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Reviews by: manchester81

The Griz Delivers


Pros: Snow, steeps, trees

Cons: Lift system on the old side, rain, expensive

 Fernie is a great hill. It has some great steeps, and it gets a good amount of snow. But it does rain on occasion. And it can be slow to open after a big dump.

Best for tree skiing


Pros: trees, fall line

Cons: rain, old lifts?

 It is hard to beat red for steep tree skiing. From the top of the mountain, you are free to go in any direction. Many tight areas will open up, others won't. Signage is terrible, and nothing is marked, but if you have the skills to manage unanticipated challenges, you will have a great time exploring the area.  Along with Snowbird and Whistler, this is one of my favorites.

Cool little hill


Pros: the food!, great snow, nice trees, backcountry access

Cons: small

 Whitewater is a cool little hill located outside of Nelson, one of the regions most interesting town. Whitewater's claim to fame is its great snow. Apart from Powder King, WW is the snowiest non-costal hill in Canada's west. It also has great tree skiing and decent pitch. And the best daylodge food anywhere. But the hill is really small, with only two old double lifts. Most local skiers use the lifts to access great backcountry terrain.

Ski the darkside


Pros: Good bump runs, steep north facing terrain, lots of good cruisers

Cons: Less snow than nearby Big White, no real "extreme" terrain

When visiting the Okanagan, I prefer to ski Silver Star. The whole backside of Silver Star will be interesting for strong skiers. The front side is a great place for intermediates.  The snow is better at Big White though, and it has more intermediate terrain. This might be worth checking out if you are in the Revelstoke area.

Nice Snow


Pros: Great snow, good lift system, ski-in/out

Cons: Sort of flat, foggy

I have skied Big White a dozen times or so, and the snow has been really nice every time out. I have only gotten one really deep day, but never have had a complain about the snow. But the terrain really isn't that interesting. It is mostly an intermediate mountain with a couple short steep areas. The trees are nice though. I think this is a great place for families. Lots of kids everywhere. 

Canada's best


Pros: Terrain, long season, vert, nightlife

Cons: Rain/fog, expensive, fake village, crowded

 Whistler is Canada's most complete resort. It is huge, and most of the terrain is really good. You can find any type of terrain you like here, from easy cruisers, to steep chutes, to trees. It snows here. A lot. If it is raining in the village, it is probably snowing higher up. Hopefully you can see where you are going! The party scene is the best of any ski resort I have visited. If you aren't afraid of fog or rain, you will have a blast at Whistler. If you need to ski in warm sunshine, go elsewhere.

Whitetooth grows up


Pros: Steeps, vert

Cons: Weekend gondola line, few easy options from the top, town of Golden isn't exactly charming

Kicking Horse is a great choice for stronger skiers. The top of the mountain has dozens of steep chutes dropping off 3 different ridge lines. Terrain compares nicely to Jackson hole and Snowbird. On average, it is steeper than Fernie or the Banff areas. The bottom half of the mountain is less interesting, but there are some decent glades. Increased snowmaking and better grooming has made low snow years more comfortable. One issue with KH is its location. It isn't easy to get to, and the town of Golden isn't much of a tourist destination.



Pros: Lots of Vert, great cruisers, low crowds

Cons: Very little snow, ugly condo village, super long runout from taynton

 Panorama is a good hill for families, and those who like long cruisers. It has plenty of slope-side accommodations and the grooming is pretty good. But the village is condo-city, and things get really quiet after dark. And it hardly ever snows. The terrain in Taynton Bowl is interesting, and it doesn't get a tonne of traffic, but the snow quality isn't all that great. Not bad for the cruiser crowd, but expert skiers would be happier at Banff or Kicking Horse.

Five stars with more snow...


Pros: Terrain, wind sift on the backside, low crows on Paradise and Summit Platters, Scenery, Sidecountry

Cons: Not enough snow, Front Side can be Icy, Base can be busy at the beginning of the day, lodges are busy at lunch, limited lift infrastructure

I have skied Lake Louise more than any other resort. Growing up, I had a season pass to Louise and skied it extensively from 93-97. I moved to the East coast in 97, and returned in 2006 with one Banff vacation in between. Since returning, I haven't skied Lake Louise as often. This is mostly due to significant expansions to neighboring resorts (Fernie Doubled in size, Whitetooth turned to Kicking Horse, Castle installed their upper lift, and Sunshine opened the Dive and other steeper areas). Despite somewhat infrequent visits, I still love the hill.   If you want to have a great day on the hill, you need to understand wind patterns. This is true everywhere, but it is especially...
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Banff Classic


Pros: Close to Banff, Bumps, NA Chair

Cons: Not much snow, smallish

I learned to ski on Mt Norquay. Its icy fall line slopes were good for reinforcing proper technique. I rarely visit these days though, mostly because there are so many better options near-by. Norquay is a small hill. There are four lifts, but only two have substantial vertical. The overall vertical is limited by above tree line cliffs. The first lift that comes into view when approaching the hill is the North American (or Norquay) chair. This chair is a classic. It offers 3 distinct fall line bump runs and one chute. Because of it's Length, Lone Pine is probably my favorite run, but North American is also great fun and offers the best views of Banff and the Bow Valley. Bumpers will feel...
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EpicSki › manchester81 › Reviews by manchester81