Pacific NW/AK/BC My 2018 trip to Revy, Whitewater, Red, Silver Star.

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier
This trip can also be called "The Storm Lens Goggle Tour" as I got fresh snow at every resort. including 38cm in the two days after I returned to my home mountain, Sun Peaks. Since I spend all winter at SP it will get some mention in this TR.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR):
Snowing when I arrived in my truck camper (free RV parking at the resort) and turned to rain in the middle of the night. They called it 6cm but it was more like 8-10cm up top but so heavy that you could make snowballs even near the top at 7300' asl. I mostly skied the Stoke chair (5300'asl to 7300'asl) and occasionally a 1000' or 1500' below the chair and then as the snow got really heavy, finished the runs by getting on the cat track to avoid the really heavy snow on the lower mountain.

RMR has a flawed lift system that does not take into account the extreme low elevation of RMR and does not do a very good job of spreading skiers out around the mountain. The very bottom is at approx. 1500' asl and the bottom of the upper Gondola that feeds the upper mountain Stoke Chair is at 2400'asl, both far too low an elevation to provide season long reliable conditions.

There is a cat road beginner run called the Last Spike that winds its way switch-backing across many of the runs every 500' vertical or so. If you don't slow down for them, then good luck with the landing because there may not be one below the cat road. I got caught once, saw the lip at the last second and sucked things up so no air and I didn't crash, but the absorption was hard on the body. I was much more focused after that. For me, I find the big vertical and lift layout to be more of a hindrance than a joy.

Lots of people were skiing on skis that were fatter than the snow was deep. In spite of adding chairs and gondola cabins to increase lift capacity by 25% this past summer, I have heard that on powder days it is still a mega lineup zoo at the lifts with people lining up hours before opening.

Whitewater (Wh2o):
No on hill lodging with Nelson, the nearest town about 20 minutes away. Nelson is the hippy capital of Canada, filled with hippies both young and old. Makes for a nice ski town.

RV parking is $25/night, $40 for a plug in.

Wh2o gets the most snow in the Western Canada Interior, equal volume to Whistler but without all the rain and wet snow of WB.

This past summer Whitewater replaced the old 2 seat Summit chair with a new fixed grip quad, built a new lodge building that houses ski rentals, Ski School, and administrative offices and they built a small kiosk building for ticket sales and Guest Services. They still have the best cafeteria food in Canada in a now expanded eating area.

Got 12cm new snow overnight and I had a great time skiing mostly the 2000' continuous fall line vertical Glory Ridge chair, which has a couple of groomed blues but mostly blue, black, and double black tree runs. Personally I prefer the terrain under this chair to RMR's Stoke chair.

The next day I went across the valley to the Silver King chair. This is the shortest of Wh2o's 3 lifts and the only one with green runs, along with some blue and black runs. The Bro-brahs on their overly wide skis (just like at RMR) don't ski this lift and so the after the storm remnants featured some untracked powder on the sides of runs and in the trees between runs. Also, old cut up snow was dry enough to ski very nicely.

Red Mountain:
Free RV parking but best to arrive the night before. There are not enough parking lots so arrive before 10am or take the free shuttle bus from Rossland, about 5 minutes from Red.

Got dumped on with 25cm overnight of heavy snow that got heavier in the pm. Some line ups for the Motherlode chair in the morning.

Red is considered by many to have the best tree skiing in Canada. I didn't spend too much time in the trees due to the heavy snow and the fact that when traveling solo in a truck camper with my dog, I tend to dial it back a bit.

The addition of the Grey Mountain chair (mostly intermediate) a few years ago makes Red one of western Canada's largest resorts, however the climate is similar to that of Washington's Eastern Cascades so like Steven's Pass ski area, Red is susceptible to wet snow and rain.

It snowed almost all day and dropped another 15-20 cm overnight of wet snowball snow. I was hoping it would get colder and dry out overnight but it didn't. With the big volume of wet knee twister snow, this old guy figured I would mostly be skiing the groomers on my second day, so instead I hit the road, heading to Silver Star.

Silver Star:

On the way to SS got held up for over an hour due to avy control work outside of Christina Lake. Drove right by Big White but did not stop due to its well earned nickname : Big Whiteout.

Got to SS at dusk (free RV parking mid week in lot A, must move to less convenient lot on weekends) and it started to snow about a half hour after I arrived. Only got about 3cm overnight but combined with snow from recent storms SS had the best conditions of the trip. Along with Sun Peaks(SP), SS gets world class snow quality, SS gets a little more snow than SP, and at SP the snow is a little dryer. Think Utah or Colorado quality but less volume (um... except for this year:duck:)

Both SS and SP are similar family type ski resorts with purpose built villages with SP having more of a ski through village. Both have about 20 black diamond runs with SP having a 1/2 dozen double blacks and SS an impressive 2 dozen double blacks. Theses double blacks had huge tight together moguls so I did a lot of single blacks with lots of loose snow and small soft moguls. Some of these runs had long flat ski ins and ski outs to get back to the chair.

A further comparison of SS and SP: SS has a lot of steep terrain and a lot of flat terrain with some, but not a lot of the in between stuff while SP has less steep and less flat runs but a ton of the in between fast cruiser runs. The SS trail map shows "Gondola coming, summer 2018" so they must be doing well. SP is certainly doing well with recent huge jumps in skier visits and new lifts and condo hotels and apartment buildings planned for the next few years.

SS is 20 minutes from the small city of Vernon (pop. 40k) so there are inexpensive motels nearby, however having that many people living so close to SS means it is real easy for a lot of skiers to show up for a couple of hours on a powder morning.
 
Last edited:

VinceF

Booting up
Skier
Posts
30
Location
Ski Mecca aka Utah
Thanks for the trip review! I have wanted to get up to those places. Sounds like Revelstoke may be overrated. It is good to read a different perspective other than magazine hype.
 

sbooker

Getting on the lift
Skier
Posts
205
So many places to ski and so little time.
I plan on an interior BC trip with my family in two winters time. Your write up confirms that I’ll be wanting to check out Red, Whitewater, Fernie (and diversion to Whitefish), SilverStar and Sun Peaks.
 

Lady_Salina

Getting off the lift
Skier
Posts
270
Great write up. I really should do a spring road trip while I'm working out here, or maybe an early winter one before i get busy if we have a good early start.
 

Advertisement

Top