Kicking Horse, B.C., March 13

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Kicking Horse, B.C., March 13

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Mar 17, 2002 5:20 pm

Kicking Horse kicked my ass today. After heliskiing and a transportation marathon to reach Golden at 2:30AM, I wasn't exactly bursting with energy today. Every run at Kicking Horse is 3,800 vertical, and I staggered through 7 of them. There is a winding 10km green run top to bottom, but with all the awesome bowls, steeps, trees and leftover powder I did not exercise the self discipline to stay on the groomed.

With that one lift there are numerous tracks in the powder but there is seldom enough traffic to really chew it up. Your first view at the top of the gondola is watching hikers put first tracks down Blue Heaven. The gondola runs up CPR Ridge, which has super steep chutes on its north side and scattered trees full of powder (amazingly NO crust underneath today) on its south side. After emptying out into the north or south side bowl, there's still almost 2,000 vertical to go.

The next 1,000 vertical has 5 or 6 cut runs that would be high speed cruisers at most areas. At Kicking Horse these were all mogul runs covered in about 3 inches of fresh. Despite leg burnout I ventured down these a few times. I would humbly suggest that ONE of these be groomed per day (enhancing powder skiing when there are just a few inches new), but I later found out that Kicking Horse only owns 3 snowcats.

Only the lower 1/4 of the mountain has easy terrain and widespread grooming (also 2 old chairs I never used). There is a new base lodge but no other buildings yet. There is also a very nice restaurant at the top of the gondola. All lodging this season is 10km down th road in Golden.

Kicking Horse was recently rated the #2 mountain behind Whistler in Western Canada by the new Canadian SBC Skier Magazine, and I would not quarrel with that assessment. There's 2,300 acres now, with more accessible if you have the energy to hike. The fresh snow lasts a long time with such low skier density, and the powder was very dry. There will be more development in future seasons, but for now it's one of North America's best bets for lift serviced fresh tracks.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
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Tony Crocker
 
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