Canada??
17 posts
9 users
3k+ views
MangyMarmot
November 24, 2007
Member since 12/25/2002 🔗
183 posts
Anybody got favorites there?
Was planning another Italian or mebbe a Swiss jaunt... but the Euro at $1.50 makes the European vacation a hard sell to the spousal unit.
So instead, I thinking a week in Utah.... and a week in Canada, so at least we get some sort of new, different, international experience.
I've never skied Canada. Anybody have favorite spots? Yeh, I know the loony is worth more than the dollar, but not by much.
mm
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 25, 2007
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
The Canadian dollar is now at parity with the U.S. dollar, so Canada is no place to save money right now. Best bet is to stick to the dollar economy.

With regard to Europe, there's been some pretty good early season snow there. I just checked the Lech-Zurs report:

120 cms on the mountain and 90 in the town.
STANTON has 160 on the mountain and 40 in town.

That's about as good as I've seen at this time of year for a long time. It's still not good enough, though, to convince me to spend the money to go there. If I did, however, I'd look to stay in St. Anton because it is cheaper, and its also a bit easier to get to given that its on the main rail line from Zurich to Innsrbuck. United, btw, always offers very cheap flights to Zurich during the winter so what you lose in skiing costs, you may make up for in cheaper air tickets.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 25, 2007
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Canada is my choice place to go outside of the US. As a matter of fact, I'd much rather go to Canada than the Western US. Has been my preference over a number of years as the dollar went way further in Canada. Now it is just a matter of choice. Before someone starts getting sensitive, it is a matter of personal preference, period. Canadian ski areas are much less crowded, there is a better ski culture and etiquette, and Canadians are about the most tolerant people on earth. And no one told me in Canada that I couldn't have my dog anywhere.

As far as the money. Today the looney was 1.01, which means at par. Far, far from what it was three years ago, but considering the bennies, I'd go for it.

The best from my experience with Canada (I put some pix in one of my websites, http://web.mac.com/bottal/Kalalau_Trail_Hike/Canadian_Ski_Areas.html):

The East:

Mt Tremblant, Quebec. Practice your French and ski at the same time. Tremblant is Intrawest, which means a pedestrian village, a Disneyfied atmosphere, and quite cosmopolitan. If you own anywhere at Intrawest (Snowshoe included) you ski for half price and still have the owner discounts. Great restaurants. Totally pet friendly. Almost 100 trails, Fly directly from Newark to Tremblant, or what's better, spend a couple of days in Montreal before heading off to Tremblant. Montreal rocks. It is, together with Buenos Aires, two Paris's in the New World. And when you add New York, San Francisco and Chigago, one of the cosmopolitan centers of the Western hemisphere. Last I went to Tremblant was about 8 years ago, going back this year following my Stowe strip, since I spent my vacation time in Hawaii and won't be able to get to Whistler. And I'm bringing my Black Lab. Wish I had some pix but I went there before I bought my digital camera.

The Rockies:

Lake Louise, Alberta: Was there two years ago. Together with Banff, it will remind you of Switzerland with better ski ettiquette. The Chateau Lake Louise is a gem of a place, and the ski area is quite open and uncrowded. It is in the middle of the national park. No condos, no bustling town, just the lake, the views, the skiing and the apres in the Chateau. The mountain is mainly an intermediate level resort, but several of the runs can be quite difficult. Staying at the Chateau (can't stay anywhere else) is an exercise in quiet elegance and impeccable service. Very - I mean, VERY, family oriented. A good place also for children to learn and practice good table manners. in the midst of luxury. Yet, it is surprisingly affordable. The views in Lake Louise are life-long memories, unforgettable. One of the most beautiful places in North America, if not the world.

Banff: Was there also, following Lake Louise. Actually you can go to any of the three mountains from either Banff or Lake Louise, although Sunshine is closer to Banff. The Banff Springs Hotel has all the grandeur in the middle of the mountains. The hotel is a recreation of a Scottish baronian castle. It is sumptuous, elegant, huge. Total concierge service, all you do is put on your (warmed) boots and go. The resort runs are grand, glacier peaks on down, three mountains large and the runs basically meet towards the end, following a river valley. The top trails are very technical and difficult. There is a town next to the Banff Springs Hotel with several other hotels and B&Bs, from the grand to the proletarian. If you really want to go on the cheap, Canmore, about 15 miles away, has very good hotels and more of a local flavor. Calgary, the place where you land, is also an interesting city.

The West:

Whistler: Grand. Simply grand. Don't count the trails, count the square miles of bowls, trails, glades and chutes. No other place in the Western Hemisphere can approximate the size of Whistler. Intrawest property, so the discounts apply. Restaurants galore, from the three dollar tahini wrap for the starving poet snowboarder to the five star, $300 a plate elegance of Araxis. Awesome apre ski, bars and pubs everywhere. The clientèle is totally cosmopolitan, a mini-United Nations. The skiing is fabulous if Whistler gets good weather, which it has in recent years. 7,000 feet vertical. If you want trails, you've got two mountains full of trails. If you want bowls, you've got two mountains full of bowls.
comprex
November 25, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

The East:

Le Massif
Mont Sainte-Anne

Very French, fewer anglophones, very cold, nice steepness and views, very technically competent skiers, absolutely wonderful vertical for the east, tends to be a bit dry so less natural snow, mostly manmade. Nightlife particularly at MSA since you're barely out of Quebec City.

Mont Sutton and L'Estrie

Barely over the Vt border, sort of like Jay-lite with Canadian food and accomodations (good cooking but tepid hot tubs).

All of the above avoid the mass-catered Tremblant atmosphere.


West:

Kicking Horse - steep, mogul and chute fest with some conditions-dependent powder

Panorama- Disneyfied, tamed Kicking Horse

Lake Louise - something for everybody, including several hundred thousand Brits, Ozzies, Kiwis.

If you can avoid BC aka British Columbia aka 'Bring Cash', that's a good thing.
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 25, 2007
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
The thing is, if you have kids, the Intrawest model works like a champ. You lose on the genuine feel, but the kids are taken care of and that goes for virtually every Intrawest resort. Mom and dad can go off on their own exploring chutes and steeps, the kids can have their own fun. Again, yes, it is cookie cutter, whether it is Whistler, Panorama, Copper, Stratton, Winter Park, Mammoth, Snowshoe or whatever. But it is a standard package geared to an upscale crowd that promises certain standards accross the chain. In that, Intrawest is tops. Yes, Mad River Glen is still king, but you can't really have a skier's paradise and make money.

I totally agree about Mt Ste Anne, if it is an adult group. What are kids to do at night with mom and dad scurrying off to the Old City to party? Something to think about.

As far as BC, I started going there when I spent an average of 1,500 a day in Aspen and decided that it was way too much. Whistler has had awesome conditions over the past two years at two thirds of the price.
comprex
November 26, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

Good points.
therusty
November 27, 2007
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Whistler, Lake Louise and Sunshine are must haves for one's life list of resorts visited. With the loony being so high you might want to consider hitting the smaller resorts. There are a dozen decent places in interior BC (e.g. Panorama, Fernie, Kicking Horse, Red, Apex, Whitewater, Big White, Sun Peaks) ranging from modern to throwback. I've done a touring trip from Vancouver out to Fernie and back. It's not for the faint of heart (there are lots of passes to get over), but it is magnificent country. Of the 5 smaller resorts I skied Fernie was my favorite.
Roger Z
November 27, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Folks up in Seattle rave about Sun Peaks. It's supposed to be a great resort, kind of the hidden gem of BC now that Fernie's discovered.
JohnL
November 27, 2007
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
Folks up in Seattle rave about Sun Peaks. It's supposed to be a great resort, kind of the hidden gem of BC now that Fernie's discovered.


Roger Z.,

How discovered has Fernie become relative to some of the U.S or Canadian areas?
Roger Z
November 27, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Good question John. Guess we'll need to do a field trip someday to find out, eh? \:\)

I'm just reporting what I've read on that one. For all I know, it's just a local griping because three years ago they saw a Texas license plate drive by. But the word is people are figuring out it's there- it certainly has the press coverage that places like Kimberly and Sun Peaks lack.

Of course, for places that are truly undiscovered, there's always this little out-of-the way gem.
JohnL
November 27, 2007
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Dang! What the vert at that place? Couldn't find it on their site. Love the annual snowfall.

Nice retro skis in one of the photos at the top.

Two words.

Road trip.
David
November 27, 2007
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL
Dang! What the vert at that place? Couldn't find it on their site. Love the annual snowfall.


I couldn't find those stats either. According to the skiing weatherman it should be a good year up there. Maybe a little more than 41 feet at Powder King. I say we have a DCSki gathering there this winter!!

"The northern Rockies and Northwest look to be in jackpot position, and British Columbia is in line for a banner year, as well."

http://www.snocountry.com/staticpages/index.php/Skiing-Weather-pre
Roger Z
November 28, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
Dang! What the vert at that place? Couldn't find it on their site. Love the annual snowfall.


2,100 feet.

The snowfall is sick- drowning level totals. Their name might actually be accurate (SAY, there's a good thread: if there was truth in advertising, what would the name of local ski areas be? Timberline = " 'Is This Lift On' Ski Area"???). It would be the ultimate ski road trip. It doesn't beat riding your motorbike around South America for four months (a friend's friend is going to do that next year with a bunch of his buddies), but it's close. \:\)
MangyMarmot
November 28, 2007
Member since 12/25/2002 🔗
183 posts
Hey,

Thanks for all the input. I'm still on the fence on the big trip. Out of th eblue a buddy of mine just dropped me an email saying his girlfriend's got a condo at Heavenly and do i want in on the last week of Feb. I love Tahoe and the price is sweet (nearly free...he knows how to pick the right girlfriend!).

But we got 3 weeks off, so mebbe I'll fly in and visit some friends in Seattle and (if my geography isn't totally whacked) check out one of the areas on the Canadaian side of the border and then head down to SF and Tahoe.

So, that narrows the picture a bit. What's the best proximity to Seattle? Having lived on the West Coast, I know people have a way of underestimating Western distances. Are any worthwhile slopes within a couple hours of Seattle?

mm
Roger Z
November 28, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Canada-wise, you've got Whistler about five hours up the road. The local hills in Vancouver are obviously closer, but probably not worth the drive.

In the U.S., Crystal just added over 1,000 acres of new terrain, virtually doubling the size of their ski area. I've always enjoyed Steven's Pass, too, and of course Baker is a local legend.

I think Sun Peaks and the Kamloops area is about 6-7 hours away if I remember right. Need to verify that with someone else. On the flip side, Mount Bachelor is also aobut six hours away but is mostly intermediate skiing (and the cone isn't open too often because of weather).
JimK - DCSki Columnist
November 28, 2007
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,723 posts
Here's a crude map and some basic data on Wash State ski areas: http://www.goski.com/search/welcome.html?page=states&rorc=washington . Several are within two hours of downtown Seattle. Perhaps the most highly regarded of these are Crystal Mtn (~90mins, 3100' vertical) and Mt. Baker (~2hours, not as big, but very gnarly). I've heard the proximity to the city can make them very busy on prime weekends.
Here's another good link for general and detailed info on all Wash State skiing: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/snowsports/
MangyMarmot
December 22, 2007
Member since 12/25/2002 🔗
183 posts
OK.
I finally booking my trip. Looks like we'll spend 3 or so days in Whistler at open of trip (we finish in Tahoe after a week of filler).

Anybody got a favorite (mostly-affordable) place they've stayed at Whistler?

Any ideas on discounted lift tix? I'm seeing $70 a day. We can get cheaper by taking skibuss from Vancouver and adding lift tix on that.

We don't want to shoot our whole wad for the trip on the first stint in Whistler.

mm
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.14 seconds