August 22, 2016
If Americans have a cultural stereotype about Canada, it’s that we’re a land of ice and snow inhabited by “Eskimos” and policed by red-coated Mounties on horseback. (The Mounties drive in police cars and they have the same tools as cops in America… and the Eskimos, well, they are actually called Inuit, and live much closer to the North Pole).
But Canadians certainly do celebrate winter, and of course, skiing and snowboarding. Our resorts – though perhaps not quite as familiar or accessible as Vail or Tahoe — compare favourably in every way. Whistler, of course, is the most widely-known—the resort hosted the 2010 Winter Games alpine skiing events—and it’s continuously ranked highly amongst the (mostly) American readers in SKI Magazine’s annual resort poll. And Banff/Lake Louise are on the radar map—though most Americans (like Canadians) visit there in the summer months.
Resorts of the Canadian Rockies believes that the best discoveries in skiing are the unexpected ones—and, like siblings, their three resorts—namely, Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort—offer a rootsy, authentic Canadian ambiance that makes each of them worth visiting—even on one trip.
Perched above a historic mining town that still relies on nearby natural resources, FERNIE ALPINE RESORT is all about powder and adventure. Poking skyward like a giant baseball mitt, the rugged Lizard range hauls in over 35 feet of legendary Rocky Mountain fluff annually and attracts freeriders from all over the world. If you’re lucky, you’ll be in town during the raucous Griz Days celebration that celebrates the mythic mountain man who makes it snow. Independent “non-chain” stores and restaurants thrive in the red-brick building main street of historic Fernie, once named the “Coolest Town in North America” by Rolling Stone magazine. Indeed, many Americans who visit here comment on how much it’s “like Telluride or Aspen used to be.”
KICKING HORSE MOUNTAIN RESORT west of Golden is a true “big mountain” experience, with 1,260 metres (4,133 feet) of vertical—fourth-highest in North America. Compared by those in the know to American resorts like Jackson Hole and Squaw Valley, Kicking Horse boasts 121 runs, four alpine bowls and 85 inbound chutes spread across 2,800+ acres of skiable terrain. No stay at Kicking Horse is complete without a visit to Canada’s most elevated restaurant: Eagle’s Eye Restaurant, a mountain-top, fine-dining experience. Four mountain ranges come together to create a mountain panorama that’s second to none.
Nestled in the majestic Purcell Mountains in BC’s southeastern corner, KIMBERLEY ALPINE RESORT receives more hours of sunshine than any other resort in the province. Its 80 runs range from open glades to gentle cruisers to thigh-burning bump runs. Dive into the Easter Bowl on the mountain’s backside or enjoy Kimberley’s front side cruising. Kimberley even offers Canada’s longest night skiing/riding terrain. Stay slope-side and ski from your door in the morning or enjoy the charming Bavarian-themed town just down the hill. Kimberley compares favourably to the family friendly vibe found at Snowmass, Keystone, or The Canyons—with a superb ski school and perhaps the most high-value vacation packages in North America.
Thanks to Canada’s devalued currency, Americans considering a ski vacation north of the 49th parallel receive a thirty percent discount, before they even start shopping for the best deals of lifts, accommodation, and lessons. “Our close proximity to the United States means that Fernie and Kimberley have always had visits from keen skiers in border states—folks who live in Whitefish, Kalispell, Sandpoint, and Spokane,” says “Powder Matt” Mosteller, spokesperson for the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. Holidays at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Week and even Easter attract skiers and riders from a wider net, including Seattle, the Bay Area, Los Angeles and even major Midwestern and eastern cities.
And there are a few other differences. Take money, for example. Canadians use the same dollars and cents system that Americans have, but your wallet won’t be budging with one-dollar bills if you ask for change for a five. Canadians have “loonie” and “toonie” one-dollar and two dollar coins. Different denominations of dollars ($5, $10, $20, $50 and $100) are in different colours (and some words, such as ‘colour’ have an extra ‘u’ in them – don’t ask.) Gas (and all liquids) are priced in liters – $1.20 per liter equals about $4.00 per gallon of gasoline.
Snow depth is measured in centimetres (doesn’t “thirty centimetres” sound deeper than “eleven inches”?). And the outside temperature is in degrees Celsius. Don’t freak out if the temperature is minus 5, that’s only 23 degrees Farenheit, perfect skiing temperature.
Oddly, some things are the same. If you ask the bartender for a pint of beer, he’ll pour you a 12 ounce glass. And if you need anything else, just ask! To dispel another myth—not all of us speak French, (and we actually say ‘a-bout’, not ‘a-boot).’
Welcome to Canada, partner. Your powder is waiting.
Words: Steven Threndyle
Photos: Raven Eye Photography, Vince Mo, Brooke Wilson, Abbydell Photography
Our winter Early Bird season pass sale ends on Saturday, June 25th, order your season pass or multi week ski school lesson online through the RCR Webstore before the deadline for the best savings of next season.
Don’t forget about those lessons! Get the kids in multi week programs or sign up for one yourself and brush up on skills. Kids & Teen lessons available as well as Ladies Day Camps for adults. View and buy ski school programs through the RCR Webstore.
NEW this year buy a $500 Food & Beverage card for just $399 when purchased with your season pass! Find out more about this new Member Benefit and all the others on the RCR Webstore.
That’s what the experts are saying. And while many people across Canada may be rolling their eyes, for winter outdoor enthusiasts it’s music to their ears.
What is La Nina anyways?
La Niña is the positive phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and is associated with cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. (According to Wikipedia)
Okay, but what does that really mean?
According to Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada – “In B.C. there is a high probability that we can expect a more frigid winter. A little cooler, a little bit more snow..”
Read more about what exactly La Nina means and more from Dave Phillips on the CBC website.
For a longer and even more scientific explanation of La Nina visit the Weather Network website.
La Nina = Happy Skiers & Snowboarders
Don’t forget to order your Kimberley Season Pass before the end of the Early Bird Season pass sale on June 25th – order online through the RCR webstore now!
The Easter Chair is an oldie but a goodie, adding charm and character to the back side of Kimberley Alpine Resort. Like all old girls she loves care and attention, a process which started back in 2010 with a new diesel engine and transmission. 2011 brought a whole “new” set of chairs, care of retiring Nakiska’s Gold Chair to its new home in Fernie on the Polar Peak.
This year the love comes in the form of a complete service and rebuild of the gear box. Unlike a modern lift where you can pop the gear box out of the drive station by undoing a few bolts, for Easter this means taking the haul rope off, dropping the bull wheel, then craning out the gear box. Good thing we won’t need to do this for another 25 years or so!
For Immediate Release: May 24th, 2016
Early Bird 2016.2017 RCR Season Pass Sale on Now
The Resorts of the Canadian Rockies annual Early Bird season pass sale has begun. To take advantage of the best deal in skiing/riding in the Canadian Rockies, purchase your Fernie, Kimberley, Kicking Horse and Nakiska season passes before June 25th.
Here are some items you won’t want to miss with this sale;
- Free food (we knew that would get your attention). This season get over $100 in free food! Pre purchase a food card with your season pass to redeem at any RCR Food & Beverage outlet at our resorts – food cards are just $399 when purchased in conjunction with your season pass and are worth a full $500 to use at the resorts throughout the season.
- Get friends a great deal on skiing/riding too! Save up to 25% on family & friend lift tickets (no blackout dates)! When purchasing a season pass, up to 12 tickets can be purchased for family & friends for $74.95 and can be used through the entire season at all RCR resorts.
- Thinking of getting a Nakiska season pass? Don’t forget you can purchase two days of riding at one of our B.C resorts for just $69.95 for an adult. The Ski BC two day pass is valid all season long!
Purchase your season pass from the Skircr Online Store now.
What a great winter – thank you!
We love to share the many moments that matter, here are some of our guest moments from the past season;
About Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc.
Proudly Canadian, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc. (RCR) is the largest private ski resort owner/operator in North America, owning six ski resorts across Canada, including Nakiska Ski Area in Alberta; Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort in British Columbia. RCR also owns and manages a number of hotels and golf courses, including Trickle Creek in Kimberley, and Wintergreen Golf and Country Club in Bragg Creek. RCR aims to provide each and every guest The Ultimate Experience.
For more information, please contact:
Senior VP Marketing & Resort Experience, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
Twitter – @PowderMatt • Powder Matt’s Blog • Powder Matt on Pinterest • Powder Matt on Google +
**You can NOW Register and Pay at Guest Services or call 250.427.4881**
You can also fill out the RCR Event Waiver online. Please click on the following link: https://
Downhill Ski or Board (2km) Cross Country Ski (5km) Road Runner (4.2km) Rock Climb (5 climbs) Cyclist (4km)
Individual (all ages) $40
Mixed team up to 5 people (all ages) $100
Registration fee includes a bbq lunch, event souvenir and a draw ticket for a chance to win awesome prizes!
Click here to view Schedule and Nordic Maps – 2016 iron legs schedule 5km Nordic Map 3.5km/kids Nordic
8am – Bib pick up, waiver signing and collection of payments on the day of the race. (It is recommended that individual racers drop their equipment off at the transition areas prior to registering at 8am-9:30am on Saturday. There will be a volunteer present at 8am outside the Climbing Gym and Nordic Centre to watch over equipment.)
9:30am – Pre race meeting in Slopeside
10.30am – Race starts
1:30pm: Ceremony in KAR Plaza
Here is the 2016 Course Map for the running/cycling portion of Iron Legs. Runners will start at Kimberley Nordic Club and run down to Spirit Rock Climbing Center through the Platzl. The cycling portion will start at Climbing Gym through the Platzl (mandatory for all cyclists to walk/push bike through Platzl) up Gerry Sorensen Way to Stemwinder Drive (past Trickle Creek Lodge) into the KAR Plaza.
A special thanks to our sponsors so far: Rossignol, Helly Hansen, Head, Jeep, Telus, Kokanee, Spirit Rock Climbing Centre, Kimberley Vacations, Kootenay Mountain Works, Purcell Outdoors and Handz on Evolution, B104 Total Country and 102.9 The Drive, Kimberley Nordic Centre, St. Eugene Resort and Casino and the City of Kimberley.
Schedule of Events
Saturday, April 2nd
9am Splash event information and REGISTRATION tents opens in plaza *Please note – Registration is on the day of the event on a first come first serve basis.
11am BBQ and beer gardens open, photo booth, plaza games, free facepainting and more!
12pm Live music by Mile High Club
2:15pm Spring Splash event begins!!!
4:45pm Spring Splash & event awards
5:00pm Live music by Jory Kinjo and the Static
7:30pm Live music in Stemwinder by Oak Republic
Sunday, April 3rd
9 – 11am Information and Registration Tent opens in the plaza (you can register now for Dummy Downhill at Guest Services or email email@example.com)
Dummy inspection begins
11am BBQ and beer gardens open, photo booth, plaza games, free facepainting and more!
12:30pm Live music by Lucas Hanny and The Fable Hoppers
3:00pm Dummy Downhill starts
4:00pm Dummy Downhill and event awards!
4:30pm Live music by the Good Ol’ Goats
For more info call: 250.427.4881
March 12, 2016
Click here to view Ski Mo results 2016
Thank you to all the participants, sponsors, organizers and volunteers for all their help to make this event a success.
Words by Cali Sammel
Photos by Tourism Kimberley, The Real Mckenzie Photography and Mike Reece.
The ski (and tourism) industry are run by numbers and stats – i.e how many runs the mountain offers, how many centimeters or feet of snowfall received, how many other things can I do while visiting? Well, here are some interesting Kimberley numbers you might be less familiar with!
historic points of interest. Kimberley Alpine Resort and the city of Kimberley, B.C have a strong history in mining, leading the town and resort to have many names and areas that pay homage to the industry. Find out more about the points of interest on our website – https://skikimberley.com/things-to-do/points-of-interest/.
feet of fire! A favourite tradition of the locals and staff in Kimberley is the annual Ullr Dag ski burning ceremony. Near the beginning of each year, there is a gathering and offering to the Norse god of snow by burning old skis and hoping to appease the god to bring the perfect purcell powder falling all season long.
in the morning – NEW this season, Montana’s opens for breakfast at 8:00am on Friday, Saturday & Sundays (8:30 am Monday through Thursday). Montana’s is located in Trickle Creek Lodge in the base area at Kimberley Alpine Resort.
hundred! Hectares of skiable terrain, now that should keep you occupied for a wee bit of time!
thousand! Our lift capacity per hour, it’s easy to keep those slopes uncrowded with that kind of movement.
months to night ski! From mid December to mid March, enjoy Night Skiing on our main run (and the longest lit run in North America) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Don’t forget to check out the ‘Rec Rut Runners’ our Thursday night race series or our Friday College Nights! Visit the Online Events Calendar for more information.
hours of Fat Biking! Try the newest and hottest winter outdoor activity craze and take a Fat Biking tour around Trickle Creek Golf Resort. Rent it for just $45 – email the Winter Sports School (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or see the Fat Bike section on our website.
awesome après spots on mountain. Head up the stairs and check out The Stemwinder – featuring a variety of daily food and drink specials as well as local jam nights and live après music every single weekend throughout the season! Got kids? Montana’s is the place to be, with views of the ski resort and a restaurant for the whole family to enjoy a beverage or after ski snack together. (Note – Stemwinder is kid friendly as well – ask our staff for ‘kid friendly’ hours).
Good Place to Be. Kimberley is: A Good Place to Be… “all together now, finding adventure, closer together, pinnin’ it, roughing it with friends” or whatever else you choose to do here!
Don’t be one of those skiers or snowboarders who decide to store their gear in the garage by the time the first tiny flower begins to bloom in early March. Indeed, there’s a rather cruel irony to spring skiing. Days are longer. Snow is softer. Vacation packages are cheaper. And you’ll come back to the city with a killer tan. Tucked into the southeastern corner of British Columbia and just a short shuttle from the city of Cranbrook and its Airport of the Canadian Rockies, Fernie Alpine Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort really know how to celebrate spring.
- Spring skiing starts with sunshine, and plenty of it. After three months of heavy snowfall and endless face shots, most skiers and riders are happy to see ol’ sol. How much sunshine is there? Well, Cranbrook, BC (home to the Airport of the Canadian Rockies), boasts over 2300 hours of sunshine annually. Morning temperatures start a few degrees Celsius below freezing, but warm up by mid-day to very comfortable It’s not exactly spring in Vancouver, but the sunshine is abundant and is strong enough to make the need for sunscreen on exposed patches of skin mandatory. On another note, keep the bikinis and surf shorts for the hot tub, you really don’t want a bad case of road rash if you fall on corn snow!
- There’s plenty of snow. It goes without saying that by the time the vernal equinox rolls around, that base measurements on the mountain exceed two metres or more. That means you won’t ding any rocks or stumps and can ski with confidence on all aspects. At this time of the year, it’s prudent to “follow the sun” around the mountain; starting with slopes that Both Kimberley and Fernie have many runs that face in different directions – east and south facing runs “warm up” the quickest, west and north facing runs receive sun later in the day. It’s worth noting that even on the warmest spring days, north facing slopes can hold grippy, even powdery snow because they’re in the shadows all day long. And of course, the higher you go on the mountain, the colder temperatures will get.
- Not only is the sun more powerful, by the time March rolls around the days are getting longer, too. Early birds will want to rise near dawn and get the heart beating with an invigorating morning run. And make sure you go for a walk around downtown Kimberley or Fernie after the lifts shut down. Enjoy the fiery rays of golden light that mountain folk call alpenglow.
- Combine sunshine and a deep base and you get… corn snow. Corn snow is so named because its granular structure resembles kernels of corn that have been cut from the cob. The kernels form on a melt/freeze cycle. As the sun comes out and intensifies during the day, hard, icy snow starts to melt and morphs into a slushy texture (think of a snow cone that you eat at a fair or farmer’s market). Forming in a layer up to several centimetres thick, these pellet-like grains are easy to set an edge in and a delight to ski. Fearsome mogul runs become easily tamed piles of mush. Bulletproof groomed slopes develop a layer of granular goodness that makes it fell like your Marty McFly and his hoverboard – literally, you’re cruising effortlessly on a thin carpet of frictionless, ball bearing snow. Corn snow is often called “hero snow” because it’s so easy to work with – push out your skis and “rail” those hard carving turns. Or widen your stance, flatten your ski and butter some spins in the terrain park – it’s all good. To get the most out of your skiing day, sign up for a lesson or two and explore chutes, alpine bowls, soft bumps, and carpeted cruisers. Lessons are worth taking at any time of year, but since you’ve probably already got your ‘ski legs’, you can take more chances and have more fun!
- Blue skies and puffy clouds are great for snapping photos with your iPhone camera or recording videos on GoPro. At high mountain elevations, the blue end of the spectrum becomes especially vivid, which is why spring skiing is synonymous with “bluebird days.” Of course, you’ll want to Snapchat or Instagram your day on the slopes, but here’s a high contrast tip: try shooting when the sun’s a bit lower in the sky, before ten in the morning and after two in the afternoon to reduce harsh glare and black skier/ white background contrast. You might even wait until the sun ducks behind a cloud for an instant to make the colours and skin tones pop a bit.
- Virtually all school districts throughout British Columbia now receive a two week Spring Break during the month of March. , Spring Break sees both Kimberley and Fernie with virtually all terrain 100 percent open and with short, manageable lift lines.
So, extend your ski season this spring at Fernie Alpine Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort… and get a great goggle tan!
Words by Steven Threndyle.
Photos by Raven Eye Photography & The Real Mckenzie Photography