It was another dreary wet overcast morning. I was kind of run down from the days of skiing/driving. I’d already skied 4 straight days and was beginning to think about taking a break; especially because this was Saturday and it was bound to be busy on the mountain. It didn’t help that Josh (the B&B house-boy), had a nice breakfast waiting for me when I woke up. And he nearly scared me about stories of people killing themselves riding out of bounds (and off cliffs) at Revelstoke. One glance at the webcam, however, and I immediately kicked myself for not getting out the door sooner.
Revelstoke has only been around, in it’s current form, for about eight years. There is a typical commercial village at the base but the town of Revelstoke (where most people stay) is only about 10–15 minutes away from town. Revelstoke is a key train junction; I was told that the train museum is a must see, but it is closed for the dead of winter.
There is a gondola to two main lifts. Everyone takes the gondola up and a 1/4 mile long line can form on a busy day! The gondola breaks through the dreary low clouds, into unexpectedly sunlit slopes. The storm that I endured the prior night had laid some fresh pow at the top of the mountain and it wasn’t wet despite it being above freezing.
From the gondola, the only option, aside from skiing back to the bottom, is the Stoke chair, so everyone will funnel in, there.
You can ski the back to the Stoke lift or make your way to the Ripper chair on the north-bowl side of the mountain; it’s popular practice to hike up to enter the north-bowl.
It was in the high 30’s in town and the bottom was wet; everyone stays up on the mountain, which means crowds at either the Stoke or Ripper chairs.
Revelstoke is known for being steep, so it’s all steep blue, black or double diamond. It’s purpose-built for great tree skiing and steep bowls and steep faces. The steeper faces were still lacking coverage. The map doesn’t mark most of the runs, especially through the trees; I’m sure they expect that you can find your downhill on your own.
I was warned again, later, that if you can’t see where you’re going, you’d better slow down (lest you end up off a cliff). I don’t like not seeing where I am going and i especially don’t like cliffs, so I think I will be fine.
The warmth got to the snow and it gradually became heavier and in other places being polished to firm, fast featureless speedways. The fresh snow in the morning was the best I’d hit, so far. The lifts closed at 3p—it was getting kind of dark.
Dinner was at the Village Idiot; typical bar-fare, but you’d better get there before 6p if you want to get a table. A friendly Canadian (did I mention how much I like Canadians?) in front of me noticed that there was a table for four available, even though it was only him and his girlfriend, and asked if a few of us waiting could all share a table; so we did, avoiding a 45 min wait, and had rousing conversation, discussing what would happen if we introduced a polar bear to the Antarctic (happy feet? I think not).