hours, 52 minutes. The distance is 155.2 miles. The drive would be a good way to unwind from a day of skiing at Whitewater. No need to lose a day.

 

The ferry schedules are published online. Go to BC Ferries and look for Galena Bay ferry or Shelter Bay ferry.

 

If you are feeling ambitious after your visit to Revelstoke, I'd recommend taking a run down to Golden for a day at Kicking Horse. (93 miles one way).

 

And if you have money to burn you could stop for a day of cat skiing at Retallack; it's on the way, between Kaslo and New Denver.

http://www.retallack.com/cat_ski_and_boarding_packages.php

 

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the info.  We stayed in Golden three years ago and skied the heck out of KH.  Had a great time and we will be back when we can get some better airfare to Calgary.  Its always so darn high except for the occasional sale.  On that trip we did a 1 day r/t over to Revelstoke.  Enjoyed the hell out of that too and knew we had to return. 

 

We had planned to fly to Kelowna this year and do it from there, but it's so much cheaper to fly to Spokane at the moment.  If we fly on Continental with my pal Steve, we all pay no bag fees and save another $120, so that's what we're doing.  

 

Sounds like the roads aren't too bad up to Revy.  We may give it a shot.  Still considering Schweitzer or Red.  We also spent a few days at Fernie on our trip.  Here's a whole slew of pics from that trip:  http://www.skiswami.com/index%5F10.html/   

 

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks, we'd love to hook up if you're around the first week of Feb.  There are 4 of us.  One guy skied WW before and loved it.  I stood in the parking lot and walked around on a leg-resting day trip from Rossland in 2003.  Looked interesting.  With La Nina this year and the new lift it seemed like a good time to give it a shot for a couple days.  

 

BTW- Any opinion on Wildhorse cat skiing.  I've heard some mixed reviews on that operation.  Can't find too much info on them.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post

 

I have a season pass to Whitewater. PM if you wish to share a run or two.

post #7 of 19

Don't know about Wildhorse but I've cat skied at Retalleck and would highly recommend it if you like lots of steep runs.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 


Looking into Retallack right now.  Sent them an email.   Looks like a great place.  I assume it's ~1hr. north of Nelson if accessible thru Kalso, which I think it is.  

 

Jhc, or anyone else have a recommendation on lodging in or not far from Nelson?  4 guys looking for something that's not too expensive.  Gotta save a few bucks for cat skiing.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

Don't know about Wildhorse but I've cat skied at Retalleck and would highly recommend it if you like lots of steep runs.

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post

 

Jhc, or anyone else have a recommendation on lodging in or not far from Nelson?  4 guys looking for something that's not too expensive.  Gotta save a few bucks for cat skiing.

 

 

 

 

http://www.alpine-motel.com

 

I stayed there in Nelson, when I was looking for cheap.

 

I'd also recommend the Schweitzer visit too on your loop. (You could hit it on the way up, then head over to Nelson via pass/Kootenay lake ferry) Feb should be good for snow and if not, they have a great grooming team.

 

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post


Looking into Retallack right now.  Sent them an email.   Looks like a great place.  I assume it's ~1hr. north of Nelson if accessible thru Kalso, which I think it is.  

 

Jhc, or anyone else have a recommendation on lodging in or not far from Nelson?  4 guys looking for something that's not too expensive.  Gotta save a few bucks for cat skiing.


I have not skied with Retallack, but friends who have give it very good reviews. It is accessed on the road that goes between Kaslo and New Denver (Highway 31A). You might want to give yourself a couple of hours from Nelson. 31A can be slow when the skiing's good.

 

There is nothing in Nelson that would be considered "expensive" on Long Island. Since I live here, my experience with the lodging is minimal.

 

The Alpine is probably pretty inexpensive. It looks it. The owner used to have an old Unimog, but I think he sold it. Not that having a Unimog constitutes a recommendation for a room!

 

The Best Western Baker Street Inn and Convention Center is pretty good, from what I hear. Description here. This link takes you to a Google Maps page with links to other Nelson hotels/motels. Be aware that parking in downtown Nelson can be a problem. The Best Western has a parking lot.

 

The Prestige is nice. It's well over $140/night. Web page here. It also has parking.

 

If you want something unique and local, you might check with Harold and Willa at the Beach Taghum Bed and Breakfast. Willa makes great breakfasts! Beach Taghum is a bit west of Nelson, which makes it a few minutes farther from Whitewater than the places downtown, but a few minutes closer to Red Mountain and Retallack.

 

From the places downtown, it's 20-25 minutes to Whitewater. From Beach Taghum, it's more like 30.
 

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Retallack doesn't seem to concerned about answering emails so far.   I guess I'll have to call them.  Thanks for the lodging recommendations.  Haven't had a chance to look around yet, but I'll be checking all these out, thanks! 

 

post #12 of 19

If you decide to stay closer to Retallack, check out the Dome Qixote in New Denver. It's simple, unusual and reasonable (or it was 6 years ago, anyway). Link is: http://www.domequixote.com/

post #13 of 19

Ainsworth Hot Springs between is a nice place to stay between Nelson and Retallack.  There are a lot of catski operations around the Nelson area and within 2 hours radius. You should research all of them and be prepared when you go.  I liked Retallack's terrain a lot but their roads were slow so you only got about 10K of skiing per day.  But that was in 2000 so maybe they have improved logistics since.

 

Whitewater (with the new expansion), Revelstoke plus cat skiing is a logistically reasonable trip for a week from Spokane.  Do not do the cat skiing at Revelstoke: limited terrain nearly all south facing.  There are 3 heli operators in/near Revelstoke, all of them good and amenable to day skiers.

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
What I'd love to find is a good cat skiing operation where we could just book a simple solo day of skiing in advance without all the expensive frills like required lodging and three meals that crank the rate up to $800 for 1 day.

Looks like there are some decent rates for standby, but with 4 guys sharing 1 rental vehicle, we need to stick together, so we probably can't count on that working out.

I'm realizing now how much I appreciated our day of cat skiing last year at Monarch. It was cheap, steep, with great snow and nice terrain - excellent operation.
post #15 of 19

Revelstoke has cat skiing by the day, without all the fuss, and they are pushing all kinds of good deals up there this season.

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Have to agree with TC again on this one. Those bowls all appear to face due south. When I skied Revy 3 years ago in early March the snow was great everywhere under the Stoke chair and north of that. We took one run over toward Jalapeno & Hot Sauce which face more south and the snow was completely different. Much thinner cover, and refrozen crap.

I'm sure there's better snow available to the cat, and in February it might be a moot point, but I'd be a little wary to book a cat trip there in advance.

3 heli runs with Selkirk Tangiers for ~$815 (includes tax) probably makes a lot more sense. Never done it. But I'm sure with extra nuns, this will run me over $1K, so this is likely just a fantasy for now.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post


Revelstoke has cat skiing by the day, without all the fuss, and they are pushing all kinds of good deals up there this season.


post #17 of 19



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post

Have to agree with TC again on this one. Those bowls all appear to face due south. When I skied Revy 3 years ago in early March the snow was great everywhere under the Stoke chair and north of that. We took one run over toward Jalapeno & Hot Sauce which face more south and the snow was completely different. Much thinner cover, and refrozen crap. I'm sure there's better snow available to the cat, and in February it might be a moot point, but I'd be a little wary to book a cat trip there in advance. 3 heli runs with Selkirk Tangiers for ~$815 (includes tax) probably makes a lot more sense. Never done it. But I'm sure with extra nuns, this will run me over $1K, so this is likely just a fantasy for now.
 


 


I cat skied at Reve a couple times before the new area went in. The cat terrain included what is now lift served. TC is right about some of what is left being south facing, but we definitely had some great turns on alot of that stuff.  Unlike down here, the snow does not usually get very sun-baked in February.  Selkirk Tangiers has good terrain, but 3 runs will take a half day.  Are you really going to be able to quit heli-skiing at lunch?

 

Reve is one of the few places you can show up and cat ski for a day.
 

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
I agree that early Feb, the snow should be fine there. Its hard to tell what the terrain is like though looking at the trail map. I'm no expert on Revy having skied there only one day.

I'm not so certain the cat snow conditions will be that much better than over in North Bowl or in some of the higher gladed areas though. I guess if we decide to head there for a couple days, we'd consider it. The terrain is pretty high elevation and the acreage looks decent so I'm sure La Nina will leave some nice deep stashes for plundering that time of year.

Heli? Yeah, I'd need more than 3 runs. Thats why I figured it'll end up well over $1k, so that's probably out. frown.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot  I cat skied at Reve a couple times before the new area went in. The cat terrain included what is now lift served. TC is right about some of what is left being south facing, but we definitely had some great turns on alot of that stuff.  Unlike down here, the snow does not usually get very sun-baked in February.  Selkirk Tangiers has good terrain, but 3 runs will take a half day.  Are you really going to be able to quit heli-skiing at lunch? Reve is one of the few places you can show up and cat ski for a day. 
post #19 of 19

$400 does not strike me as a "deal" for the south facing limited terrain cat skiing at Revelstoke.  The day heli from CMH Revelstoke or Eagle Pass may be over twice as expensive but you can get what you pay for. My day with Eagle Pass 2 years ago (same price advertised last year) was $975 and I got 11 runs and 23,500 vertical.

 

You should contact all of the cat operators around Nelson and find out who will accept day skiers.   I suspect most will not take a far advance reservation but will take you if you reserve a week or two ahead and they are not full.  I got into Mustang and Island Lake (neither is near Nelson) last year this way, though for 2 or 3 days including lodging but at 25% discount.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 11/20/10 at 2:19am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Driving from Nelson to Revelstoke?