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Getting to Red Mountain and Whitewater.......

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Now the sees's gone flat and we're past the Summer Solstice (Winter is now officially coming), my thoughts turn to the next trip.

Whitewater and Red mountain for a week each seem to be the likely candidates.

I'm not going to drive, so car hire suggestions and itineraries for a powder highway trip aren't of much help.

Easy flights to Calgary and Kelowna but non-existent and or really inconvenient bus times have lead me to either Castlegar or Spokane. Obviously closest and less borders etc for Castlegar, but I'm guessing it might not be the most reliable of venues? Anyone got any thoughts?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Castlegar AKA Cancelgar

Only been there once and it worked ok but it’s in quite a steep sided valley so has a reputation for getting socked in by fog
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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?
Why not drive? It's the most practical way of getting around in the region and to the ski hills?

Yeah also aware of the Cancelgar rep, Cranbrook might be another option?

Generally though the greyhound schedule around BC is pretty crappy so you are probably giving up a day of skiing each end if you fly anywhere other than Cancelgar

Or take this - looks fairly simple

https://kootenayshuttle.com/spokane-airport-shuttle/
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^^^ for Whitewater certainly there is nowhere to stay at the hill so a car will be useful for getting to and from your accommodation. I think there is a shuttle from Nelson but the car will give you more flexibility
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've also had trouble getting into Kelowna, and Kamloops is notorious. Well, you presumably want snow and it comes with some travel hassle.

I've visited many BC/AB places via bus, but the buses are worse than they used to be - for example it looks like you can't get the Greyhound to Revelstoke any more. If you're limiting yourself by vehicle type, then I'd start with places you can get to and work from there. Buses are cheap, and you can sleep overnight on them if you're really poor... but the end points can be tricky to navigate cheaply. I've done my time getting the school buses from one-horse towns to the ski hill and back... all other adults will simply drive. Bus terminals aren't always particularly safe. It's been a while since the last decapitation on a Greyhound, mind.

Golden is easy by bus and the hill is now easy to access. From Kamloops Sun Peaks is easy and there's likely a shuttle up to the resort from the airport (there are probably still daily buses up from the city for locals). Whistler's obviously accessible without your own vehicle. You can probably get to Big White and Sun Peaks from Kelowna by shuttle. The Banff hills are all accessible without your own vehicle. The less main-stream you go, the less likely you are to get there by public transport.
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+1 philwig
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@rogg, I've booked the same for next year; Whitewater and Red with about a week in each. There's four of us flying into Spokane and hiring a freaking great SUV.
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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!
Mosha Marc, rogg, Will be passing through both too, again, next season - total 5 days split between em.

philwig, Has it pretty much spot on as per usual Madeye-Smiley Its the inaccessibility of both that makes them a great place to visit, and keeps the numbers down Toofy Grin
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
They changed the opening times on the Nelway border, if you are driving check these Smile The one by Rossland is currently 24 hours.

Cranbrook and Kelowna seldom get cancelled. They're saving for radar at Castlegar but not happening soon that I know.

Getting up the hill to Whitewater there is a small shuttle bus, on a good day the first stop is Safeway so you'll definitely get a seat. Loads of people hitch, and they now have priority parking for cars with 3 or more occupants so hitching should be even easier.

We moved to Nelson a few weeks ago. If I'm going up the hill (anytime I'm not working) I'll generally be able to offer a lift / show round to my skill level.
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So I've been doing the internet legwork and by leaving from Dublin instead of Shannon I've got us flying to Spokane at a really good price, staying overnight in spokane, then up to Rossland by transfer bus (there's only 2 of us and I still don't fancy driving, I quite like busses in that you meet people, both going to and in 'resort'). 6 nights Rossland, 10 nights Nelson, all fitting nicely in the budget.

As to dates I was looking at leaving here roughly 18-20 Jan and returning 16/17 days later. Is there any Holiday or busy period to avoid? Is this as good as any time of year for snow?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@rogg, Spent 6 weeks in Rossland this winter just gone. Rossland is an awesome little town and Red Mountain has some of the best skiing I have ever done. If you like tree skiing, you'll love this.

Rossland is fairly quiet at night but the people are friendly and rafters at the bottom of the mountain is great for a post ski beer, food is decent too (try the Nachos!!). Also, Rossland Beer Co. has a good selection of beers, and the Flying Steam Shovel is a good crack also. Ferarro Supermarket on the Main Street is your grocery store and has everything you could want. Reminds me of a more down to earth whole foods. Everything about Rossland is laid back.

I'd recommend sticking around for Rossland Winter Carnival, that took place on the weekend of 25th Jan this year. It's about the only time this quiet little town gets rowdy. Lots of events going off in the bars, a stage set up with live music, snow park set up in the streets with the best of the local talent on show. Oh and the infamous annual bobsled race. Think RedBull Soap Box Derby on Skis. They also host the Canadian Freeride Open in Jan, that might be around the time you get there. The competition takes place directly under the Motherlode chair so can be watched on the way back up the mountain.

Flying in to Spokane is the right choice. Castlegar was ALWAYS cancelled and I heard stories of peoples flights being redirected to Cranbrook or Kelowna which is a pain. The drive up to Spokane takes around 3 hours, most of it being on the US side. I did a ride share on the way up and took the queen city shuttle on the way back, both were fine.

Your mountain shuttle is an old Simpsons style school bus blasting out 00's pop punk and runs about once an hour for $2 a ride. takes about 10 mins.

Went whitewater for a day and the skiing was also amazing, smaller resort than Red but usually gets more snow. Had a fleeting visit to Nelson and looked a lot more lively than Rossland, good vibe lots of cool ski/board shops.

Feel free to PM if you have any questions.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Flew into castlegar. First day all flights cancelled, second day my first flight took off but couldn't land, managed to get a later flight that day which got in. The Winter success rate is around 50%. Not worth risking if you have a limited time.

Drifters advice is pretty spot on. Winter carnival is a lot of fun. Kootenay shuttle is a little expensive but they are good if you need a shuttle from Cranbrook or Kelowna.

If your into touring your split looks reasonable and you should really look into a day at Kootenay pass. If you are planning on staying in bounds I would switch it to 10 nights at red and 6 at Nelson.

Dates to avoid - 17th Feb is the big one (presidents Day in USA and BC family day). Avoid that weekend and you will be fine.
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