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booked a big canada trip for february ... must be august

KustyTheKlown

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Looks like a fine trip you've got planned. Any concerns about low snow cover, warm temps due to El Nino? These are typical predictions for Canadian Rockies in an El Nino year. I'm also contemplating a Banff trip this February.

One of the best things about staying in Banff and skiing Lake L. and Sunshine is not having to rent a car. Rolling out of the hotel in morning and hopping a ski bus is just great.

hmph.

i am concerned about el nino. my hope is that by being up in canada the effects of el nino are mitigated by being so far north. warmer than normal in revelstoke in february sounds better than normal temps in revelstoke in february. but the snow cover is a concern. i havent booked my flight yet and el nino is the only thing keeping me from full trigger pulling

even tho el nino favors south, i am never confident about booking tahoe in advance and its fucking expensive. between the currency exchange and the great lodging options the canadian trip is so much more affordable.

my ikon doesnt really help me in southwestern co. fuck the i-70 corridor. i'm as nervous about pre-booking taos as i am cali. i dont want to go back to utah or really anyplace where cannabis is illegal. i dont need to deal with that bullshit anymore and prefer to visit places that are on the same page as me. t

so yea. i am like 99% sure i'm going to do this canada trip and hope for the best re the nino.
 

NYDB

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one year I plan to do a similar trip to kusty. revelstoke, ll,banff. But the El Niño scared me off this year. Hope it works out for you kusty.

I got the fam booked for a week at aspen for feb holiday. Never been. seemed safer with altitude And nino.

One of our neighbors lives there in the winter and knows the place well.
they promised tours of highlands which I’m excited for.


staying At snowmass-flying into Denver-rented suv.

Snowmass Will make the wife and younger kid happy. I’ve read it’s an intermediates paradise. I’m happy to explore snow mass But I’m mostly excited for highlands. Trying to get light and in good shape for the hiking and altitude.

I figure 3-4 days at snowmass, 2 at highlands, and 1-2 at Ajax. If we are tired of aspen, maybe a day at abasin on the way back.
love that place.
 

BodeMiller1

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I’d rather be in Manchester if I had to climb most of the hill anyway. Looks nice though.
thanks. hotel is only 1 hour from golden (kicking horse) or 2 from fernie so i can day trip it off pass.
Kicking Horse looks like the Saddleback of the west. Looks to be more manageable than Whistler / Blackomb.

I hope I never ski in Manchester, no matter where the Manchester is. :)
 

KustyTheKlown

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i consider kicking horse to be more like the jackson of the north.

honestly its more challenging than jackson imo. or at least there seem to be more easy access challenging lines to ski. there are like 100 named chutes across the top. there is really no easy way off the top except for a catwalk groomer. and its like 4000 vert+ every single run. its actuallly fucking bonkers that 2 lifts are able to serve soooo much terrain
 

KustyTheKlown

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one year I plan to do a similar trip to kusty. revelstoke, ll,banff. But the El Niño scared me off this year. Hope it works out for you kusty.

I got the fam booked for a week at aspen for feb holiday. Never been. seemed safer with altitude And nino.

One of our neighbors lives there in the winter and knows the place well.
they promised tours of highlands which I’m excited for.


staying At snowmass-flying into Denver-rented suv.

Snowmass Will make the wife and younger kid happy. I’ve read it’s an intermediates paradise. I’m happy to explore snow mass But I’m mostly excited for highlands. Trying to get light and in good shape for the hiking and altitude.

I figure 3-4 days at snowmass, 2 at highlands, and 1-2 at Ajax. If we are tired of aspen, maybe a day at abasin on the way back.
love that place.

i did aspen but it was junior year of college, so quite a long time ago. a college friend's family had a place at snowmass, and she was gracious enough to put up like 15 of us for a week during the break between semesters. i did like 10 days in aspen and then flew off to rome for my semester abroad. tough life.

i remember enjoying snowmass, particularly a section they call the hanging valley wall. highlands is great. hiked the bowl. one of my first ski hikes ever. my recollection of ajax is that it is bizarrely laid out. like you wanna stay on the upper mountain but the upper mountain lift is not well placed for that. it is cool how you are looking at this small city right at the base of the hill, and that you can basically ski to the city sidewalk.

i recommend a drink at woody creek tavern, particularly if you have any interest or affinity for hunter thompson. drinking a wild turkey in his bar stool was a bucket list check off.

if i recall correctly its only at ajax but maybe the others too, there are all these 'shrines' hidden in the woods. to living and deceased figures. like theres a hendrix, a jerry garcia, i think an elvis. others. there's a list somewhere. fun easter egg hunting (big sky is similar, tons of hidden shacks and smokers sections all over that place).
 

Hawk

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We went to aspen in 2019. Our team captian from our PMC team rents a place there every year for like 2 months. It's right on Highland, Ski in, ski out. Fun town with lots to do. The sking can be good if it snows. I heard last year was a good one for them. I got a real big head rush at Snow Mass with the 12,500 elevation.
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IMG_4611.jpg
 

BodeMiller1

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i consider kicking horse to be more like the jackson of the north.

honestly its more challenging than jackson imo. or at least there seem to be more easy access challenging lines to ski. there are like 100 named chutes across the top. there is really no easy way off the top except for a catwalk groomer. and its like 4000 vert+ every single run. its actuallly fucking bonkers that 2 lifts are able to serve soooo much terrain
I've looked at their website and it looks steep and powdery. I've never skied west of Vermont. Thanks for the news (at least to me).

Canadian dollar is low against the greenback, From my times in Montreal, if you try you can make a dollar a dollar. Stay away from other tourists. Hanging with the locals is always more rewarding.
 

BodeMiller1

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When you look at Aspen on the Whistler Blackcomb trail map (the old one) Aspen looks like a mole hill.
 

crank

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Was at Kicking Horse once and it was raining on the bottom and lots of snow up top. In 2 days we only skied top to bottom once. Rest of the time we downloaded.

Re. Aspen. I think the shrines are just at Ajax...at least that what I remember. Our club is headed there 24/25 season. Staying in Snowmass. Clubs are having to book trips farther and farther in advance... At least that's what they tell me. It's been about 5 years since I served on the board and booked our trips.
 

Bumpsis

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hmph.

i am concerned about el nino. my hope is that by being up in canada the effects of el nino are mitigated by being so far north. warmer than normal in revelstoke in february sounds better than normal temps in revelstoke in february. but the snow cover is a concern. i havent booked my flight yet and el nino is the only thing keeping me from full trigger pulling

even tho el nino favors south, i am never confident about booking tahoe in advance and its fucking expensive. between the currency exchange and the great lodging options the canadian trip is so much more affordable.

my ikon doesnt really help me in southwestern co. fuck the i-70 corridor. i'm as nervous about pre-booking taos as i am cali. i dont want to go back to utah or really anyplace where cannabis is illegal. i dont need to deal with that bullshit anymore and prefer to visit places that are on the same page as me. t

so yea. i am like 99% sure i'm going to do this canada trip and hope for the best re the nino.
Let's hope for the best - I should get off the fence and just book a hotel. My last trip there was superb.
 

BodeMiller1

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Was at Kicking Horse once and it was raining on the bottom and lots of snow up top. In 2 days we only skied top to bottom once. Rest of the time we downloaded.

Re. Aspen. I think the shrines are just at Ajax...at least that what I remember. Our club is headed there 24/25 season. Staying in Snowmass. Clubs are having to book trips farther and farther in advance... At least that's what they tell me. It's been about 5 years since I served on the board and booked our trips.
That's another thing. Being further away from the Pacific I'm thinking not as much rain at the base. It would suck to get out there and play cribbage.
 

Hawk

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It's september and weathermen have no idea what this winer will bring. There is no way to gaurentee powder skiing unless you pick a week out. Long ago I gave up and I just plan the trip and get what get. In 30 years of trips out West and to Europe I have had about 25% epic, 25% realy good, 25% OK and 25% No Bueno. BUT every trip was memorable and really fun. It is what you make of it. I'm not going to twist and turn all the way up to the trip. It's counter productive.
 

crank

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That's another thing. Being further away from the Pacific I'm thinking not as much rain at the base. It would suck to get out there and play cribbage.

We hit a pineapple express system. Bad luck. Had 3 days of cat skiing booked with Valhalla Powder Cats and a house rental at Nelson and 2 SUV's full of guys who are all good and strong skiers. We called an audible on arrival in Spokane and drove up to KH instead to get above the pouring rain. Even though is snowed up high they cancelled all cat and heli trips because avalanche danger was really high. I called it halfway through the week and flew home to ski a cold January storm of 2' back east.

I call it the dream trip that turned into a nightmare.
 

fbrissette

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anyone know if a calgary airport rental suv is likely to have winter tires? they were very unwilling to commit when i called. so much cheaper than a turo to get an suv from enterprise. its not the law in alberta. it is the law in bc. will prob just suck it up and get the turo with guaranteed snows.

its august, but im stoked.
I now live in Golden BC but used to go ski out west every year. No rental company will guarantee winter tires. You can ask but you are never sure and most of the time they won't have them (like 90%+ of the time). Your best bet is to use Turo (the air BnB of car rentals). You will find plenty of cars/vans with solid winter tires out of Calgary. It is more convenient (delivery of the car at the door) and generally significantly cheaper if you don't mind renting a vehicule with 60 000 miles on the counter. Your own car insurance covers it.

Good news, it is expected that the Kicking Horse Canyon project will be nearly terminated by Christams, so that the dangerous stretch of two-lane highway will be replaced by a modern divided 4 lane highway. This mean that you can drive YYC to Golden in about 2h45 minutes in dry conditions.
 

KustyTheKlown

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thanks. i know about turo and booked one. but my understanding is that my personal insurance specifically does not cover it. i always get the standard protection when i use turo.
 

fbrissette

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thanks. i know about turo and booked one. but my understanding is that my personal insurance specifically does not cover it. i always get the standard protection when i use turo
Might depend on the insurance company. Mine definitely covers Turo and any other rental for that matter.

The advantage of taking Turo's is that it won't affect your own insurance if you have a bad luck ( and if you are indeed covered).
 

NYDB

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i did aspen but it was junior year of college, so quite a long time ago. a college friend's family had a place at snowmass, and she was gracious enough to put up like 15 of us for a week during the break between semesters. i did like 10 days in aspen and then flew off to rome for my semester abroad. tough life.

i remember enjoying snowmass, particularly a section they call the hanging valley wall. highlands is great. hiked the bowl. one of my first ski hikes ever. my recollection of ajax is that it is bizarrely laid out. like you wanna stay on the upper mountain but the upper mountain lift is not well placed for that. it is cool how you are looking at this small city right at the base of the hill, and that you can basically ski to the city sidewalk.

i recommend a drink at woody creek tavern, particularly if you have any interest or affinity for hunter thompson. drinking a wild turkey in his bar stool was a bucket list check off.

if i recall correctly its only at ajax but maybe the others too, there are all these 'shrines' hidden in the woods. to living and deceased figures. like theres a hendrix, a jerry garcia, i think an elvis. others. there's a list somewhere. fun easter egg hunting (big sky is similar, tons of hidden shacks and smokers sections all over that place).
Yeah Ajax looks bizarrely laid out. But they are opening a new zone this year with a new lift and it looks like a stellar terrain pod that used to be mostly sidecounty. I’m looking forward to hitting that area.thumbnail_Heros-Map_for-Press-Digital-Use-1536x1234.jpeg
 
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jimk

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one year I plan to do a similar trip to kusty. revelstoke, ll,banff. But the El Niño scared me off this year. Hope it works out for you kusty.

I got the fam booked for a week at aspen for feb holiday. Never been. seemed safer with altitude And nino.

One of our neighbors lives there in the winter and knows the place well.
they promised tours of highlands which I’m excited for.


staying At snowmass-flying into Denver-rented suv.

Snowmass Will make the wife and younger kid happy. I’ve read it’s an intermediates paradise. I’m happy to explore snow mass But I’m mostly excited for highlands. Trying to get light and in good shape for the hiking and altitude.

I figure 3-4 days at snowmass, 2 at highlands, and 1-2 at Ajax. If we are tired of aspen, maybe a day at abasin on the way back.
love that place.
I've been to about 100 ski areas. When people ask me what's my fav, I have to say Aspen, especially for a person/group going on a one week vacation. This is coming from someone who loves and mostly skis Snowbird in recent years. I've made a half dozen ski trips to Aspen between 1976 and 2022.

Tremendous variety on one ticket, three great ski areas. I've never done Buttermilk.
Usually very reliable snow in mid-winter.
Smaller crowds than most other famous American ski areas.
Beautiful scenery, especially top of Aspen Highlands.
Aspen is a great town for dining/shopping/nightlife. Snowmass Village is convenient if staying there and you can take free bus to the town of Aspen.
Snowmass has THE best intermediate terrain of any place I've ever been.
Aspen Highlands has some of the most challenging inbounds terrain I've ever skied.
Ajax is quite challenging. One of the rare places you can ski 3000 foot vertical runs all-day-long by lapping the typically uncrowded gondola.
Sleep at 8k feet instead of 9k feet at most other Colorado ski areas.

A report on one of my most enjoyable visits to the Aspen area.

PS: didn't know about that new Hero lift. It will make Ajax (Aspen Mtn) even more expert oriented.
 
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djd66

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I've been to about 100 ski areas. When people ask me what's my fav, I have to say Aspen, especially for a person/group going on a one week vacation. This is coming from someone who loves and mostly skis Snowbird in recent years. I've made a half dozen ski trips to Aspen between 1976 and 2022.

Tremendous variety on one ticket, three great ski areas. I've never done Buttermilk.
Usually very reliable snow in mid-winter.
Smaller crowds than most other famous American ski areas.
Beautiful scenery, especially top of Aspen Highlands.
Aspen is a great town for dining/shopping/nightlife. Snowmass Village is convenient if staying there and you can take free bus to the town of Aspen.
Snowmass has THE best intermediate terrain of any place I've ever been.
Aspen Highlands has some of the most challenging inbounds terrain I've ever skied.
Ajax is quite challenging. One of the rare places you can ski 3000 foot vertical runs all-day-long by lapping the typically uncrowded gondola.
Sleep at 8k feet instead of 9k feet at most other Colorado ski areas.

A report on one of my most enjoyable visits to the Aspen area.

PS: didn't know about that new Hero lift. It will make Ajax (Aspen Mtn) even more expert oriented.
Jim -

I have to agree with everything you have said. I have skied in many places and Aspen is still my favorite. I have been there during Feb vacation week and it is not very crowded. Snowmass has the best Intermediate terrain. It also has plenty of woods and steeps. I have never had a bad day there. Highlands back bowls are awesome. The other thing that is nice, I have always flown right into aspen, its a 15 minute Uber to the hotel. I wish that it was more affordable as i would love to make that my home base in retirement.

I'm headed there again this year with my family for Feb vacation week,... NYDB I will be looking for you :)
 

NYDB

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I would have loved to, but flying into aspen wasn’t working for me. More than doubled the flight costs.

and the in-laws are using the Gulfstream that week so we’re sol.
 
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