Guest Author - Carol Viau
Itís not often that a new ski area develops in North America, but Revelstoke
Mountain Resort is still in itís infancy. Having only opened their slopes in December 2007, this mountain is still new in the grand scheme of things. While it isnít the easiest ski area to get to, Revelstoke offers a lot of vertical, a town shuttle, great terrain, a beautiful location and much potential.
The resort has 4,735 vertical feet (1,443 meters), which is the longest vertical descent in North America. Currently Revelstoke has one high-speed gondola and two high-speed quad chairs. More lifts are included in the master plan for future development.
A free shuttle bus picks up skiers and snowboarders from several locations in town. The bus delivers people to the Nelson Lodge, which as of February 2008 was still under construction. Lift tickets and gear rentals are available here inside, but the restrooms are outside outhouses for now. From this base area, you can take the gondola to the day lodge area, or continue up the mountain. The day lodge has a large cafeteria, restrooms, a retail shop, and a great outside deck overlooking the valley.
The in bounds terrain is just over 3,000 acres with 5 bowls and about 40 runs. Most of the terrain is for intermediate and advanced skiers. Some of the runs are quite long, with the longest at 9.5 miles! There is also a great amount of terrain that accessible by hiking out of bounds, for those so inclined. A boot pack from the top of the Stoke Chair gives a great view of the Door couloirs as well as the Brown Shorts couloir. The views are incredible from up there, and worth the 10 to 15 minute hike. From one direction, you can see the Monashee Mountains and the Columbia River, and across the way the Selkirk Mountain range.
Cat skiing is also an option, offered out of the Nelson Lodge at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Guests meet their guides at the mountain. The terrain accessed by the cat is located adjacent to the ski area. Helicopter skiing is also available in Revelstoke (the town), but is run by Selkirk-Tangiers.
The town itself is quaint, with a small downtown area that is entirely walking friendly. The two popular bars include the Village Idiot and the Regency. The town of Revelstoke even offers a small 5-pin bowling alley.
Getting to Revelstoke: By car Calgary is nearly 5 hours, Seattle 7 hours, Vancouver 6 hours and Spokane about 6 hours (depending on which route you drive). By air Kamloops or Kelowna are the closest airports but will still involve a 2 hour drive.
As with any new resort area, expect a lot of development to be taking place as the economy allows. Visit Revelstoke Mountain Resort sooner than later though, before actual lift lines form!