Category Archives: Western U.S. & Canada

Snowcat Tours Make Skiers Purr

Often referred to as “the poor man’s heli-skiing,” snowcat tours are by no means the neglected stepchildren of the backcountry skiing experience. Whether managed by ski areas or operated independently, cat outfits offer powder-hungry snow riders a heli-like backcountry experience—for as little as one-tenth the cost (anywhere from about $100 to $300 per day). Not … Continue reading Snowcat Tours Make Skiers Purr

Castle Mountain: The Best Ski Hill You’ve Never Heard Of

Pincher Creek (AB), Canada – Pulling into the town of Pincher Creek, Alberta, one certainly doesn’t feel that they’ve arrived at a ski mountain. Situated 30 miles east of Castle Mountain Resort, though, the 600 or so beds contained in a number of motels constitute the closest lodging to the ski area. The town is … Continue reading Castle Mountain: The Best Ski Hill You’ve Never Heard Of

Lake Louise: The Mountain with Just About Everything

Lake Louise (AB), Canada – Think about your favorite place to ski or board. Think about why it’s your favorite. Make a list. Good. Got your list? Lake Louise will likely have just about everything on your list, maybe. What could possibly be missing from this mammoth resort in the Canadian Rockies? Read on. n … Continue reading Lake Louise: The Mountain with Just About Everything

Fernie: Growing Pains

Fernie (BC), Canada – Ever since Charlie Locke’s "Resorts of the Canadian Rockies" (RCR) purchased Fernie Snow Valley in June of 1997, rechristened it Fernie Alpine Resort and doubled the size of their lift-serviced terrain during the 1998/99 season, the southeastern British Columbia hill has been transformed overnight from a ski-bum secret into a darling … Continue reading Fernie: Growing Pains

Watch Out for the Kicking Horse!

Large snow removal trucks sped across the Calgary International Airport tarmac as a number of reporters piled into a small twin-prop for a quick, 30-minute flight to Golden, British Columbia, home of Whitetooth Ski Hill. The story which held everyone’s attention was the unveiling of a $200-million undertaking: the Canadian Rockies’ first new ski resort … Continue reading Watch Out for the Kicking Horse!

Panorama: Intrawest’s Other B.C. Ski Giant

Panorama (BC), Canada – There might be prettier vistas than the ones we had of Invermere, the 20+mile-long valley lake, nestled between the Rockies and the Purcells, the one Panorama’s literature calls “charming.” Perhaps lakeside splendor was just down the road, around a bend; or perhaps we were jaded. Several hours before, we’d been clamboring … Continue reading Panorama: Intrawest’s Other B.C. Ski Giant

Sunshine Village: A Slice of the Alps in Alberta

Banff (AB), Canada – Go ahead.  Tell your friends that you’re going skiing in western Canada.  What will you hear?   "Oh, so is this your first trip to Whistler?" Be more specific.  Tell them you’ll be skiing in the Banff area.   "Yeah, I hear Lake Louise has beautiful views." Then tell them all … Continue reading Sunshine Village: A Slice of the Alps in Alberta