Joined: 30 Mar 2005 Posts: 5402 Location: Between Sea and Sky
Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 4:00 pm Post subject:
Seems like Alta would not be a huge cultural experience. More of a culture shock. It's small in comparison to European ski centres. But I get the allure of going abroad to ski.
If you have a brother in Vancouver, it seems a no-brainer to me. Easy flights into YVR-Vancouver. Easy connections to Whistler or the interior via Greyhound (bus) or car rental.
Whistler is 1.75 hours from the airport. Get your brother to buy you discounted lift tickets at 7-11 in Vancouver (local convenience store chain). Need to be a BC or WA resident to purchase. Stay in Whistler at the sweet new hostel or at the Fireside Lodge. Both cheap, with the Fireside barely known outside of a small circle.
From Whistler loop the scenic 99/97 highway to Kamloops. Lots of touring from Pemberton to Llilloet (roadside hits) if you're comfortable with back country skiing and avy safety and have a partner. If not, it's an easy 4 hours to Kamloops and hit Sun Peaks resort for a day of Euro-ski groomers.
Then onto the #1 highway to Revelstoke (2.5 hours) and Rogers Pass. Cheap hotels in Revy, big vertical (more Euro type vertical if lower eleveation snow is good), and amazing scenery. Daytrip from Revy to Rogers Pass (roadside backcountry and huge deep dry snow) and over to Kicking Horse Resort (Golden) for huge expansive bowls and steep in-bounds terrain.
Head back to Vancouver from Revelstoke via the #1 and either veer off for a day of inbounds bumps and Okanagan powder (if there's fresh) at Silver Star in Vernon. If not, carry through and stop on the Coquihalla Highway, just 3 hours east of Vancouver and hit up the easily accessible backcountry - Zoa or Thar area.
All of this is in the Baldwin book.
So, I would pick that over Alta (no offense Utah'rs.) That would be an epic 7 day trip. 2 in Whistler, 1 in Sun Peaks, 2 in Revy, 1 in Kicking Horse, 1 on Rogers Pass, then boot it back to the airport - 6 hours from Revy.
As for culture... ski country and big mountain British Columbia is a warm and friendly culture all it's own, with small resource-based communities (except Whistler) and good beer and mostly friendly people. _________________ "It's a strange world made up of extreme horizontal and vertical planes. Where you find diagonal, you find skiing."
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