EPIC ski trip: Detour to Revelstoke Mountain
Although not part of the EPIC pass collective of ski resorts, we could not resist the call of Revelstoke in British Columbia on our EPIC ski trip. In fact, Revelstoke is part of another collective, the Ikon pass, and next time (if there is a next time!) we might choose to travel many more of the Ikon resorts.
Whistler to Revelstoke via Kamloops
We left Whistler after 3.5 days of skiing. The last day was on fresh snow and we didn’t really want to leave. behind such a wonderful and large resort.
However, we had accommodation booked at Kamloops, some 4.5 hours away on Highway 99 and Highway 1. The route includes a high pass and you should check DriveBC website to be sure of the road conditions. There are also a few wooden bridges that can be slippery in wet and snow,
We stayed one night at a lovely Airbnb “loft house” and enjoyed a meal at the Noble Pig (excellent food, beer and service.)
The next morning, a drive of another 2.5 hours on Highway 1, took us to Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
Tip: Check the DriveBC website for road closures and conditions. We were fortunate to avoid a long tailback when the road closed in the early morning due to an avalanche.
We last visited Revvie during a Powder Highway ski-drive tour a couple of years ago and we decided we had to revisit the amazing mountain.
Revelstoke Mountain: The stats and facts
- Top: 2225m
- Base: 512m
- Drop: 1713m (the most vertical drop of any resort in North America)
- Area: 3,121 acres
- Number of runs: 69
- Beginner/Intermediate/Expert: 10%/ 42.5% / 47.5%
- Longest run: 15.2km The last Spike, green run
- 3 uplifts: gondola and 2 high-speed quads
- 2 magic carpets
- Average annual snowfall: 15m
Why we like Revelstoke
On the ski map, this might not look like an extensive ski resort, especially due to the relatively few uplifts, however, this resort has amazing vertical and many challenges on steep slopes.
It is also a great bet for excellent snow. We arrived to news of some 11cm of snowfall overnight and we thoroughly enjoyed skiing on creamy buttery snow. It felt like heaven to float down easier graded slopes (easier graded still means mostly pretty steep at Revelstoke) and enjoy the powdery deep snow in the bowls and gladed areas.
The tree skiing is amazing at Revvie and we were #Revelstoked to ski gnarly glades. The black-graded Glades of Glory proved to be the biggest test of the day, especially for me, but I was delighted to be able to manage most of it without slip-sliding.
The North Bowl area was in great condition, too. We skied Meet the Neighbours, which has a steep entry but if you traverse high up the bowl, the slope looks easier. Well, I say this because Hubby G, who is the better skier, slid down head first on a long steep section earlier on after taking a tumble, while I traversed across and managed not to fall down the slope.
As I stood at the top of the bowl, wondering if I had the guts to make the first turn – the first turn is always the hardest mentally on a steep slope – a child aged about six came whizzing past, making neat turns without any fear.
I decided that I needed to get a grip of my fear and just go for it. I did, but a single diamond black graded slope off-piste is still a challenge for me.
We enjoyed the “green” slopes, too. When the snow is new and buttery soft, it’s easy to feel like a hero and when our legs were too tired to ski more blue and black runs we glided joyfully down long, gentle green slopes.
Other things to like about Revelstoke
There is a good balance of pisted and inbound back country.
It’s easy to “flirt with the boundaries”, which means you can easily access off-the-edge-of-the-pistes ungroomed powder snow.
The inbound back country is also easy to reach from the resort, with skiable traverses as well as some bootpacking.
You can enjoy lift, cat and heli skiing from one village base (if you have the money!)
The resort feels laid-back and friendly. Everywhere we skied, people were smiling.
If you buy a two-day pass – or more – you can have one rest day. So our two-day pass allows us a day off and then to ski the next day.
Tip 2: There is a bank holiday weekend each February called Family Day weekend. This is a busy tie to visit any ski resort. On one of the days, the resort seemed surprisingly empty but on another day it was busy. While the slopes remained relatively empty the ski lifts had big queues. I think, if I could, I would avoid this weekend for a ski trip.
What you might not like so much about Revelstoke
The skiing is steep, deep and often moguled. We love this kind of skiing despite not being that amazingly skilled. We simply enjoy the challenges of the slopes, but this might not suit everyone especially if you prefer everything to be neatly groomed.
There are only three major lifts, although somehow this still allows you to reach all the mountain with a few traverses. The lifts are also fairly fast.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on lift closure times, which are a fairly early 3pm. However, catching the last lifts of the day means you get to ski back down on almost empty slopes.
It is not always sunny! When it is cloudy the high slopes are not easy to ski unless you are very good at skiing in low visibility (which we are not!).
What we also discovered at Revelstoke
Revelstoke on a snowy and sunny day is breathtakingly stunning.
There is mountain resort accommodation and a small resort village if you want to stay on-site. We are based in Revelstoke, which is about a 10-minute drive. There are regular buses to the mountain from the town.
You can ski the whole mountain on piste or stay off-piste.
You can ski almost every inch of the resort and it feels like you are skiing forever on long runs, on piste and off-piste
Trees have been thinned out (gladed) to make it more enjoyable to ski through them.
It is a small resort but there are plenty of runs, bowls and glades so that you rarely need to ski a repeat (unless you want to because it’s so good!)
Revelstoke town has a small centre with nice bars and restaurants. We enjoyed a meal at the Taco Bar. Canadian hospitality, as always, was excellent.
Family Weekend – there is a bank holiday Family Day on Monday – meant that a lot of accommodation was booked up very early in Revelstoke. We have ended up in a motel style accommodation, the Sandman, about a 20-minute walk from the town centre. It is a lot nicer than we expected it would be, which is good because it’s not cheap. We booked it through Booking.com.
Revelstoke Mountain might not be part of the EPIC pass programme but it’s still “epic” in its own right. (Instead, buy an Ikon pass for this resort, as well as many others.)