British Colombia boasts some of the deepest powder and most exciting terrain on the planet. But which mountains should you visit, and how can you make the most of all that pow?
The answer: a once-in-a-lifetime snow safari that cherry picks the best resorts and rolls them into a single trip, with everything from guiding to accommodation thrown in. Here’s how it works.
About the snow safari
A two-week, powder-chasing road trip through the Kootenay Rockies in the southeast corner of British Colombia, our Powder Triangle Ski Safari / Snowboard Safari is the ultimate adventure for fans of the white stuff. You’ll visit four of the best resorts on Canada’s fabled Powder Highway – Fernie, Red Mountain, Revelstoke and Kicking Horse – with accommodation, transport, a host and ski/snowboard coach included. All you have to do is wake up and get on the hill.
Accommodation is pre-arranged at all four resorts, and your host drives the minivan between them. You’ll be woken up for breakfast in the morning, handed your lift pass and taken to the mountain to meet your coach. Our handpicked local pros will boost your technique and reveal the best that each resort has to offer, from powder stashes to secret chutes – something that would take months to discover by yourself.
Days for free skiing are accounted for, allowing you to explore more of each mountain and return to your favourite runs, with cat and heli ski days optional add ons for a slice of the backcountry. No day is lost on the roads, as travel days permit a morning on the hill to blast away any cobwebs.
Our local knowledge isn’t just confined to the slopes: your host will stop off at haunts and viewpoints along the way, and shepherd the group to the best restaurants and bars based on appetite and group vibe.
When you only spend a couple of days in each resort, the local knowledge is invaluable. I’m fully aware that all the technique tips have given me confidence to tackle what could be nerve-wracking terrain. And that my new-found Nonstop family will be there to help should I get stuck.
Calgary – Fernie – Red Mountain – Revelstoke – Kicking Horse – Calgary
You’ll tour through the heart of BC – an area that’s renowned for its massive amounts of powder and awesome freeride terrain. It's no coincidence that 90% of the world's cat and heli skiing companies are based here.
After meeting your host and the group at Calgary Airport, we’ll hop in the van and head to Fernie for four days of powder riding in its five alpine bowls. Next, we’ll weave through the Rockies to the challenging off-piste terrain at Red Mountain. Continuing to Revelstoke three days later, you’ll experience North America’s newest resort and biggest vertical, followed by the double black diamonds of Kicking Horse where the on-snow adventure ends.
The drives between resorts are beautiful, lush forests and small towns flash by, we follow winding rivers, or cross lakes by ferry, but this trip is definitely about the slopes not sightseeing.
Size: 2,500+ acres
Average snowfall: 30ft
Vertical: 3,550 ft
Piste grading: 30% green, 40% blue, 30% black
A legendary mountain with five alpine bowls: Cedar, Lizard, Currie, Timber and Siberia. Each one has unique appeal, with ungroomed steeps, chutes and open glades as well as long groomers to warm-up on. Fernie itself is a turn-of-the-century mining town with historic buildings, good restaurants and buzzing bars.
When we arrived it had been snowing almost solidly for a week and the bowls were full of fluffy, white powder. After an early rise and one of the first lifts, I had an untracked run into Currie bowl. All over the mountain were squeals of delight…
Size: 2,877 acres
Average snowfall: 25 ft
Vertical: 2,919 ft
Piste grading: 18% green, 31% blue, 51% black
Renowned for its challenging terrain, Red Mountain is more like lift accessed backcountry than a ski resort. There are three mountains – Red, Grey and Granite – with 360-degree skiing, lots of double black diamonds, and incredible backcountry. You’ll also have the option to go cat skiing. The scenery is stunning, and the locals are super-friendly. You’ll find one of the best après bars in North America at the base of the mountain, but the nearby town of Rossland is where you’ll find the best choice of restaurants.
You can ski 360 degrees down Granite Mountain and, as I’ve found is a theme with Canadian resorts, there is a hell of a lot more ski-able terrain than the number of lifts suggests.
Size: 3,121 acres
Average snowfall: 30 ft
Vertical: 5,620 ft
Piste grading: 7% green, 46% blue, 47% black
This adventurous resort is Canada’s heli-ski capital and newest resort, opening 2007. It also boasts North America’s longest lift-served vertical at 1,715m. The terrain is mostly steep and ungroomed, with top to bottom blacks and excellent tree skiing. There’s a small village base, and more than 50 bars and restaurants in the nearby working town of Revelstoke.
We hike 20 minutes vertical from the top of the Stoke Chair, still inside the resort boundary, to the highest point of 2,225m, where we stop a few minutes to take photos, enjoy the view and gulp water before easing off a cornice into a sheltered bowl that holds soft powder. It makes for a string of euphoric turns…
Size: 2,800+ acres
Average snowfall: 24ft
Piste grading: 20% green, 20% blue, 60% black
A big mountain playground with powder-filled bowls, tough chutes on the upper slopes, and wooded trails below. With more black runs than any other grades, there’s plenty of inbound ridges and bumps to challenge you. For fresh lines and steeps, take the Stairway to Heaven to the top of Feuz Bowl. Kicking Horse has a few slope-side bars and restaurants but the mining town of Golden has more choice.
It might look like someone’s got a bit excited with the black diamond logo when making the trail list but, no, there really are that many black runs.
BC road trip: Weave through the heart of the Kooteany Rockies in British Columbia amidst soaring peaks, thick alpine forests and winding rivers.
Four powder resorts: Tick off four mythical resorts on Canada’s Powder Highway where deep Kootenay powder is aplenty, and let us show you the local secrets at each.
Snowcats in Red: An optional cat-skiing/boarding adventure at Red Mountain means you can make even more of its incredible powder and untouched backcountry.
Heli at Revy: Having honed your off-piste skills in Fernie and Red, you could put them to the test with heli-skiing/boarding in Revelstoke, Canada’s heli-ski capital.
Historic towns: Off the slopes, local food, culture and nightlife in quintessential Canadian mountain towns like Fernie and Rossland add to the appeal.
Après hot-tubs: The best way to soothe your muscles, you’ll be soaking in hot tubs at every resort. Some accommodation also includes saunas, movie rooms and more.
Ready to be driven, fed and guided to some of the world’s most powdery resorts? Get in touch with the Nonstop team to find out more, or take a look at our Powder Triangle Ski Safari / Powder Triangle Snowboard Safari.
We look forward to speaking with you.