Shaun Sanislo and I finally got our chance to ski BC this week. We drove into Kicking Horse from Calgary last Thursday Night and it has been dumping snow ever since.
We booked a house about 2 blocks from the gondola, making for a pretty easy walk over to the resort, but we drove the car just because we could!
The legacy of Kicking Horse is of course the seriously steep and gnarly terrain – so what did we do? Our first run was straight up the gondola and a boot pack climb to the peak of T2, the southerly point of the resort boundary. At 8000 feet elevation, the breathing was fairly easy, but the climb was more intense than you would ever think for an in bounds skiing experience.
It took us about 35 minutes, but the real kicker was the last 100 feet of vertical where the patrol had to anchor a rope into the cliff band to assist your climb up a steep pitch that was pushing a 70 degree slope angle. Once we hit the top, we absolutely got our moneys worth with fresh tracks and steep pitches any way that you chose to go.
The great part is the length as the runs just keep going and going. You can see the bottom of the valley, but its crazy how much 4000 feet of vertical is in 1 shot. You won’t really know until you see it for yourself.
For advanced and expert skiers, the key to getting bang for your buck is the Stairway to Heaven chairlift. This keeps you on the top half of the mountain. There are slopes down that ridgeline both North and South facing that give you options to ski a different line every run all day long and you never have to hike unless you want to. We took the Stairway lift up, and in a storm it was of course a bit windy, but the snow that blew off the top filled into the bowls so you had effortless powder on every turn.
I’ve been skiing powder in Utah my whole life, and Shaun is a Wasatch back country enthusiast and we can both tell you that the Selkirk Powder Highway is definitely on to something.
- Mark McGill, Market Manager