Ski Trips to Resorts in the Kootenays
The Kootenay freeride tour
Tour Length: 13 days, 10 skiing
Start/End Location: Pick up/drop off at the Cranbrook International Airport
Ski/Board Ability: Advanced to expert
Accommodation: Hotels/motels, in convenient locations
Dining: Fritz will help you choose some of the best restaurants and will make the reservations
Optional Activities: Heli/cat skiing when seats are available with local companies
Group Size: Booking is finalized after 8 individuals have reserved seats, max 10. Deadline Jan 5th, 2020
Date: March 5th-18th
*Due to Fritz’s already busy pre-boopking for his backcountry ski touring guiding trips, he can only fit one Kootenay Freeride Tour in this coming winter (2020) *
Guiding expertise of Fritz
Transportation in 11 passenger Mercedes Sprinter bus
13 nights accommodation with continental breakfast
10 lift tickets
Pickup/drop off at Cranbrook International Airport
1st and last dinner is on us for the whole group! (Alcohol not included)
5% local tax (GST)
Meals and alcohol
Optional extra activities
Travel medical insurance
Rentals and lessons
Travel expenses before and after tour
Getting around town during free time
Home to the Kimberley Alpine Resort, a ski area and Kimberley’s Underground Mining Railway that features a 750-foot-long (230 m) underground mining interpretive centre complete with operational 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railway equipment. Recreational pursuits include world-class skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, biking, hiking and golfing on championship golf courses. The city has the largest urban park in Canada. At 1,977 acres (800 ha), the Kimberley Nature Park is the largest incorporated park in Canada.
Fun fact: The city has the “largest freestanding cuckoo clock in Canada”.
It is located in the Purcell Mountains, on the east face of North Star Hill. The ski season starts in mid December and runs until early April.
The resort maintains 80 runs (with 20% beginner, 42% intermediate and 38% advanced trails) and 5 liftsystems: a high-speed quad chair lift (the North Star Express), a triple chair (the Easter), a double chair (the Tamarack), a T-bar (the Owl) and a magic carpet, leading to a total lift capacity of 6,452 skiers per hour.
Much of the town’s history is tied into the Canadian Pacific Railway and the logging industry. Today, the town’s economy still relies heavily on those two influences, but the development of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, along with other outdoor adventure companies, has allowed the town to diversify into tourism. Mount 7, which is just southeast of town, is popular with paragliding, hang gliding, and mountain biking enthusiasts. The town forms part of the Golden Triangle cycle route.
Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge is the longest freestanding timber frame bridge in Canada. Planned as a community project by the Timber Framers Guild, volunteers from Golden were joined by carpenters and timber framers from the United States and from Europe. The bridge structure is 150 feet (46 m) long, with a 210,000-pound Burr arch structure. The bridge was completed in September 2001.
The city is situated on the banks of the Columbia River just south of the Revelstoke Dam and near its confluence with the Illecillewaet River. East of Revelstoke are the Selkirk Mountains and Glacier National Park, penetrated by Rogers Pass used by the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway. South of the community down the Columbia River are the Arrow Lakes, Mount Begbie, and the Kootenays. West of the city is Eagle Pass through the Monashee Mountains and the route to Shuswap Lake.
Currently, the resort has a 1713m (5620ft) vertical drop, Revelstoke has the longest vertical descent of any ski resort in North America. In terms of size, it is about the same as other major resorts, such as Breckenridge and Panorama, and about a third the size of Whistler-Blackcomb. When completed, it will have 10,000 acres (40 km2), which will make it the largest in North America.
Known as “The Queen City”, and acknowledged for its impressive collection of restored heritage buildings from its glory days in a regional silver rush, Nelson is one of the three cities forming the commercial and population core of the West Kootenay region, the others being Castlegar and Trail. The city is the seat of the Regional District of Central Kootenay. It is represented in the provincial legislature by the riding of Nelson-Creston, and in the Parliament of Canada by the riding of Kootenay—Columbia.
In the winter, skiing and snowboarding are Nelson’s primary outdoor activities. Thirty minutes south of town is the Whitewater Ski Resort, which provides access, (via one triple chairlift, two double chairlifts and a handle tow), to 396 vertical metres of beginner to advanced terrain. The resort also provides access to hundreds of kilometres of off-piste skiing and back country touring. The Nelson area is home to over 20 cat-skiing, heli-skiing and ski-touring operators, and hundreds of kilometres of cross-country trails are available for the Nordic skier. In 2012 Nelson and Rossland, a small city south-west of Nelson, were jointly voted best ski locales in North America by readers of California-based Powder Magazine.
Fernie lies on the Elk River, along Canada’s southernmost east-west transportation corridor through the Rockies that crosses the range via the Crowsnest Pass, 40 kilometres (25 miles) to the east. As the largest and longest-established community between Cranbrook and Lethbridge, Fernie serves as a minor regional centre, particularly for its fellow Elk Valley communities.
Like most single-industry towns, Fernie endured several boom-and-bust cycles throughout the twentieth century, generally tied to the global price of coal. The mines at Coal Creek closed permanently by 1960 and the focus of mining activity shifted to Michel and Natal about twenty-five kilometres (16 miles) upriver, which sat on a more productive portion of the Crowsnest Coal Field. Kaiser Resources opened immense open-pit mines there in the 1970s to meet new thermal coal contracts for the Asian industrial market, predominantly for use in blast furnaces. Fernie would remain an important residential base for mine labour, along with the new communities of Sparwood and Elkford that sprang up much closer to these new mines. Today, Teck Resources operates all five open-pit mines, shipping out unit trains (often with more than 100 cars) along the Canadian Pacific Railway through Fernie to the Pacific Coast, where the coal is loaded onto freighters at Roberts Bank Superport in Delta.
It is known particularly for its high annual snowfall, reportedly the highest of any resort in the Canadian Rockies, and for its powder skiing. The resort also operates a mountain bike park, guided hikes, treetop aerial park, and zip line in the summer months.
The resort has 10 lifts servicing 142 named runs plus 5 alpine bowls and tree skiing with a vertical drop of 1,082 meters (3,550 ft). The resort has over 10.1 square kilometres (2,500 acres) of skiable terrain. The average annual snowfall is 875 centimetres (28.71 ft).Fernie Alpine Resort is owned by Resorts of the Canadian Rockies which also owns ski areas, Kimberley Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Nakiska, Mont Sainte-Anne, and Stoneham.
Kicking Horse is frequented by skiers, snowboarders, snowskaters and telemarkers.
Annual snowfall ranges from 254 cm (100″) at the bottom of the mountain to 700 cm (275″) at the summit. The total in boundary ski area is over 2800 Acres. The slopes are well known for the light and dry snow, dubbed Champagne Powder. The resort is open for skiing from mid December to mid April, and for mountain biking and sightseeing from late June to early October.
The hill is served primarily by a high-speed gondola, the Golden Eagle Express, that rises from the base area to the peak. Two smaller chairlifts also operate from the base area, a fixed-grip quad (Catamount) and a fixed-grip double (Pioneer – a relic from Whitetooth days). Another fixed-grip quad (Stairway to Heaven) serves the upper areas to the north of the gondola, including the third bowl. Uphill capacity is generally limited, however, and most skiers need to return to the summit via the gondola at the base of the mountain. The limited terrain park is compensated by the natural terrain and exceptional backcountry access.
The Selkirks receive plentiful, dry snow, and the location in a high alpine bowl provides an annual snowfall average of approximately 12 m (472 in; 39 ft). The elevation of the parking lot is 1,605 m (5,266 ft) and the highest lift accessed point is 2,000 m (6,562 ft). While Ymir Peak is not included within the ski area boundary, lifts climb both shoulders of the bowl and provide easy traverse routes along ridges to the top. In addition to its snow, the resort is renowned for its tree skiing and steep runs; only 20% of the runs are beginner, while 40% are intermediate and the remaining 40% are advanced. Areas surrounding Whitewater, including West Arm Provincial Park, are renowned for easy access for backcountry split boarding and ski touring.
The resort consists of three lifts: one triple chair lift (installed in 2010), one antiquated double chair, a fixed grip quad chair (installed in 2017), a handle tow, 13 km of Nordic trails, and a lodge with an-award-winning cafeteria, a rental shop and guest services.
Fairmont Hot Springs is an unincorporated resort community located in south-eastern British Columbia, Canada commonly referred to as Fairmont. The community has a population of 476, but receives frequent tourists from Calgary. The local Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is centered around a soak pool and swimming pool fed by natural mineral hot springs, billing them as “Canada’s largest natural mineral hot springs”. The original springs building, surrounded by hot spring water seeping out of the ground, still stands.
The community contains three golf courses: Mountainside and Riverside are 18-hole courses, while Creekside is a family-oriented 9-hole par 3. In the winter, the area is also home to a small downhill ski area, with three lifts (one double chair and two surface lifts), 13 runs and a tube park, as well as numerous cross-country trails.
Halcyon Hot Springs, also known as Halcyon Hot Springs Resort & Spa, is a popular travel destination in British Columbia, found 35km north of Nakusp, BC on the Upper Arrow Lake. Halcyon Hot Springs Resort & Spa is open to the public year round and has two natural hot spring pools, a cold plunge pool and a seasonal swimming pool, located directly on the beautiful Upper Arrow Lake. The Resort is equipped with a full service restaurant, ‘The Kingfisher’, that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a spa on site and 45 cabins, cottages & chalets dotted in the trees around the lake.