Question Canada 2020 Jan-Feb planning

Sage O

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Hi all,

I've got flights booked to and from Vancouver departing 20 Jan 2020 and returning 10 Feb 2020 so about 20 days.

Just in the initial planning and phase and trying to work out how best to use our time.We've bought northern hemisphere epic passes so were tentatively thinking of going to Whistler for a week or so then flying over to Calgary, hiring a car and going to Fernie, Kimberly, Kicking Horse, Nakiska and possibly Revelstoke.

Does anyone have any suggestions based on the dates if we'd be better doing Whistler in the first part of the trip or heading east then coming back to Whistler?

Marcelle has also requested that we visit Lake Louise so i need to try and squeeze that in too.

Would like to get some accommodation and a hire car locked in soon.

Cheers.
 

skichic

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Very similar to my trip. Whistler 20-30 Jan. Sunshine, LL, Revelstoke 30 Jan- 7 Feb. 2 days San Francisco then home.
 
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gareth_oau

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After you have finished willyou drive back to Calgary, otr will you continue driving from Revie back to Van?

If the lattet you could also throw in someBig white, Silver Star and Sun Peaks on the way through
 

Sage O

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After you have finished willyou drive back to Calgary, otr will you continue driving from Revie back to Van?

If the lattet you could also throw in someBig white, Silver Star and Sun Peaks on the way through

Hadn't quite worked that out yet but was initially thinking of driving back from Revelstoke to Calgary to return the car and then flying from Calgary back to Vancouver.
 

gareth_oau

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Hadn't quite worked that out yet but was initially thinking of driving back from Revelstoke to Calgary to return the car and then flying from Calgary back to Vancouver.
The drive from Revie back to Calgary will take you over Rogers Pass versus Revie to Vancouve over the Coq but gives you a few more resorts to choose from and a car to drive around Vancouver.

Suss out what the carhire rates are like if you drop it off at a different location to where you picked it up
 
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Crystal

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Yup, Do whistler last if possible...but watch out for Presidents week (Early Feb), all the yanks go up for holidays. Not sure when it is but Whistler is insane in that week. DO NOT GO.
 
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sly_karma

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I would go Whistler first as it gets more snow in early season. In a "normal" year of course. Let the interior resorts have another week or two to accumulate more snow. Everyone gets a different impression on a resort first time they visit, largely shaped by snow and weather conditions. Some will be happy to get away from the nonstop busy of WB, both on and off snow. Some will love it for the feast of terrain and facilities that it has. You could hit it on a powder week and be blown away beyond redemption, or you could have warm wet weather and be underwhelmed. No way of predicting.
 

Crystal

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heheheheee I think last...what if they fall in love with the tourist hype and big terrain that is Whistler, everything after that will feel weird. Whistler early in the season is colder.... but like Sly says, late in the season you may be skiing in the rain.
 

skichic

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I’m skiing Whistler first because I fly into Vancouver. Fly home from SFO, had thought I might ski in USA but have now decided to fly to Calgary for skiing then to SFO. Looking forward to 10 days on a big mountain in some nice accommodation followed by a road trip and cheap beds with little planning.
 
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I'm with Sly - I'd go with where the best chance of snow will be historically. Whistler is always busy but in late Jan it's not too bad as most of the Aussies are heading home for school and the Yanks are already back at school. Just avoid the US holiday weekends.

I really don't buy into being underwhelmed by the interior resorts after having been at Whister, especially the ones you've listed. There were plenty of people we knew in Van who skied Whistler 20-30 days + a season but still always loved their week to Red, Apex, Silver Star, Revie, etc. What you will absolutely love about the interior in late Jan / early Feb is the crowds....... there are none.

That being said, you're in the hands of the gods no matter what. You could get bulletproof ice at Whistler then waist deep snow at Revie or vice versa and those conditions will shape your opinion much more unless you can't live without mega resort amenities but if that were the case, then I doubt you'd be planning a road trip.
 

sly_karma

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I'm at Whistler right now and ferk me it's busy. Mountain bikers, roadies, whitewater rafters, zipliners, mogul skiers, hikers, sightseers, village lounge lizards, they're all here. You have to park and pay and walk, deal with traffic, find more parking at Creekside where I'm staying, etc etc. A complete zoo to my eyes, but I live in a town of 35,000 and my home mountain has 4 lifts. If you're used to the city this would seem like no big deal though. So I think some will be spoiled by the superb WB facilities and love the frenetic energy, but others will be raring to get out of there and away to somewhere with a slower pace and fewer people to share the pow with. OP can think about that and decide how that applies to them, but once again I fall back to playing the numbers and going where the snow has been historically.
 

Monsta

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I would go Whistler first as it gets more snow in early season. In a "normal" year of course. Let the interior resorts have another week or two to accumulate more snow. Everyone gets a different impression on a resort first time they visit, largely shaped by snow and weather conditions. Some will be happy to get away from the nonstop busy of WB, both on and off snow. Some will love it for the feast of terrain and facilities that it has. You could hit it on a powder week and be blown away beyond redemption, or you could have warm wet weather and be underwhelmed. No way of predicting.

Yeah this is spot on.

I like to hit Whistler first then head to the more laid back interior resorts. Better chance at more snow in the interior that way too. Light,dry interior BC powder > Whistler marine pack 9 times out of 10 too. Dunno how you'd be underwhelmed by interior BC after Whistler like someone suggested??? IMO of course :)

If you've had a week or more skiing straight onto lifts elsewhere, Whistler can seem like the 7th circle of hell at times. If you like the nightlife and restaurants though you might want to reverse that as it will give you something to look forward after the laid back vibes of the interior BC resorts.

Depends on what you're after as they're kind of opposite ends of the spectrum. Whistler is a MEGA-resort. Interior BC tends to be small-town vibes and crowd-free.

Don't miss a day skiing at LL. Views from the top of the ski hill are next level and the skiing is great too. Worth a day just for the tourist value. DO NOT try and go to the Lake on a weekend during the Winter Magic festival (15-26 Jan)!! Ski hill is fine but the Lake is gridlocked for kms in and out when we've been there the last couple of years. I think half of Calgary turns up.
 

sly_karma

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Depends on what you're after as they're kind of opposite ends of the spectrum. Whistler is a MEGA-resort. Interior BC tends to be small-town vibes and crowd-free.

This is the core of it. Some will love the mega resort and some will be put off by the crowds and the glitz. Lots to like about the interior and the WB circus.
 

Lady Penelope

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I have to say unashamedly that I loved Whistler from our trip in January 2018. What a couple of mountains! Not the cheapest place in Canada, though. Do you have time to visit Banff and do the resorts there, especially Lake Louise and Sunshine? Spectacularrrrrrr ... Do not miss. And if Marcelle wishes to visit Lake Louise, go all out and stay in the chateau. @zac150 did this at a similar time to when we were visiting and may have more to add.
 

Telezacski

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Haha yep @Lady Penelope and I did our Canada trips in reverse and crossed over somewhere near Revelstoke.

I’m pretty sure the cost of the car shuffle (hiring in Vancouver and dropping in Calgary) wasn’t that great and freed up a few days. I know there is a thread on driving but the two critical points that Sly K gave that saved us was 1) clean your lights, I remember messaging Lady P and whinging about our cars lights, she reminded me of the post and I was amazed at how much crap was on them. The second was when travelling especially with the Coq or Rogers pass, allow time in the schedule to be flexible and allow for bad weather. We got stuck in Revie due to forced avalanche on Rogers pass, as we had no plans the following day it wasn’t an issue and we hadn’t burnt accommodation. The last piece of advice on this is fill the car regularly, don’t let fuel drop. We got stuck coming into Revie behind an accident and sat on the road for 2 hours burning fuel to keep us warm.

By driving you would easily get sunshine, lake Louise, kicking horse, Revie and the west cost. Not sure you would get to fernie as well without risking chewing up ski days to drive. By going from Revie across there are other resorts and if the weather is good driving to whistler through the coastal road is spectacular.

Don’t rule out Sunshine or lake Louise, as lady P says lake Louise resort is spectacular and I personally loved the rolling long runs, heaps of fun, even if just a day. The chateau was a splurge for plus one and worth it, it’s a historic building and we loved the stay. If your a foody I highly recommend their high end restaurant fondue main, paired to wine, cheese and black truffle fondue entree, steak for main and chocolate fondue desert, heaven.
 
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skichic

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So a bit of playing around on the Qantas site yesterday found me some business class tix, over on 747 and back on 787. So I cancelled the economy flights and rebooked, all QFF flights :D Means I now arrive 2 days earlier and leave 2 days later :rolleyes:

So I’ll have 2 nights in Vancouver now before heading to Whistler. Any recommendations for areas to stay, things to do, hotels? I can see me hiring a bike and riding around the big park, otherwise no idea.
 
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gareth_oau

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So a bit of playing around on the Qantas site yesterday found me some business class tix, over on 747 and back on 787. So I cancelled the economy flights and rebooked, all QFF flights :D Means I now arrive 2 days earlier and leave 2 days later :rolleyes:

So I’ll have 2 nights in Vancouver now before heading to Whistler. Any recommendations for areas to stay, things to do, hotels? I can see me hiring a bike and riding around the big park, otherwise no idea.

If you have your car, the Sea to Sky Gondola is about 1 hour out of Vancouver on the way up to Whistler
 
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skichic

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Visit Victoria on Vancouver island, ferries run constantly, you will like it.
I was there many years ago. Went from there to Seattle. Was a sleepy place 35 years ago, I assume changed a bit?
 

gareth_oau

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Is it worthwhile picking up a little runaround hire car while in Vancouver? Maybe $50 a day and will let you cruise up to Capilano Bridge etc, and fit a larger range of activities in
 

skichic

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Is it worthwhile picking up a little runaround hire car while in Vancouver? Maybe $50 a day and will let you cruise up to Capilano Bridge etc, and fit a larger range of activities in
Nup. I’ll really only have one full day and I’ll use it to recover from the trip.
 
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Roymond

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So a bit of playing around on the Qantas site yesterday found me some business class tix, over on 747 and back on 787. So I cancelled the economy flights and rebooked, all QFF flights :D Means I now arrive 2 days earlier and leave 2 days later :rolleyes:

Is that direct to YVR? And if so, from where? We have to travel from brissy, and afaik, air Canada is the only carrier that offers direct flights.
 

skichic

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Sydney to Vancouver direct. Back SFO to Melbourne. I’d originally planned to ski USA too so have internal flights from Calgary to SFO. Will spend a few days there before heading home. The Syd-Van direct is only Dec and Jan.

My end destination is Canberra so doesn’t matter where I land in Oz.
 
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Telezacski

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Our last trip back from Vancouver, for two of us we flew out with 2 douchebag ski bags and 3 large suitcases plus 4 carryons :out:

We are a duffle and douchebag family, seriously looks like we have north face sponsorship with our bags! Love travelling with the north face duffle, best piece of kit ever.

We flew back with last time with a box that had a metal bison head in it. Box was well stuffed with extra souvenirs
 

gareth_oau

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We are definitely a rolling advert for aussieskier and his douchebags

E0F045BC-366A-43EE-A0F8-899DAE3A8F3B.jpeg
 

mannyk

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Hi..with the aussie dollar so shit atm. just wondering is skiing in Canada 20% dearer than Japan?. Ive been to Japan the last 5 yrs. Now only getting just 70 au. .. cad 90
 

sly_karma

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Year over year prices aren't changing much in Canada and the CAD is pretty stable against USD. Increases you might perceive would be due to weak AUD.
 

Lady Penelope

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Hi..with the aussie dollar so shit atm. just wondering is skiing in Canada 20% dearer than Japan?. Ive been to Japan the last 5 yrs. Now only getting just 70 au. .. cad 90
I think you’re comparing apples with oranges. You need to consider what you get for your yen/$ in each country, rather than comparing the exchange rates because that alone is meaningless. However, I know that Canada now appears more expensive than it was 18 months ago as the Aussie $ used to be at parity with the CAD $, but not only buys 90 cents. However, the $ has been relatively stable against the yen. This in itself tells us nothing when comparing one country with another. I’ve undertaken ski holidays to both in the last few years. I would say that they are on a par - food was surprisingly cheap in Japan, and it wasn’t too badly priced in Canada either. Lift tickets were overall cheaper in Japan than Canada. So it’s a rather complicated question with a lot of variables to consider. I think both would offer better value for money than the USA, though.
 

skichic

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I have a MC pass, 2 days LL, 2 days Sunshine and 2 days Revy. Arrive Calgary Thursday lunchtime and depart the following Saturday morning, so 8 full days. Trying to figure out the best way to do it. Any suggestions? Will have a car.
 

mannyk

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I think you’re comparing apples with oranges. You need to consider what you get for your yen/$ in each country, rather than comparing the exchange rates because that alone is meaningless. However, I know that Canada now appears more expensive than it was 18 months ago as the Aussie $ used to be at parity with the CAD $, but not only buys 90 cents. However, the $ has been relatively stable against the yen. This in itself tells us nothing when comparing one country with another. I’ve undertaken ski holidays to both in the last few years. I would say that they are on a par - food was surprisingly cheap in Japan, and it wasn’t too badly priced in Canada either. Lift tickets were overall cheaper in Japan than Canada. So it’s a rather complicated question with a lot of variables to consider. I think both would offer better value for money than the USA, though.
I understand its apples and oranges.. I think you answered my question, that it might be on par with the $ the way it is atm.
Never been to Canada so as I was sipping on a drink or 2 the idea came to me.. I have followed the Sun peaks page for a few years, looks fantastic, not sure about the colder temps and longer flight. Accom,lift tickets and food looks to be more expensive.
thanks for your thoughts.
 

mannyk

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Year over year prices aren't changing much in Canada and the CAD is pretty stable against USD. Increases you might perceive would be due to weak AUD.
What I was trying to get across was if Canada is 20% dearer for a ski holiday then will it be on par costs wise compared to skiing in Japan. Not ever been to Canada it gave me food for thought over a couple of Capt Morgans..The weak Au $ is making it less attractive cost wise to ski in Japan.
 

Sbooker

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I have a MC pass, 2 days LL, 2 days Sunshine and 2 days Revy. Arrive Calgary Thursday lunchtime and depart the following Saturday morning, so 8 full days. Trying to figure out the best way to do it. Any suggestions? Will have a car.

What time of year?
Second thought - regardless of time of year I think Revelstoke first. Then drive back to Banff.
Or Banff (ski Sunshine for two days), Revelstoke, back to Lake Louise and then back to Calgary.
 

Sbooker

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I understand its apples and oranges.. I think you answered my question, that it might be on par with the $ the way it is atm.
Never been to Canada so as I was sipping on a drink or 2 the idea came to me.. I have followed the Sun peaks page for a few years, looks fantastic, not sure about the colder temps and longer flight. Accom,lift tickets and food looks to be more expensive.
thanks for your thoughts.

My observation is Japan accomodation is more expensive than Canada.
 

skichic

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What time of year?
Second thought - regardless of time of year I think Revelstoke first. Then drive back to Banff.
Or Banff (ski Sunshine for two days), Revelstoke, back to Lake Louise and then back to Calgary.
Yeah I’m leaning towards the second option. Will be there first week of Feb.
 

Lady Penelope

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What I was trying to get across was if Canada is 20% dearer for a ski holiday then will it be on par costs wise compared to skiing in Japan. Not ever been to Canada it gave me food for thought over a couple of Capt Morgans..The weak Au $ is making it less attractive cost wise to ski in Japan.
Really, I tied myself in knots trying to do the comparison. In the end it’s swings and roundabouts. Yes, the flight to Canada is longer (and hence more expensive) but accommodation in many resorts (not Whistler!) is a little cheaper with much more in the way of self-catering options than Japan. Don’t forget if you are looking at prices quoted in CAD$ you may well need to add on tax (which can vary from one province to another). Japan: shorter flight, more of a cultural experience (for our family), good public transport options. Canada: ease of speaking English, but a boring-as-you-know-what flight. And transport can be tricky depending on where you are going (eg the lack of buses from Calgary/Banff to the more western resorts meant I resorted to hiring a car). I love both, for different reasons!
 
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Telezacski

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Really, I tied myself in knots trying to do the comparison. In the end it’s swings and roundabouts. Yes, the flight to Canada is longer (and hence more expensive) but accommodation in many resorts (not Whistler!) is a little cheaper with much more in the way of self-catering options than Japan. Don’t forget if you are looking at prices quoted in CAD$ you may well need to add on tax (which can vary from one province to another). Japan: shorter flight, more of a cultural experience (for our family), good public transport options. Canada: ease of speaking English, but a boring-as-you-know-what flight. And transport can be tricky depending on where you are going (eg the lack of buses from Calgary/Banff to the more western resorts meant I resorted to hiring a car). I love both, for different reasons!

We have managed to get our trip cheaper than last time even though I’m spending an extra week! Go figure.

I haven’t done japan yet, but noticed some cheap flights via the Philippine’s, same with Canada, we grabbed some cheap flights which is making our trip a beach/ski trip, go figure! My point is flights are the killer so if you manage those you can save a bundle.

Again using this site we picked up some great links and found some awesome places to stay and got good in site into how the resorts work so we didn’t book anything to far out (hopefully that makes sense).
 

skichic

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Planning of stage 2.

Arrive Calgary lunchtime 30/1 (Thurs). Have booked 1 night in Banff, plan to ski Sunshine 31/1 (Friday).

Thought Then off to Revie, stay somewhere along the way and spend Saturday sightseeing. Any thoughts of stopover points and places to see?

Ski Revie Sunday, Monday

Tuesday travel day stay somewhere near LL or back to Banff?

Ski LL Wednesday, Thursday back to Banff.

Ski Sunshine Friday then airport hotel for the night.
 

Telezacski

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Is there a reason you are not doing back to cal at Sunshine?

My first thought is to allow enough time to get through the pass to Revie in daylight. Where ever you finish on the Friday you should be able to get to Revie in a day, we drive Revie to lake Louise comfortably. I hated driving at night so on the Friday after Sunshine I would try one of the cabins near lake Louise,
 

dawooduck

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I have a MC pass, 2 days LL, 2 days Sunshine and 2 days Revy. Arrive Calgary Thursday lunchtime and depart the following Saturday morning, so 8 full days. Trying to figure out the best way to do it. Any suggestions? Will have a car.

Any option works. Only possible hiccup is road conditions to Revelstoke.

Banff Revelstoke LL

Places to see are between Banff and LL or drive out to Invermere
 
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