Jim Kenney

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Unofficial Guide: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC
By Jim Kenney
April 9, 2018


This is an abbreviated unofficial guide to Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC and more of a placeholder, than a finished product. I hope others who frequent the mountain more often than I will contribute useful details to this guide.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) is a really big place that has the vibe of a really small place.

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RMR Base Village, elevation 1680'/512m.

Overview

I have skied at nearly 100 ski areas in North America and Europe over the last 50+ years and this winter I visited a ski area that has to rank number one on my personal list of big places that have the feeling of a small place: REVELSTOKE. There is a small resort complex at the base, but it would be a lonely place to spend a week. Most guests drive over from the nearby town of the same name, which is somewhat more lively due to popularity with vacationing snowmobilers. When I was at Revelstoke for two weekdays in mid-March 2018 it seemed like there were only a few hundred other skiers on a mountain with 3000+ skiable acres and 5620'/1713m vertical. It's the kind of place you better bring a friend or make some friends quickly, because you could get seriously lost skiing the more remote parts of the mountain by yourself.

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RMR mid-mountain lodge with the Columbia River in background. It is actually only 800 vertical feet above the base. The transition point from the first to second phase of the gondola occurs at the top of the magic carpet lift to right. Total vertical rise of the gondola is 3839'/1170m.

Lifts and Terrain

Revelstoke has only three primary lifts: a long, two-phase gondola, and two HSQ chairlifts. There is some fine high alpine bowl skiing that you have to traverse and/or climb to access, but only 69 designated ski trails. It's almost like the ski area is a giant forest with a few trails and bowls that get in the way of all the tree skiing and off-piste.

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View of the North Bowl after taking the higher line hike from the top of The Stoke Chair.

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Looking up The Stoke Chair to highest lift served summit of the mountain at elevation 7300'/2225m. The vertical rise of this chair is 2073'/632m. Nice tree spacing, eh?

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Photo taken just after skier descended through notch in upper center. This is in the vicinity of a hike-to alpine area called Meet the Neighbors.


The only problem during my visit was that the lower 3000 vertical feet of the mountain was not too user-friendly due to a recent rain-freeze event. This limited the enjoyable skiing to the terrain served by the two upper mountain HSQ chairs. This is still about 2500' of vertical and some great stuff, but it gave the mountain a more limited feeling compared to other large ski areas I visited on the same trip. The second day we were there the upper terrain got 6-8" of new snow and that was a lot of fun, although visibility in the alpine bowls was challenging at times.

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Looking up The Ripper Chair, great tree skiing on either side of lift line here. The vertical rise of this chair is 1640'/500m.

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A little clearer view of North Bowl.

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Skiing Greely Bowl on a 6" powder day.


The Upside

If you happened to be at Revelstoke during a major snow storm when the whole mountain was in play, it could potentially be really, really special. You would have lots of trees to duck into and minimal competition for the goods. If you got sun after powder, the high alpine would be glorious and probably the nearest thing to heli-skiing without a helicopter. Revelstoke is separated from the Calgary population base and points east by some occasionally challenging driving over the Trans-Canada Highway, including snowy Rogers Pass.

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This is an open, alpine area called Separate Reality that is accessible with a short traverse from the summit of The Stoke Chair.

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This gully is in a tree skiing area called the Big Woody on the way from Greely Bowl to the base of The Ripper Chair.

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PugSki was here.

Link to RMR trail map: https://www.revelstokemountainresort.com/resort/trail-maps
 
Last edited:

ADKmel

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Nice report, I Skied Revy last winter end of March, now planning on going back 2019 for more of this! CIMG0408 - Copy.JPG
 

BS Slarver

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Excellent report ! With almost the same amount of ski areas under our belts I can honestly say Revi is a top ten of all our trips, then again we had sick conditions the entire time.

Kill the banker, heck it almost killed our accountant friend who tomahawked down a very long pitch into the woods - ugh ! He was ok to ski but at the time we thought we thought we would be phoning his wife with bad news on Valentine’s Day.
Only other negative was lack of on mountain amenities and only three lifts but off the chart terrain, my aviator is still the heli days there with Silkerk.
 

DanoT

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The mountain itself is great, but the flawed lift system that was installed never really accounted for the extremely low elevation. Also on powder days the lift system does a poor job of spreading people out. A large investment in infrastructure would help but likely won't happen.
 

DanoT

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SkiFiore

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Thanks for the summary! I'm heading there this year and was wondering if you could describe North Bowl more. From what I'm seeing in the photos, read, seen on maps, there are certainly plenty of spicy entrances, however, it also looks like there are options to for less hair raising entrances into the good bowls?

I realize ultimately I'll have to go have a look for myself and decide when I'm there, but curious what your experience was?
 

ADKmel

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we hired a guide to take us.. you can climb up and drop in, there are rocks to maneuver around the lower entrance was called 'the sweet spot' it was anything but sweet. Big whoop de-do's to go thru that shot us out onto the bowl. this photo is the lower entrance you can see people that came in from the top CIMG0403 - Copy.JPG
 
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Jim Kenney

Jim Kenney

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Thanks for the summary! I'm heading there this year and was wondering if you could describe North Bowl more. From what I'm seeing in the photos, read, seen on maps, there are certainly plenty of spicy entrances, however, it also looks like there are options to for less hair raising entrances into the good bowls?

I realize ultimately I'll have to go have a look for myself and decide when I'm there, but curious what your experience was?
Yes, there are a fair number of easier routes down North Bowl and the various secondary bowls closeby. 9th photo above shows an example of that called Separate Reality. I suppose the difficulty of various entries can be variable depending on the snowpack. I am far from an authority on the full scope of Revy, but I would add that the above tree line terrain that was readily apparent for tourists like me to enjoy was of less acreage than the huge vertical of the place might lead you to believe. Nonetheless, Revy is a very interesting experience and I hope you get good snow and have a great visit. Report back here after:thumb:
 

SkiFiore

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Thanks. This sounds and looks somewhat similar to a things I've done at Crested Butte. I'll take a look when I'm there.
 
Thread Starter
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Jim Kenney

Jim Kenney

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If you've skied a good amount of the terrain at CB off the two T-bars and down the front face around Banana chute, then you'll be comfortable exploring most/all of Revy.
 
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