Spring in British Columbia is something many skiers and boarders have heard about, but few have experienced. This past month, a few of us set out to test out the “Powder Highway” and ski some of these epic locations.
To help plan your trip north of the border next season, here are a few powder havens we visited that offer a taste of the best B.C.:
Our first stop was B.C.’s largest cat skiing operation, Baldface Lodge. From the Nelson airport, we hopped on a heli and flew up to the 32,000-acre winter utopia. Excited guests and friendly staff bustled through the lodge’s family style dining room and ordered from the fully stocked bar. The snowcat drivers grind up steep snow-covered roads to find riders the freshest powder out there, face shots included. At the end of our ski days, we threw back car bombs with our guide, dreaming of the next morning. baldface.net
The next stop was Revelstoke Resort. With over 5700 vertical feet, British Columbia’s newest resort spins new lifts and a six-passenger gondola. We geared up and relaxed in the sparkling new base area that offered access to lift, cat, heli and backcountry terrain. The huge skiing here is a must stop for any snow enthusiast. As the old saying goes…..if you build it they will come. Revelstoke Mountain Resort has built it, and you should go. revelstokemountainresort.com
Just a few minutes outside of Revelstoke is the accessible Eagle Pass Heli-skiing operation. Owned by a group of B.C. locals, Eagle Pass has access to an amazing tenure of terrain featuring everything from long smooth glacier runs to AK-style steeps. Our day began with an unnamed 4,000’ vertical run that left us begging for more. Senior guide Matt Pinto spent the day exploring a new section of their terrain, pioneering at least four first descents with our group while racking up over 35,000’ of skiing. The only thing better than a day of heli skiing is a day of heli skiing in an A-star heli (four guests + guide) in a new section of terrain with knee-deep powder and blue bird skies. eaglepassheliskiing.com
Our next stop on the Powder Highway was in the southern reaches of B.C., where lies a hidden gem of resorts: Red Mountain. If you want to experience a ski resort the way it used to be, book at trip to Red. This mountain does not mess around. Its consistent steep fall lines are paired with a family friendly attitude. It’s not uncommon to bump into an ex-Olympic skier or famous ski executive CEO who are all drawn to Red for the same reasons: snow, trees and steeps. In 4,000 acres, Red has just a few lifts and plans to add more. Also, don’t pass up the nearby authentic ski town of Rossland. redresort.com
This is an excerpt from an upcoming story to be featured in the Winter 2011-12 issue of Mountain Outlaw magazine.
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