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Kicking Horse and....

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A few years ago we spent a day in Kicking Horse while staying in Banff and always said we'd go back for a longer stay. So I'm starting to think about next winter's trips, and this might be one of them.

I've three questions -

Which resort should we combine it with? We don't need mad night life, and have done Whistler and Banff so thinking of somewhere new (I'm not totally averse to staying at KH the whole time, and getting lessons, ava training, guided days etc).

What is the cheapest way to fly (that has a good chance of success!)? We'll start from Belfast or Dublin.

What is the situation with regards to car hire? Can one of the smaller models come with a roof rack for ski carriage, or do we need something large enough to take skis inside?

Thanks in advance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Revy or Fernie. Never had a car over there with a rack.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Are there any direct flights from Ireland? The cheapest flight I got to Kelowna via Calgary this year was with Westjet from Gatwick, I'm guessing that Calgary will be the nearest airport for kicking horse?
We had a couple of days in KH this year and loved it! My step nephew was working as a liftie there.
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Tom Doc, As mentioned by Dave of the Marmottes, Revvy isn't too far away - couple of hours at the most. Panorama is south and around 2 hours max too.

Go for a 4x4 large enough to get skis inside. Depending on the size of your party, just fold down the seat behind the driver, slide skis in.

KH is good but if the weather conditions aren't I wouldn't want to spend too long there, we by passed it this year on our roadtrip having spent a few days there before. Its about 3 hours drive from Calgary.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
How many days do you have?

The RCR early bird pass was about £650 this season and gets you unlimited days at Kicking Horse, Kimberley, Nakiska, and Fernie. May make the most sense financially if you have enough days and want to do a few resorts.

Revelstoke is the closest.

Red is supposed to be awesome but is pretty far out the way.

Kicking Horse slack/back country is supposedly great, so staying there for the duration and doing a few days avi training and hiring a back country guide could be good.

Air Transat does some pretty cheap flights from UK to Canada. Not sure if they fly from Dublin in the winter though so may mean getting to London or Manchester.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Revy or Fernie. Never had a car over there with a rack.
+1. I'd give Panorama a miss, wasn't impressed. Red is indeed excellent, as is Whitewater (and Nelson is a cool little town to stop in) but makes it much more of a drive.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Can I make a suggestion for a visit if you have time to Sun Peaks - we had a great time there, variety of terrain, very quite slopes, reportedly excellent off piste (not my thing but folks were raving about it). Not anything much by way of nightlife as it is a manufactured resort essentially (no bad thing as everything is on hand and skiing from the door), but there are some very good places to eat, have a drink, chat about skiing. Everyone we saw with a car seemed to have a huge 4x4, but it is a resort that attracts a lot of Canadians and Americans driving their own cars. Majority of other skiers were Aussies or Japanese who used bus transfer from local airport to resort as we did.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
SunPeaks is around 5 - 6 hours from KH, if considering that, you may as well head to Red and Whitewater, both very good, out of the way with terrain more similar to KH.
Sun Peaks was quiet too when we were there this year, fresh snow helped and was fun - but I wouldn't want to be there too long, suffers from icing and low snowfall, so we were told when there, by locals.

As has been asked, how much time do you have, if you like to drive easy enough to do 3 or 4 different ski areas at least.
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We have done a ski trip which included Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, Kimberley and Fernie, We booked the accommodation as we went along, and stayed down in Golden when we were at Kicking Horse. Hired a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which coped with all the weather, including the blizzard we had driving back to the airport.
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I'm interested in Nelson/Whitewater as an option for a couple of years time, does anyone know what the situation is snow-wise? I've been to Banff (baltic cold, less snow, snow remains in good condition for ages) Fernie (great when fresh, did get rained on in mid jan) Revelstoke (meant to be great but I visited in a bad years. Giant Ice Toblerone). By it's general location I'm guessing it would be a bit like Fernie - receives good volumes of snow, but might be susceptible to being a bit warmer? Anyone got any comments.....
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We flew Belfast to Calgary via Heathrow two weeks ago for a bit under £600, all BA so handy enough for suitable transfers through Heathrow. It was cheaper than flying from Dublin.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Whitewater does great and Nelson is a nice little town. One time we were headed up to Red & then WH2O. It was raining at Schweitzer and Red so kept going, snow started at the turn off the highway to go to WH2O. Pretty easy to get to from Spokane WA if you fly.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
rogg, Snow wise for Whitewater was excellent a couple of weeks ago, they get more snow than Red in general, and its usually quite dry so powder rather than cement.
Anywhere can get a warm spell and rain, so producing ice, less so than on the coast though. We were lucky this year, everywhere we went they either had had a recent snowfall or it was snowing when there.

Whitewater also has trees, and as you can see crowds, loads of crowds Madeye-Smiley



SWMBO's tracks - I prefer the trees Smile



It was quite cold most of our trip tbh, it warmed up a couple of days to a balmy -9 or so. WW is definitely a place we would return to on another roadtrip - any info on our trip just ask - 9 areas, 1900 miles, loads of fun Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
My take on the original question, FWIW, been to Fernie twice with one trip each to KH and Rev.
I'd go for Fernie, KH and Revelstoke.
Fernie is great even if you don't get any fresh and FWA are good for cat-skiing, KH is too small to stay there more than a few days but is great for steeps and Rev is great for tree skiing. Rev would be a nightmare on a powder day though due to only 1 lift up the mountain. But it'd be amazing once you're up there!

If we go back to Canada we probably won't even bother with Banff again, but everyone's different and some decent snowfall (which we have never had in 4 weeks skiing there over 2 trips) would change everywhere.

We used a Grand Cherokee this year which was just big enough for 3 of us and all the gear.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
gixxerniknik wrote:
KH is too small to stay there more than a few days but is great for steeps and


I hear this a lot. But then others say there is loads of terrain if you are willing to hike to T1 and T2 and enough to keep you busy all season if you include the back country. Also heard it's the kind of place you need to spend a while to find the best stuff. Would be interested to get your opinion as considering doing a few weeks there next year.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I would definitely recommend trying to make it to Whitewater or Red. Before I went to Red I thought I was a fairly confident boarder, but some of the terrain off Granite was seriously steep and the pillow lines made me think twice. The graded runs too were fantastic, and Rossland was nice too.

Whitewater as you can see from @Bones' photos is pretty quiet Very Happy. I only managed a short trip there as was on the way to Fernie but you could see the potential, basically the further you traverse left or right off the top of each of the two chairs opened up more and more terrain. They've put a third chair in since I visited too. From my short stay too I can unscientifically say that the snow there was drier than Red or Fernie, but not entirely a representative sample. Nelson is also pretty cool on the lake, bit of a hippy backwater from memory but in a nice way (!) and the hostel was good value for private rooms.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks for all the replies! A road trip is very tempting, though it would mean more time away. I don't think there'd be a problem just doing KH though, as long as there's good snow there should be enough to keep us busy for a week or so.

I guess if we hire a car we should use it though, so would probably visit at least one other hill. I have relatives in the area too - I think they're near Vernon (Salmon Arm poss) which would bring Revelstoke and Sun Peaks into consideration if we were to visit them.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@boarder2020

so i went to kh only the once, it didnt snow while we were there in fact it hadnt snowed for some time, and we had a day out for heliskiing. We definitely werent up for hiking anywhere at that time and our off piste skills werent too good which is sort of why we went to Canada for 2 weeks!
Its a small resort which suits good skiers, we only skied about half the in bounds due to the conditions. It was totally empty, no one about which we were told would change whenever they got any reasonable dump. Maybe hiring a guide would have been a better idea?
But it was steep, I loved it but we only spent a couple of days at the resort and tbh that was enough. Conversely, spent a week at Rev with no fresh and didnt want to leave!
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Tom Doc, If that's the case definitely Revelstoke, and I'd do Silver Star over Sun Peaks, which is Vernon area anyways.

bigtuboflard, That pic is from runs down to the Glory chair - new one in - long runs and easily lapped, bonus is you can park at its base too - probably where you used to see folks thumbing lifts back to the 'village' centre.
We were at Red before for 3 fantastic days, fresh snow then snowing all day. Having opened up more terrain since we were last there, people were on the sparse side too Smile
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I rode Whitetooth (now Kicking Horse) when it was a town hill before they developed it. At that point the upper stuff was all heli terrain. I rode the resort when the machine couldn't fly. It was a fun hill, closed one day a week (Thursday I think), so Friday could be a big powder day. It's odd to me that people from UK will go to Golden as a destination, even now. Although if you've been then you know what it is. It's going to be a mostly locals place even now, although the catchment isn't huge. There's no point in locals going out if there's no fresh snow.

My own approach is to fly in somewhere and hire a car. Then go where the snow is. Sun Peaks is big and further from the town (Kamloops) than Golden/KH, so the "resort" is more of an actual resort these days. Recent seasons have seen great snow there. Kamloops (where I mostly stay) is not a tourist place although I like it. You can day trip to Sun Peaks and also Vernon (Silver Star) from there. Or drive down and bag Silver Star and Big White. Silver Star is cute and there's enough of a resort to make it reasonable to stay there, with mostly new funky developments there. Big White is bigger and also amusing. Both those places don't have the macho image (marketing?) of some places do so it's easier to get fresh lines than you may expect. They are family oriented I'd say.

Revelstoke is at the macho end, but is also in the right place for the snow. I've been there in times of no snow and that's the time you need to keep driving through... as someone said, anywhere can have poor conditions. That's why the car and a flexible approach is the best approach.
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If you are staying in Kicking Horse then Fernie is well worth the two hour trip and Lake Louise is well worth the 90mins back towards Calgary.

Fly to Calgary with Transat (Canadian Affair) or who ever else they offer.
Canadian Affair also offers very good 4x4 rates.
Make sure the windscreen is insured as the grit on the will give you a 50% chance of breakage in winter.
Also be very careful just here 51.419584, -116.441400 its a black ice hell trap on a bridge (seen two smashes happen there)
Or You can book Canadian Greyhound its as cheap as chips they call it the "Looser Cruiser" but you meet interesting people.

Nightlife in Golden is not outstanding it may be better or worse at the resort.
If you have the time and the money go ice fishing by skidoo, its blast.
I found nightlife in Revelstoke to be amazing there were only a couple of bars open so the whole town was in there.
It was a Wednesday so live music night, The "Drop Inn" or something similar.


@philwig lives that way so he know best

Dont forget to use the hosting service at Canadian resorts .. its free and fun.

I call Golden "Gods Back Yard" see below.
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