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Trip Report Trip Report 27/12 - 24/1 - 2019/2020

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Scot_e17, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. Scot_e17

    Scot_e17 Hard Yards

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    After receiving so many great recommendations to my thread earlier in the year, i thought best to start a trip report based on all my forum findings. Trip started out on 27th Dec, departing Melb-Vancouver-Calgary, for the start of our trip. First big win was to follow recommendations to get car hire pick up from downtown instead of airport pick up. Saved approx $400 AUD by booking a pick up via economy car rentals, with pick up at the Macleod Trail South office in Calgary, with first night accomodation at Holiday Inn directly opposite. Gas Station also opposite to make it easy to grab anti-freeze windscreen washer refill. Made for a really quick pick up and easy first nights accomodation before heading south to Fernie for our first ‘real’ stop of the trip. Checked out the Chinook Mall for dinner at Globe Fish, nice Japanese, tucked away in bed early after the long haul from Melb. Woke early, surprisingly good breakfast at Holiday Inn, 2 coffees and hit the road to Fernie. Useful tip 1 - no toilet breaks for 2 hours, no gas stations and not many places to pull over for a break. Scored a beautiful clear sunny day for the drive, so 3 hours later we’re checking to our great B&B at Blackstone B&B in the new Montane area , 3 mins out of downtown Fernie. Lunch at Big Bang Bagels, beer at the Northern and a great curry at The Curry Bowl (aptly named). Useful tip 2 - Blackstone B&B for their outdoor wood heated spa and tasty breakfast.
    Day 1 (disclaimer - 2 snow boarders) - Annemarie and I hit Fernie early, with conditions average. Annemarie had spent a few seasons here in the past and given me a run down on what Fernie is’usually’ like and to date this season, its been a slow start. We stuck to White Pass chair most of the day (as did everyone else) as a guide for the rest of the mountain being average. Pics attached - onwards to Rossland tomorrow in hope of better conditions.
     

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  2. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice write up.
    Those pics are current? If so coverage looks pretty good. Lovely photos indeed.
    Damn. Now Fernie has made it to my ski hill bucket list too.
    So many ski areas................so little time.
     
  3. gortonator

    gortonator One of Us

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    There was some nice stuff in the top of Cedar and Lizard too. And no people :)

    good luck with Red. We're skiing Kimberley tmr and then heading back south. Hopefully, the storms will roll in soon.
     
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  4. Scot_e17

    Scot_e17 Hard Yards

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    Yes, pics were from today....i’d Love to come back after a big dump !
     
  5. Scot_e17

    Scot_e17 Hard Yards

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    7EDE3CA3-939C-4190-BC24-53920DF556C9.jpeg 9F829DFD-F1DD-4977-9C51-D0D2137F469C.jpeg 09ED1319-791D-4A1E-B1DC-766F948BA1F0.jpeg Day 3 - Great dinner in Fernie at Brickhouse followed by a relaxing wood fired hot-tub at Blackstone B&B - see pic. Early departure from Fernie encounter to Rossland. As suggested in many forums, Google Maps predicted 4 hrs, took us 5 with a few breaks and cautious driving. The roads were clear, scenery spectacular particularly across the Kootenay Pass. Rossland - wow , what a beautiful little town having just arrived and not yet scratched the surface, looking forward to 5 nights at The Josie, with prediction of 15cm fresh snow for NYE. First tracks of 2020 may just be fresh after all ! More to come.....
     

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  6. Scot_e17

    Scot_e17 Hard Yards

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    They say timing is everything. Red Mountain have had a very challenging start to the season, but our snow dance must have worked as we woke to a fresh covering for our first of 5 days at Red. Can’t recommend highly enough The Josie Hotel. Ski concierge, live music, Valet parking and a really well appointed rooms. We booked months in advance and scored a great rate, approx. 1/3 of what they were charging 2 weeks ago. As a guide, we’ve paid the same nightly rate at MtHotham for a 2-3 star experience....The Josie ranks much higher, and its right on Red Mountain. Locals are telling us its the worst start to a season in a decade, but last nights snow ensured a blanketing across the whole mountain and we spend most of the day on the PARADISE chair. Scored some of the famous Red Tree runs and whilst not epic conditions, better than we expected having watched the forecast from Melb over the last few weeks and seeing continued delays in opening their season. Tomorrow there is even more terrain opening up, with the new Topping Creek chair spinning for the first time ever...NYD opening may see a few sore heads for first chair up the mountain !
     

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  7. Scot_e17

    Scot_e17 Hard Yards

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    NYD, loaded the Silverlode lift at 9am and headed straight for the brand new Topping Creek chair which opened for the 1st time. The beauty of hitting this part of the mountain early was that their entire seasons snow had been untouched and never ridden, so we were stoked to find fresh conditions in every direction, with very few people on it ! Perhaps the party at Rafters was epic, hence the slow start for many this morning. Stayed in the Topping Creek area all day until all the POW was tracked out, and the quads starting the scream for mercy ! NYE Red Mountain was a great family affair , fireworks at 9 and a really chilled atmosphere.
     

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  8. Scot_e17

    Scot_e17 Hard Yards

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    Jan 2nd at Red Mountain - day off the legs and a great opportunity to check out the township of Rossland. Jan 3rd also at Red Mountain with really average conditions. Whilst there was 4-5 cms of snow overnight, the surface was crusty and whilst we searched hard for some softer pockets, we gave up after lunch and retired to Rafters for a Ceasar and Poutine ! After 5 nights at The Josie, we were really impressed with the hotel, and whilst we didnt get epic, all time Red Mountain POW, we had a taste to keep the fire alive to return another time.
    Jan 4th, a highlight of our trip to date, we checked into Logden Lodge near Whitewater. A beautiful piece of paradise with quaint log cabins. Pics attached. Given we extended a few days at Red, we cut short our time at Whitewater, which proved a masterstroke, given the persistent issues they have been having with power outages this season. The one day we did have up the mountain was incredible. We hired a guide for the day to make the most of our time and with constant snow and challenging terrain, Whitewater sure proved a highlight for me getting out of my comfort zone with steep trees and great off piste terrain. Checked out Nelson for apre at Relish, then back to Logden in horrendous driving conditions - heavy snow and limited visibility, so a slow journey back to our log fire !
     

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  9. Me+3

    Me+3 Addicted

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    cool TR. keep it going.
     
  10. Scot_e17

    Scot_e17 Hard Yards

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    Apologies for the gap in the report, but here is the remaining report from the trip which finished up in Whistler last Wednesday 22nd Jan…

    We left off after a great day at Whitewater with a guide and unfortunately due to the forecast for driving conditions, we set out earlier than expected and did the drive from Nelson to Kicking Horse in a full day. Total drive time ( with breaks) approx. 9 hrs, so a big day and finally arrived at Kicking Horse, staying on-mountain at Glacier Mountaineer Lodge. Awesome location, right opposite the Gondola and arriving in the 2nd week of January meant no crowds. Max wait time in the morning for 1st lift was 5 mins. Kicking Horse – wow, what a mountain. Fresh snow the night we arrived meant day 1 fresh tracks, exploring the Crystal Bowl, repeat runs of the Stairway to Heaven Lift, and NOBODY around.

    Day 2 we got a local guide and stepped up the intensity of the some of the drop ins to the various bowls. 10cms the night before meant fresh tracks all morning and great exploration of parts of the mountain we wouldn’t have got to without Gary’s local knowledge. With 3 days riding scheduled at Kicking Horse – we decided to make the most of a flexible itinerary and extend for a further 2 days. Having the Epic Pass meant both Fernie and KH were included for 7 days in total between the 2, and with a big arctic blast on the way, we decided to skip Lake Louise and stay at KH longer. Proved to be the right call. We loved everything about KH, and after 5 nights left for 2 rest days in Banff. Arrived in Banff at -22 degrees, chilled for 2 days, rested, took it easy, ate, drank and did the final part of our road trip back to Calgary. In all, completed approx. 1800km in the car, 4 mountains on the Powder Highway, 16 days and still many places left untouched ( Revelstoke, Lake Louise, Sunshine etc) – save those for next time.

    From Calgary – quick flight back to Vancouver, then connection through to Whistler for 9 nights. Stayed at the Delta Hotel in the main village which was great and upon arrival copped 2 days of -18-22 degrees. Really unusual for Whistler, more unusual is that they received a good dump of snow at that temperature, meaning after the big freeze on 14th Jan when temperatures rose to -10, the snow in the Alpine was light, deep and fresh. A local commented that it’s the best quality snow he’d seen in a decade. The following 8 days we experienced more ‘Whistler-like’ conditions of wet, heavy snow, often rain the village and a freeze line at mid-station. Of the 6 days we rode the mountain was restricted with significant Avalanche control going on at The Peak, Symphony and Harmony. Enjoyed Whistler – but won’t be rushing back anytime soon, particularly having experienced other resorts like Red, Whitewater and Kicking Horse. After 28 days away, clocking 14 days of riding, the body was happy to board the Melbourne bound flight to be greeted with 24 degrees and sunshine.
     
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  11. Scot_e17

    Scot_e17 Hard Yards

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    Highlights - Kicking Horse , steep, deep and uncrowded. Logden Lodge, just outside Whitewater. Red Mountain ( the Josie Hotel) very well priced for the quality of the experience. Local Mountain guides - worth every cent to quickly accumulate local knowledge of a new mountain.
     
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