The world’s avid skiers and snowboarders likely regard British Columbia’s “Powder Highway” -- a jaw-dropping collection of mountain towns, hot springs, and monolithic slopes tucked in a compact section of the Canadian Rockies west of Calgary -- as the globe’s crown jewel when it comes to sliding downhill on boards of some sort. From December to late April, it's one of the best places on Earth for powder hounds.
For those that want flexibility, ski only a handful of days, or their local mountain is on the Epic or Ikon Pass, we get it. To start things off right, we’ll be completely honest with you. We have an Epic Local Pass. Heavenly is only a few minutes from our house, so we use it to get in a few laps when we don’t have a ton of time. Do we go to resorts on the Epic or Ikon Pass for vacation? Rarely.
With season pass sale price deadlines fast approaching, skiers across the country are googling multi-resort season pass benefits, building pass comparison matrixes in Excel, and crunching day and dollar amounts to see which pass makes the most sense for the coming ski season: the Epic Pass, Ikon Pass, or Mountain Collective.
Heading through the Christmas holiday, multiple storms will make their way across the U.S. and Canada. Question is, will these bring the gift of snow to your favorite spot?
White Pass Ski Area in Washington primed for much more snow. (White Pass Ski Area/Facebook)
The Northwest U.S. and Western Canada will continue to gather the most snowfall, while the East gets a light wintry mix with up-and-down temperatures.
First chair at Red Mountain. (Red Mountain/Facebook)
British Columbia’s Red Mountain has always gone its own way – and soon it will have $10 million to upgrade facilities while maintaining its iconoclastic, anti-corporate spirit.
The Rossland, B.C., resort recently offered public shares in the mountain – through a “crowdfunding” method – and reached its goal of $10 million in February.
Next step is a legal equity offering, expected this fall, according to resort ownership.
Here’s CEO Howard Katkov’s pitch: “Why not join us on this big mountain, big community, love-driven adventure. We’ll keep investing in this community and these fantastic people with or without your help, but dropping in on this could change your life -- just like it changed mine.”
Some 3,000 people took up Red Mountain’s offer, reserving shares ranging from $1,000 minimum to $25,000. The higher the commitment, the more perks, like free season passes and equipment.
If all $10 million reservations come through and the legal offering succeeds, Red Mountain will use the money for Paradise Lodge renovation, expanded snowcat terrain on Mount Kirkup, summer trail-building, and construction of new restaurant, private clubhouse and cabins atop Grey Mountain, according to resort management.
The mountain has more than 2,800 skiable acres served by seven lifts, plus another 1,200 acres that require either a hike or a snowcat ride. With nearly 3,000 vertical feet, Red Mountain tops out at 6,800 feet above sea level.
The resort has always gone counter to the flow, promoting itself as an alternative to “corporate resorts” that it contends have priced many families out of the sport.
Ski resorts in Western Canada have been busy getting ready for the coming ski/snowboard season with a wide range of new benefits for skiers and snowboarders. Here’s a sampling: