Battle of the ski resorts: Revelstoke

Freeride mecca Revelstoke competes in our Battle of the Ski resorts

Nominated by Nicola

Ease of access 2/10

It’s a pain in the derrière to reach. You either change planes in Calgary and fly to Kelowna (two/three-hour drive from the resort), drive straight from Calgary (five hours), or – for a real adrenaline rush – brave the six-hour route from Vancouver along the Coquihalla, nicknamed ’the Smasher’.

Sense of scale and epicness 8/10

Big terrain, big pitch, big snowfall and big vertical. Riding the Revelation gondola, then the Stoke chair, higher and higher up Mount Mackenzie, the impressive scale of North America’s longest lift-accessed vertical (1,713m) is undeniable. From the top, you get mega views of the Selkirks and Monashees.

Nicola lets the views sink in | Chrigl Luthy
Nicola lets the views sink in | Chrigl Luthy

Variety and quality of the pistes 5/10

Variety… not so much. There is a small beginners area, as well as some blue runs, but they are fairly steep and suit adventurous intermediates best. Really this is a resort for advanced skiers, with excellent top-to-bottom runs of thigh-burning length (three classified black).

Off-piste potential 10/10

Revelstoke has 3,121 acres of skiable terrain yet only 59 trails, which gives you an idea of the magnitude of the off-piste offerings. As well as the big areas of glades, a 20-minute bootpack up Sub Peak leads you to Greely Bowl where we found fresh lines days after a fall (the resort gets on average 30-45ft each year), and a variety of steep chute options. There is cat- and heli-skiing trips accessing over 500,000 acres in the Mt Revelstoke and Glacier national parks, too.

Lapability 9/10

If those top-to-bottom burners don’t have you straight back on the chairlift, Kill the Banker will. It’s a steep, mogully, boulder-strewn descent under the gondola that is hilarious fun.

On-hill grub 6/10

Mid-Mountain Lodge has a cafeteria-style restaurant with a barbecue deck. The food is typically NA (chilli bowls, burgers etc.), but it gets packed. To avoid queuing best pick up fresh supplies with the ski patrollers at La Baguette cafè/shop at the base.

Après scene 6/10

The resort village is still in its infancy with only a couple of restaurants and one bar. There are some good downtown bars, like the Village Idiot, but you need a car/taxi to get there.

Base suitability 7/10

Ski safari? Not likely (the nearest ski resort is Kicking Horse, two hours drive away). But for ski touring there is no shortage of options. The Revelstoke Guides Bureau offers a variety of single and multi-day trips into the vast Mt Revelstoke National Park.

Family friendly? 2/10

There is a ski school, activity centre for kids, plus ski-in ski-out apartments that cater for families. But, considering the travel and terrain, this is far from an ideal family resort.

RANK: 27/29