Featured Indie Resorts: Who’s Left? (Part 1, West)

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by David Chaus, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. David Chaus

    David Chaus Winter....winter is calling, can you hear it? Skier

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    Indie Resorts: Who’s Left? (West)

    With the early June announcement that Vail had acquired Okemo, Sunapee, Crested Butte, and Stevens Pass, the Pacific Northwest became an active piece of the multiresort season pass chess game between Alterra and Vail. Within a few short months, Alterra added a number of resorts to the Ikon Pass, with five- or seven-day access to Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain, Brighton, Cypress (BC), Summit at Snoqualmie (four separate ski areas, including Alpental), and Taos; it also purchased Solitude and more recently Crystal Mountain, WA, adding unlimited access to those resorts.

    As a PNW skier, for the first time our weekend warrior day-tripping choices are affected by Alterra and Vail acquisitions. Both Epic and Ikon passes can be season passes for Seattle-area skiers and boarders, as well as multiresort vacation planning tools.

    For a little background, PNW ski areas have mostly been locals’ areas. Most are within a 2-hr drive from population centers; the Snoqualmie Pass areas are a mere 45 minutes from Bellevue (unless there’s traffic, in which case it's more like 2 hours). Most of the resorts operate on Forest Service land and have little to no slopeside lodging. While the region receives abundant and reliable snowfall, the combination of maritime snow and relatively low elevation isn’t a big draw for destination travelers who are chasing light, dry powder, nor are there many wide, long groomers. Furthermore, slopeside lodging is limited, which discourages destination travelers.

    It is unlikely Stevens will become a major destination resort; instead, it will serve Vail by enticing Seattle-area skiers to visit Vail’s destination resorts. The most obvious one, as it has been for many years, is Whistler, however all of Vail’s resorts and several Epic-affiliated destinations are now easier to consider. Though Crystal has some lodging at the base, it lack the beds to be a major vacation destination, but many of Crystal’s Ikon Pass holders will undoubtably travel to other Alterra owned and affiliated resorts. For the first time many Seattle-area skiers and boarders will have access to season passes with access to major destination resorts all across North America and even internationally.

    So........what if that ain’t your thing? You want to opt out of the big corporate pass wars? You want to thumb your nose at mega-ski resort operators? You want to support the independent resorts, the fierce, scrappy, yet family-friendly areas that aren't affiliated with Evil Empires or greedy money-sucking REITs? Who’s left? Where do you go?

    I have got you covered. I have a list. It is not perfect, and I apologize in advance, as it is limited to my awareness of what’s out there, and to what The Google can add to my woeful knowledge. For the West edition, I’m not including the many ski areas of the Midwest or New England or Mid-Atlantic (stay tuned for the second of this two-part series for those!). I also wish to make clear that I have not been to all these resorts. Please feel free to add to this list in your comments and posts.

    This is not a "best" list: I am not rating the best snow, best resorts, best food, any of those things. And there is always the issue of defining a “resort,” or even more so, a “destination resort.” There are great ski areas that are not “destinations.” For instance, I enjoy skiing at Mission Ridge (it’s in Washington, east of the Cascades), but it’s not a destination resort. Montana has Lost Trail and Discovery and Snowbowl, all ski areas with size, terrain, and snow to match many major destinations, but to due to geographic isolation, don’t attract many destination skiers and boarders. Even the lunatic fringe among us tend to not venture too far off the beaten track of amenities. With that in mind, I’m looking at the ski resorts that would make a great vacation without roughing it too much.

    For the purpose of this article I am not considering the Powder Alliance or other multi-resort reciprocal arrangements in the same category as the Ikon or Epic passes. There is some debate in my mind (yeah it gets a little noisy in there) about the Mountain Collective Pass. It’s a multi-resort pass with limited days at each resort, although people do utilize the 50% discounted additional days rather than buy a season pass. As of this writing, there are two MCP resorts that are not on the Ikon Pass: Sun Valley and Snowbasin, both owned by the Holding family. If you want to consider them “independent,” you may do so.

    So, what’s else is out there? We start in the PNW, since that’s where I am. (Please note, all the listed resorts have links which will take you to their websites.)

    Pacific Northwest

    Mt Baker is “sort of” a destination. It is really a locals’ mountain, 90 min from Bellingham, and also attracts refugees from British Columbia. The reason Baker is on this list is its snowfall. Baker receives the most snow of any North American ski area, usually 650 in. The record was set in 1998-99, a whopping 1140 in. Whether you can handle that much PNW Cascade Concrete is another issue, but many people make Baker a destination for the snow, the terrain and the expansive sidecountry.

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    Mt. Baker ski area, with Mt. Shuksan in the background.
    In Oregon, there are three ski areas on Mt Hood alone, four if we include Cooper Spur (which I am not), or even five if we include the rope tow at Government Camp (which I am not). While Skibowl has decent skiing and the most night skiing terrain in the United States, most people focus on Timberline and Mt Hood Meadows.Timberline has one of the most amazing lodges, which was built in 1937 as part of the WPA, and remains rustic yet elegant and luxurious. It has glacier skiing through the summer, so much of the destination travel is there for racing and freestyle camps, whereas it sees mostly locals during winter. To the southeast, Mt Hood Meadows has the size, variety of terrain, and modern lifts to make it feel like a destination resort, but it doesn't have lodging. I personally recommend staying in Hood River, which is an hour east of Portland along the Columbia River; from there, it’s a beautiful and fairly easy drive to Meadows along the east flank of Mt. Hood, maybe 45 min.

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    Timberline Resort.
    Mt Bachelor was previously included on the now-defunct Max Pass, but currently is unaffiliated with any multiresort passes. Bachelor has been compared to Vail (the resort itself) in terms of having a lot of accessible, rolling intermediate-ish terrain. That said, there are some awesome lines when the Summit is open, and the Northwest terrain pod is one of my favorite places to ski anywhere. The snow is often drier than much of the PNW due the elevation and location on the crest, slightly to the east of the Cascades. There is no slopeside lodging, but it’s a super-easy 20- to 30-min drive to Bend.

    Inland PNW and Idaho

    I have always thought Spokane to be a great gateway city for skiing. The challenge is that for most of North America, the airline connections go through Denver or Salt Lake City, so most destination travelers tend to frequent the many resorts near those two well-known ski cities. Well, if you do make the connection to Spokane, you have five ski areas within an easy drive: in Washington, Mt Spokane and 49° North (which is actually closer to latitude 48°, but whatever), and Silver Mountain, Lookout Pass, and Schweitzer in Idaho. While all of them offer excellent skiing and few crowds, Silver and Schweitzer are the two that offer a resort experience. Silver is very easy to get to: drive east on I-90 for an hour or so from Spokane, park your car, and get on the gondola to the ski slopes. Silver has a village of sorts with lodging at the base with its own indoor water park. America’s Best Bootfitters conducted their annual boot test at Silver for 2018 and had nice things to say about it. https://www.bootfitters.com/news/blog/boot-test-headquarters-silver-mountain-resort.

    Schweitzer is almost as easy to drive to, though with a nine-mile access road from Sandpoint with seven hairpin turns. Schweitzer often flies under the radar when it comes to destination travel, nonetheless is a major player in the region as it has the size, terrain, and infrastructure to cater to destination skiers and boarders, including the only six-pack chairlift in Idaho. I have met people (usually from Seattle) who have traveled pretty much everywhere in North America and come back to Schweitzer year after year. It has great skiing, modern lifts, a nice village, a cool town 20 min away, and great views of Lake Pend Oreille. It is a bit like skiing at Tahoe, without the crowds or the higher prices.

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    View of Snow Ghost Chair and Outback Bowl at Schweitzer.

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    Cathedral Aisle at Schweitzer.
    Moving farther south in Idaho, I should mention Brundage. It showed up as a Top 10 Ski mag resort a couple years back in the “family-friendly” category. I’d actually put it in Top 10 for “best chances of actually skiing untracked powder.” Brundage is not a large ski resort, more of a locals area with maybe 1,500 acres, but it has an express quad that serves most of the terrain, with consistent pitches for 1,800 ft of vertical, and it is uncrowded, unpretentious, and un-icy. Brundage has a higher base elevation than many Idaho resorts, and it markets itself as having the best snow in Idaho. Hard to argue; the snow lasts a long time after a storm and preserves well. Nearby McCall is a year-round recreation playground, but it is not a major population center, so there is minimal competition for powder. On weekends you might get skiers from Boise, which is 2.5 hours away, but midweek you have most of the mountain to yourself. I have had entire runs to myself, top to bottom, on perfect groomer days and powder days. There are glades in between every named run that are worth exploring for stashes.

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    Brundage. Lots of crowds.

    Tamarack is another ski resort near McCall. When it opened in 2004, the developers had aspirations for a major four-season resort, but the when the real estate bubble burst, they went into foreclosure and closed in 2009. It was reopened in 2010 by a municipal association that continues to operate the resort. There is a lot of lodging at the base, which is more affordable than you’d expect for a mountain resort.

    Bogus Basin is sizable enough to be a destination with 2,600 acres and 1,800 ft vertical. The driest, lightest, fluffiest snow I ever skied was at Bogus. It has some mid-mountain accommodations and even a summer mountain coaster. Nonetheless, Bogus remains mostly a locals’ mountain as it is a 45-min drive from downtown Boise. Bogus is owned and operated by a nonprofit, and has possibly the most reasonable pass prices anywhere ($399 for an unlimited adult season pass).

    Grand Targhee is technically in Wyoming, though Idaho likes to claim it, too. Targhee is sometimes overlooked on trips to Jackson, but it receives more snowfall and has far, far fewer bodies on the slopes. If Targhee didn’t have Jackson nearby, it might be a major destination on its own. Targhee has a reputation for reliable snow, even in lean snow years, and is one of the safest bets for early-season holiday skiing vacations. While it has reciprocal agreements with a few other ski resorts, Targhee has yet to be affiliated with anything Epic, Ikon, or Mountain Collective.

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    Guess where? A pow day at Sun Valley, Frenchman’s area.

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    A non-powder day at Grand Targhee.
    Montana

    Of all the independent resorts in this article, Whitefish may be the best known, and in recent years has frequently been a Top 10 (or near to it) resort in various rankings. Whitefish remains very much independent, no Epic, no Ikon, and apparently the locals want to keep it that way. Just fog and snow ghosts, nothing to see here, move along, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Bridger Bowl is more of a locals' mountain for Bozeman, though with destination-worthy stats: 2,700-ft vertical (2,600 ft of which is lift-served), 2,000 acres, 350 in. annual snowfall, and the only inbounds lift (Schlasman’s) that requires you to wear an avalanche transceiver, because the terrain it serves is that gnarly. Bridger is frequently a side excursion to visits to Big Sky (hint hint, such as during the 2019 Pugski Gathering). And as previously mentioned, there are a number of other sizable areas in Montana; Snowbowl, Lost Trail, and Discovery are all within 2 hr of Missoula.

    Utah

    Powder Mountain in Utah is the old-school throwback as a counterpoint to nearby Snowbasin’s more upscale lodges and infrastructure. Pow Mow doesn’t have much in the way of steeps, but it does have a lot of terrain that is spread way out, even without the hike-to or snowcat terrain, or the Powder Country school bus that picks you up down the highway. With low-pitched aspen glades, Pow Mow may be the best place to learn to ski powder.

    Sundance sometimes gets overlooked when considering Utah. It has less skiable acreage and lower elevation than most of the other Utah resorts, but it’s owned by Robert Redford, and that alone makes it a destination. Beaver Mountain, is it a destination? Nope. It’s a family-oriented local ski area that nonetheless makes a nice side trip on a Utah ski vacation. I should mention Brian Head, which actually has a higher base elevation than the SLC resorts (9,600 ft, with a top elevation of 10,900 ft). It might make a great trip: fly to Vegas, party a bit, drive to St. George, and spend a few days skiing pretty much by yourself with ski-in, ski-out lodging.

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    Yep, old school.
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    Powder and glades at Pow Mow.

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    Family fun at Beaver Mountain.
    Southwest

    Colorado has the most ski destination resorts of any state. The destination resorts are either Vail resorts (or in the case of A-Basin is independently owned but included on the Epic Pass) or Alterra/Ikon resorts. One exception is Loveland, which remains more of a locals’ resort than a destination. Sunlight, Monarch, and Powderhorn might all be destination-worthy, if they weren’t in Colorado and in proximity to the major resorts. Nearer to Durango are Wolf Creek and Purgatory. Purgatory is owned by James Coleman, who also owns nearby Hesperus as well as Snowbowl in Arizona and Sipapu and Pajarito in New Mexico. His company offers the Power Pass, which includes all five resorts plus Nordic Valley in Eden, UT. While this article focuses primarily on non-Ikon, non-Epic resorts, one could consider a Power Pass as an alternative road-tripping vacation through the Southwest.

    Silverton is in a special category and deserves an in-depth article to itself. It is more in the category of lift-accessed backcountry than a resort. Then again, there are plenty of BC cat and heliskiing operations with resort-ish amenities, so these categories are sometimes blurred and arbitrary. But as noted, that is for another article.

    Far West

    Mt Rose is still the forgotten red-headed stepchild of Tahoe. It’s more of a Reno locals' area; similarly I don’t think of Sugar Bowl as a major destination. What they both have is enough terrain for great skiing and no affiliation with either Alterra or Vail, and that’s what this article is about. Sierra-at-Tahoe is another non-Epic, non-Ikon Tahoe resort that is often overlooked. I’m not going to mention Homewood or Diamond Peak. Oh, wait, I just did. Sorry, carry on ....

    Alyeska in Girdwood, AK (45 min from Anchorage) is another former Max Pass destination. Alyeska is a full-scale resort with a large hotel, and it gets a lot of snow. Despite a base elevation only 250 ft. above sea level, it receives 670 in. of white stuff. It has an aerial tram, it has 2,500 ft of vertical, and it has steeps (including the North Face, the longest continuous double-black run in North America). It’s a long way from anywhere in the lower 48, yet very easy to get to once you’ve landed at the Anchorage airport.

    British Columbia

    British Columbia perhaps deserves an article to itself. It’s a vast region: most of the Alps could fit into one corner of BC. Snow is fairly reliable, even with elevations lower than those of many US resorts. With the higher latitudes, snow preservation tends to be good, if not excellent. Most importantly for budgeting your travel dollars, Canada is a bargain due to currency exchange rates.

    In the BC interior, Sun Peaks, Silver Star, Big White, and, to a lesser degree, Apex are all big enough and have enough slopeside lodging to qualify as major destinations. These areas all have varied terrain, great snow, convenient and modern accommodations and infrastructure, and a lot of international travelers. They are good places to practice your Kiwi or Aussie accents.

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    Sun Peaks, view of Mt Tod on the left and Sundance (center) from a groomer on Morrissey.



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    Posing with Nancy Greene at Sun Peaks.

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    More Sun Peaks.
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    The Village at Sun Peaks

    Red Mountain has made a point of marketing itself as an independent locals mountain/destination, as evidenced by their “Fight the Man” campaign to raise crowdsourced capital for infrastructure and expansion projects. It has the size (2900 lift-served acres), vertical (2900’), steeps (reminds me of Jackson), tree skiing, really everything except much grooming. Red is developing the base and adding hotel beds, but seems to retain its funkiness, and also has the very cool town of Rossland a short drive away. An hour away is an even cooler town, Nelson, with an even funkier ski area, Whitewater, the powder Mecca of BC. Old fixed grip lifts, nothing fancy at the base, no lift lines, 2,000 ft of vertical, untracked powder without having to know where secret stashes are, and the best ski resort food at ridiculously low prices. You really want the anti-resort? Red and Whitewater are where it’s at.​

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    Grey Mountain at Red Mountain Resort, Granite Mountain in the background; it’s all inbounds terrain.
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    Whitewater.
    .​

    In southeast BC, Panorama receives less copious amounts of snow than other BC resorts, but it has 4,000 ft continuous vertical and a modern village with a lot of amenities and infrastructure; people somehow manage to enjoy themselves. Formerly an Intrawest resort, it was purchased by a group of locals in 2010.

    Alberta

    In Alberta, often overlooked is Marmot Basin, near Jasper. If you’re not from Jasper, it takes a bit of effort to get there. To get to Marmot from Calgary, you have to go past Sunshine Village and Lake Louise, and then some. To get there from Vancouver or Kelowna, you have to drive by Big White, Silver Star, and Sun Peaks (and try to ignore Revelstoke and Kicking Horse). It is therefore not surprising that Marmot isn’t more popular. That said, the northern latitude (52.8° N) and elevation (5,570 ft base and 8,570 ft top) is reliable for great-quality snow, and while it doesn’t receive a ton of snow, resorts in the Canadian Rockies tend to preserve it well, and Marmot’s season lasts into May.

    South of the Banff area is Castle Mountain, squarely in the anti-resort category. Often called the biggest/best resort you’ve never been to, Castle offers 2,800 ft vertical, 3,600 acres, 350 in. of dry snow that gets wind-sifted (tracked-out snow is often refilled), steeps, chutes, and cat skiing. There is some lodging, including a hostel, condos, B&Bs, a small lodge, and a chalet -- but this ain’t Whistler. There is also some lodging in nearby Pincher Creek.

    So there you have it: a list of Western resorts where you can have your next dream ski vacation, without having to consider which multi-resort pass to invest in. Chances are you won’t be fighting crowds, and you might save some money on lower-cost lodging and food, often enough to offset the benefits of the Ikon/Epic passes. You can vote with your hard-earned dollars and bestow your largesse on these plucky independent resorts. Start planning.


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    About the author: David is a skier. He’s not the best skier on the mountain, but he tries, he really does. He is a part-time instructor at Stevens Pass. When he’s not skiing, thinking about skiing, wishing he were skiing, obsessing about ski gear, or posting on Pugski, he is a psychotherapist in private practice.
     
  2. Sibhusky

    Sibhusky Out on the slopes Inactive

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    Nice article. Lots of work. Wish you'd left us off. ;-)
     
  3. Jim Kenney

    Jim Kenney Travel Correspondent Team Gathermeister Industry Insider

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    David thanks for sharing your lifetime of ski experiences in that article (and some beautiful photos too)!

    CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 (EAST)
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
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  4. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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    For the Southwest, you also have Sunrise Resort, Ski Apache, Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, and Cloudcroft Ski Area all hanging on by the skin of their teeth. None of them will end up in Vail's portfolio thankfully but could easily be victims of economics and climate change. Ski them if you get the chance.

    Another indie that was not mentioned is Eagle Point in S. Utah. The place has had a few names over the years and is trying to make a comeback but is also fighting the battle.
     
  5. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator

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    My mom lives in Tucson. Hopefully during a visit I'll get a chance to ski Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley. Just to say I did.
     


  6. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    Too much Inland Northwest. There is nothing to see here so just move along.

    Colorado and Utah is much better, go there.
     
  7. Thread Starter
    TS
    David Chaus

    David Chaus Winter....winter is calling, can you hear it? Skier

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    Funny how no one wants attention drawn to their local areas. ogwink Sorry for the unwanted attention.

    That said, those resorts may appreciate the business, and I like supporting them.

    My guess is that the most capacity to absorb an increase in tourist ski business is in the BC interior. Most of the resorts that I have visited that are included in this article are pretty uncrowded, and I’m pretty sure the ones I haven’t visited yet are as well. Even if Vail and Alterra make further acquisitions and partnerships, a lot of these resorts are far enough away from most beaten paths to keep them pretty uncrowded.

    So, most of you are safe.

    Except @Sibhusky. She is in perpetual danger of her little paradise being overrun. :eek::eek::eek:
     
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  8. Sibhusky

    Sibhusky Out on the slopes Inactive

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    But the fog!!!
     
  9. SpikeDog

    SpikeDog You want Big Air, kid? Skier

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    Nice article, and love the pictures, especially the one of Mt.Grey at Red Mountain. That's awesome!

    Several mom and pop resorts went missing that, while respectable hills, remain indies, as far as I know.
    Idaho - Kelly Canyon, Pomerelle, Pebble Creek, Soldier Mtn
    Wyoming - Pine Creek, White Pine, and the forgotten hill in the town of Jackson [Hole] ....er.....uh....Snow King (damn, I had to look it up).
    Washington - Bluewood
     
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  10. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator

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    Don't come to Mt. Rose. It looks like this ALL the time! ALL the time.
     
  11. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    Surprised that neither Kicking Horse or Revelstoke have been snagged yet. Other than location they seem like prime targets, and they could be accessed by rail.
     
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  12. Posaune

    Posaune sliding Skier

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    You need to leave Mt. Baker and Hood Meadows off the list entirely since they have a reciprocal agreement. I can ski Meadows for 5 days on my Baker pass, and have done so.

    Also, you identify it as "Mt. Baker Ski Resort." Don't let the management hear you say that. They are adamant about the fact that it is the "Mt. Baker Ski Area," not a damned fru-fru resort.

    (Great article, David!)
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  13. Castle Dave

    Castle Dave Putting on skis Skier

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    We have moved and Apex is now our home hill so I thought additional information regarding Apex Resort (Penticton) may be useful to anybody considering coming to the BC Okanagan. Sun Peaks (Kamloops), Silver Star (Vernon), and Big White (Kelowna) can be considered genuine destination resorts with lots of on hill accomodation, dining, etc.Sun Peaks and Big White are particularly family oriented ie intermediate hills and a family could happily spend a week at any of the three.

    Apex is not like that. The hill is relatively small, the base area amenities are very basic and, with the exception of last season, it gets less snow than the other three. It is also steeper, bumpier and all round more challenging than any of the other hills. With local knowledge we can enjoy ourselves for an entire season but intermediate visitors would probably get bored in a few days. On the other hand expert skiers will find the hill very entertaining.
    Most skiers are local and there are very few crowds even on weekends. The base elevation is 5000 feet and Penticton is only 35 Km away at 1200 feet so the road goes up quickly.

    This map shows lots of genuine blacks and double blacks
    [​IMG]

    Mt Baldy wasn't mentioned and it is about 75 minutes south and east of Penticton near Oliver. It is a funky throwback hill whose main claims to fame are Powder Thursdays because it's closed Tuesday and Wednesday and the fact it has the highest base elevation in Canada at 5600+ feet. It also has some on the best glade skiing in the Okanagan

    PM me if you are thinking of coming my way and I will give you a no BS snow report.
     
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  14. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    I had some amazing days at Ski Apache 2 seasons ago! (and a great day at Ski Santa Fe)

    As you can see, no crowds even on a Powder day...

    Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 6.09.22 PM.JPG
     
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  15. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    David's excellent piece reminds me of a childhood bible: The New York Times Book of Ski Areas USA (circa 1971). Back then it was a regular thing: a survey of commercial operations that was pure journalism and gave every mountain nearly equal column inches, no matter whether it was Stowe, VT or Yawgoo Valley, RI.
     
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  16. Thread Starter
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    David Chaus

    David Chaus Winter....winter is calling, can you hear it? Skier

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    Revelstoke is on the Ikon Pass, and Kicking Horse and other RCR (Resorts of the Canadian Rockies) resorts such as Fernie, Kimberly and Nakisha are affiliated with the Epic Pass. So, for the purposes of this article, which is access via a multi-resort pass, they are indeed snagged.

    I concede that Baker does not come close to meeting the definition of a resort, but for many it is a destination due to it’s reputation. Most, if not all of the ski areas and resorts listed have reciprocal agreements of some sort (such as the Powder Alliance, or individually negotiated reciprocal agreements). They are neither Epic not Ikon-ic, so I get to include them.

    Great info about Apex, Dave. I could have mentioned Manning Park, Shames and others, not to mention Grouse and Seymour. But we’re talking plausible vacation destinations. Maybe another article could be about every place in BC worth skiing at least once, and you could be just the person to write it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  17. DanoT

    DanoT RVer-Skier Skier

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    Location:
    Sun Peaks B.C. in winter, Victoria B.C. in summer
    A very well written and enjoyable read.

    I got to think that Sun Peaks, Silver Star, and Big White have got to be of interest to Vail Resorts or Alterra. However all 3 are doing quite well on their own and may not be interested in selling or having to give up some day ticket sales to a Epic or Ikon pass' shared revenue. They draw mostly skiers form eastern Canada and internationally and especially Aussies. So they could remain independent for a while.

    Revelstoke might be of interest to a very deep pocketed developer and it needs lots of infrastructure but has a deal killer of almost no intermediate terrain and a long way from anywhere. So it could remain underdeveloped with inadequate lift system (lift lines on powder days) and independently owned for a while. Nice that it is on the Ikon pass and I am 3 hours away with a truck camper and an Ikon pass.
     
    David Chaus likes this.
  18. slowrider

    slowrider Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Posts:
    1,130
    Great article. Dave missed a few mom & pop hills in Wa and Or. No I'm not going to name them.
     
    Philpug and David Chaus like this.
  19. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Posts:
    997
    Location:
    AZ
    List a few favs so I can add them to my list to visit. We have to support these places.
     
    slowrider likes this.
  20. slowrider

    slowrider Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Posts:
    1,130
    Anthony Lakes
    Bluewood
    Mission Ridge
    Warner Canyon
    Hoodoo
    Ashland
    Shasta
    Willamette Pass
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
    David Chaus likes this.

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