The Powder Highway spans 680 miles through BC, connecting some 64 snow-laden ski operations, from traditional ski resorts to heli operations, cat-ski outfits and backcountry skiing lodges. Here’s six must-ski stops along the way. Hit the road and pray for a storm…
A railroad town in a remote corner of the Selkirk which is home to just two hotels, two restaurants and five lifts. But it also happens to have North America’s longest lift-accessed vertical (1,713m).
2. Rogers Pass
Not a ‘resort’ per se, but it’s only a 45-minute drive from Revelstoke (along Highway 1). It’s a classic roadside ski touring destination, boasting an incredible variety of routes ranging from high-glaciated ascents to fantastic alpine descents, along with outstanding tree skiing and pillow lines (just check out the WTF picture back on page 10). Oh, and it has an average annual snowfall of 14m.
This remote bohemian town (seven hours’ drive from Calgary, or get a connecting flight to Spokane) is the gateway to some of the most revered ski spots on the Powder Highway, including the Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park a ski touring paradise and Whitewater. Here’ll you’ll find three old chairlifts and over 12m annual snowfall. Don’t miss the fabled Trash Chutes.
4. Red Mountain resort
Just over six hours from Seattle (or get a connecting flight to Spokane) Red Mountain Resort in Rossland has two main peaks, 2900 vertical feet and an additional 4000 acres just outside the resort boundary. It’s considered to be one of the steeper resorts in BC and some say it has some of the best tree skiing in BC.
Three hours from Calgary airport, located in the Lizard Range of the Canadian Rockies, Fernie is known for its steep, gladed, ungroomed bowls. Two seasons ago a new chairlift was built on Polar Peak a mountain locals already hiked up when conditions allowed opening up 22 new runs and lots more steep lines.
6. Kicking Horse
Around the same distance from Calgary as Fernie lies Kicking Horse. Don’t be fooled by the apparently limited options shown on the piste map this is a must-do for any skilled rider. It has 85 chutes alone and almost the entire area of the upper bowls is freeride terrain, with wide-open alpine powder faces. No wonder it’s a popular heli-skiing spot.