Steep & deep: the first two words that come to mind when I think of our day at Kicking Horse. We weren’t expecting a pow day while visiting Golden in mid-March, but when we woke up to bluebird skies and 25 cm of fresh snow, we had to check out the local Rocky Mountain Resort.
Our quick stop at Ethos Café for morning coffees, almond croissants and avocado toast wasn’t quite quick enough and we got “trained” — stuck behind a passing train — for about 20 minutes. Apparently this is one of Golden’s endearing inconveniences. When the tracks were finally cleared, we continued up the hill to lay some fresh ones of our own.
Before long, we found ourselves flying up the mountain in the Golden Eagle Express, watching skiers and boarders slash and spray their way across the slope. The gondola let us off at 2,346 metres (7,700 feet) and I was slightly overwhelmed by the impressive peaks surrounding us and the seemingly limitless options for getting back down.
Riding over to the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ chair, we had our first taste of that famous champagne powder. Light, fast and fluffy as a cloud, we practically floated down to the lift. There was no lineup — a common theme for the day — and I began to wonder if all that glitters is gold in Golden.
The official ‘Stairway to Heaven’ opened and we couldn’t resist seeing where it led. When we reached the summit, we followed tracks along the edge of Feuz Bowl until we were ready to strap in. I attempted to pick a friendly line off of ‘Whitewall’ but a vertical drop-in was my only option (hence the name). We each took a leap of faith and didn’t stop until we’d reached the base.
A few top to bottom laps later, and our legs started to feel like they’d taken the stairmaster to heaven. Eagle’s Eye Restaurant was the perfect spot to rest up and enjoy some panoramic views. Once we’d recharged, we spent the afternoon riding Bowl Over to Terminator, where there was still plenty of untracked terrain.
The four o’clock call signaled the end of the day and although we wanted to keep going, I don’t know how much more my body could’ve handled. I was so covered in snow by this point I had a liftie ask me: “Faceplant or faceshot?”. Both, I told him. I managed to make it to the parking lot without collapsing but I can’t say the same about my partner.
No day up the mountain is complete without après, so we headed to Riverhouse Tavern for tacos and pints on the patio. With the warm, spring sun shining down on us, we re-lived the highlights over some much needed sustenance. Kicking Horse may have kicked our asses, but as I sat there basking in that post powder day glow, I couldn’t wait to do it all over again.
Words & Photos by Ruby Woodruff