Revelstoke reported about 6 inches new snow, which was enough to draw crowds on a Friday, particularly with the generally modest snowfall everywhere since New Year’s. There was a ~10 minute line for tickets, then another 10 to load the gondola. At the day lodge they had us get out of the gondola as its upper stage had a short wind hold, fortunately ending just as we arrived. We finally got up to the Stoke chair ~10AM, which no surprise had a full maze, so we used the singles line as we would half of our rides on Stoke and Ripper.
The top of Stoke was foggy with a brisk wind from the south. Rather than ski a blue groomer in bad vis, we took the North Bowl traverse as far as the tree band next to Vertigo, then worked our way down the full length of the Separate Reality Glades.
This is an example of an area where Revelstoke has thinned its otherwise quite dense forest. Thus it was bumpy in here but still a soft ride with the new snow if not everyone’s idea of a warmup run. So we made our way to Ripper and skied the two perimeter groomers there.
I remembered that back in 2009 when Revelstoke was quiet that the day lodge was busy at lunch, so I thought we better get down there not much past 11:30. We skied past Stoke and descended via Snow Rodeo and Feller Buncher. Snow was chopped up but had a good surface so recent storms must have been snow nearly all the way down. Temps in the town of Revelstoke were right on freezing, so it was mostly sleet and no new snow or ice was sticking to our car.
After lunch we went back up the gondola and Stoke so I could show Liz North Bowl. It was a careful entry with bad vis and a few choke points but very good snow when it opened up. Below the bowl, the steep Meet the Neighbors chute through the trees had the deepest snow of the day.
We skied back to Stoke, this last time to ski the full 5,600 vertical, same as my longest run in the Alps last month from the top of the Parsenn to Klosters. We traversed into that south wind so we could ski Hot Sauce first.
This was wide open a the top and very lightly tracked as you can’t make it back to Stoke and are thus committed to ski at least the 4,700 vertical to the day lodge. The descent via Devil’s Club was a real leg burner with a mix of groomed, bumps and the new snow. This day sounds like just a few runs but due to their length totalled 17,200 vertical. Note the full parking lot at the base.
We got down to the car by 2:15 because we had to get to my pickup by Mustang 30 miles west of Revelstoke at 3:30. Eagle Pass is only about 2,000 feet but the TransCanada Hwy is still avalanche exposed in that area. Liz had to wait 1 hour and 15 mins after dropping me off to get back to Revelstoke, and had an even longer delay 3 days later on the way to ski Silver Star before picking me up.
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,318K in 2010-11
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12