Rarely does one come across a ski resort that provides backcountry-like terrain as easily lift accessed as you'll find at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. EVery time up and down one of any of the three available lifts you can find tree skiing better than found at most cat operations, boot pack trails better than your favorite hidden stashes that took you years to find and steeps comparable to the best in North America. Expertly gladed trees and perfect pitches funnel to fun little cliffs, pillows and lippy kickers at this gem of a resort. But if you're looking for wide open steep groomers spanning 6,100 vertical feet; the longest vertical descent in all of North America, Revelstoke delivers on that front as well.
After four days of cat skiing at Retallack, but not yet ready to depart beautiful British Columbia, we made our way two and a half hours north to Revelstoke. We had to cross Upper Arrow Lake to get there on a ferry that you drive right one to. BC is beautiful in the winter with snow covering mountains and trees edging right up to more lakes and rivers than almost anywhere. Being able to pause the drive and take in the sights from the deck of the ferry was allowed for some beautiful scenery.
Once arriving in Revelstoke, we drove through town right to the resort about eight more miles down the road. The base of Revelstoke is completely new with four buildings of lodging including the Sutton Place Hotel where we were staying. All the rooms come complete with a kitchen and fire place. We were in luxury. We grabbed a quick delicious dinner at the new Rockford Wok and Grill and called it a day.
The next day dawned with no new snow but we went out and explored anyway. It hadn't snowed in a few weeks and more snow would have allowed us experience the mountain in its FULL glory, but that couldn't mask the fact that for core skiers, Revelstoke was a rare find.
We were graced with view of a beautiful cloud inversion from the top of the mountain making it sunny up top and cloudy below. Coming through the cloud on the gondola was pretty trippy. Even trippier was the vertigo feeling when skiing back down through it. With the fog, however, the trees were definitely the place to be.
Yearning for some snow to come overnight and soften the landings of the multiple mini golf drops we came across, we ventured into town to check out the local scene. Encouraged to try the Village Idiot bar and restaurant by some locals, we headed down to Mackenzie Ave in the heart of downtown Revelstoke. We were greeted by one of the most colorful and alive ski bars I have ever been to. Packed on a Wednesday night, the food was delicious, the staff friendly and the ambiance one of a kind. And old Rossignol ski provided the handle for the front door and memorabilia from bar stools made of skis to stickers stamped on every available wall space to "complimentary air guitar" sighns posted above the bar gave a great backdrop for enjoying the MASSIVE panzerotti (part pizza part calzone) we were too frightened to order after seeing one delivered to our neighbor at the bar.
We wandered around the quaint and historic ski town for a while watching it try to snow and taking in the local businesses that included the Mica Heli Operation and Selkirk Tangiers Heli main offices. Selkirk Tangiers is an integral part of Revelstoke Mountain Resort being owned by the same company. Packages exist that allow you to buy seats in the help along with lodging and lift tickets providing an ultimate Revelstoke Experince.
We woke to no new snow but an amazing latte at the La Baguette coffee shop and bakery right at the base of the gondola. La Baguette was a local favorite in town before the base went in and were asked to make a home both at the base and on the mountain to caffinate skiers and snowboards. After a bit more skiing, we decided a hot tub and a stint at the apres spot of choice, Wino, the new wine bar opened at the base a mere two months ago. The urban rustic decor provided more of a New York City feel than small mountain town which only made it all the more fun to patronize.
We packed up our stuff after a nice glass of British Columbia Cabernet and drove the six hours down to Nelson and five more the next day to Spokane to end our stay in snowy BC.