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Kicking Horse Resort

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Just like some feedback on anyone who has skied at Kicking Horse Resort in BC near the city of Golden.

 

What did you think of the skiing and length of runs at Kicking Horse compared to other places?

 

Where the lifts lines long and did most of them high speed?

 

Is there a good quality of runs to ski and length of time worth it.

 

Does anyone there know how do you access the back of mountain to ski in powder?

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by world-traveller123 View Post

Just like some feedback on anyone who has skied at Kicking Horse Resort in BC near the city of Golden.

 

What did you think of the skiing and length of runs at Kicking Horse compared to other places?

 

Where the lifts lines long and did most of them high speed?

 

Is there a good quality of runs to ski and length of time worth it.

 

Does anyone there know how do you access the back of mountain to ski in powder?


With the opening of a new bowl (Superbowl), Kicking horse now has 75 named black and (mostly) double-black runs coming off of four ridges (Redemption, CPR, Terminator 1 and Terminator 2) that are largely drop in chutes. Getting to these generally require either some boot packing or dodgy traverses just below the ridgeline. Once you drop below the bowls you've got a fairly long run out on your standard single black and blue runs down to the base. There is a 10 km long green cat track that runs from the top of the gondola to the base, and there are some more green runs off of the mid-station on the catamount lift. The cat track goes through Crystal Bowl which has good terrain up on top for beginner and low intermediate skiers. As you should be able to tell, this is a mountain that caters to advanced and expert skiers.
 

 There are four lifts: the gondola which goes from the base to the top of CPR ridge and provides initial access to the upper mountain. Catamount which serves the green and blue runs, the ancient and soon to be replaced Pioneer chair that serves a bunch of black runs on the lower mountain (but doesn't run all the time), and Stairway to Heaven which runs from the bottom of Crystal Bowl to the top of Redemption ridge and allows you to make circuits on the South side of the ridge. Lineups are longest on the gondola, but I've never waited more than 7 or 8 minutes to load. The gondola is high speed, but it's a looong way to the top. Unless you are doing the circuits off of My Blue Heaven you will find yourself riding the gondola up 4000 feet, getting an adrenaline fix as you ski one of the chutes, skiing down the remainder of the 4000 feet to the base, and catching the gondola back up to repeat the process.

 

Yes. Even with that long gondola ride back up. This is one serious mountain!

 

In the last couple of years there have been several fatalities involving people who went down the backside in search of powder or went into closed areas to ski tempting avalanche slopes. This is a big, tough mountain with lots of inbound terrain and powder that stays around for a long time. Stick to the front side or go heli-skiing with a guide.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

sounds really neat. I like to consider this mountain, how you compare it to ski at Revelstoke for anyone who done both?

post #4 of 10

I haven't skied Revelstoke, but Kicking Horse seems to have a reputation for more (or maybe just more obvious) inbounds steeps.

 

I have waited for the gondola for quite a while. If the snow is good on a Saturday, the line will be long in the mornings. I always leave exhausted though. You will get your full day of skiing.

 

The lift system is kind of strange here. The resort started as a tiny local hill with 2 small lifts (pioneer and catamount) that didn't go above the tree line. Locals used these lifts to access the alpine. When the local hill was developed into a resort, they added the gondola, but are left with two lifts that don't connect with anything on the upper mountain.

 

 

As the previous poster said, they are bringing some additional hike-to terrain in bounds this year. At some point they will be replacing the pioneer chair with something that will reach the upper lift.

 

post #5 of 10

KH probably has more easily accessible steep chute skiing than any place in north america. You can traverse from a lift to most of the 70 chutes, most of which are in the 40 degree range.  Overall it has fantastic terrain, but the lift set up is a major drawback.  About 70% of the skiing requires you to ski the entire 4,100 vertical to the bottom.  If the snow on the bottom of the mountain is not good, you feel like you are wasting a lot of time, and it makes the gondola a huge choke point with potentially long lift lines.  The better half of the terrain accessed by the one upper chair demands you ski to the gondola. A big plus is that KH has a $25 (it may be more now) one ride gondola ticket that will give you a 4,000 lift for access to the backcountry if that is where you are headed.

 

Revelstoke has a 3,000 vert gondola from the bottom, and two lifts at the top, and I believe both  have over 1,500 vert, which allows you to stay on the better terrain and snow at the top of the mountain if you want.  Reve tends to have less people, and with a better lift set up it feels way less crowded with virtually no lift lines or crowded runs.

 

Also, the two areas are opposite on sides of the divide and can have much different snow conditions, with one sometimes getting much more snow than the other.  For what it's worth, Reve seems to be making a major marketing push this season with lots of good deals.  It may be the same for KH, but I haven't seen it.

 

If you are a backcountry skier, check out the lodge at the top of Rogers Pass on the highway between KH and Reve.  It is right next to the Avalanche Center and is a backcountry skiing mecca.

post #6 of 10

Since we are promoting vacations to Kicking Horse, we figured you'd want to hear from other skiers and riders to get a balanced view, so it's great that others have piped up with their reviews.  Just wanted to let you know that if you do decide on a trip to KH, we would be able to throw in a day trip to Revelstoke too.  Two great resorts in one trip smile.gif

 

On the matter of lift line ups, we'd say that's relative and you'll never see Kicking Horse as busy as places like Whistler.  We were there on weekend of the so-called "busy" Alberta day stat holiday

weekend and we saw no more than 20 people waiting.

 

www.powderrangers.ca

 

post #7 of 10

I've skied 5 days at both areas and Mudfoot's summation nails it IMHO.  With regard to snow /weather Revelstoke gets ~40% more snow at high elevation, but Kicking Horse is colder and preserves better.  At low elevation KH can be thin in low snow years, while rain is the low elevation issue at Revelstoke with no snowmaking to restore surfaces.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your feedback, guys. I will be making more decisions now I am even of thinking of doing instead of  5 days for ski trip extend it by a few days

 so i can check out both areas

 

maybe 3 days ski at reve and 2 or so at kicking horse 

and compare and just see how it goes perhaps

post #9 of 10

Here is a link to my TR from a couple seasons ago:

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/82314/tr-kicking-horse-revelstoke-b-c-2-25-3-7

 

JF

post #10 of 10

4ster:

 

Thanks for posting your TR link. I enjoyed it just as much the second time. Great pictures!  It makes me want to go back a.s.a.p.  The terrain at KH and Reve really is massive and specular.

 

MF


Edited by mudfoot - 12/4/10 at 9:05am
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