Qualifying for this prestigious event, a resort needed to have a massive variety of terrain, thigh burning vertical and incredible snowfall and a strong mountain community of which Golden, British Columbia is well suited as the historic home of the Swiss Guides who led climbing expeditions in the early 1900’s.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, known for it’s plethora of in-bound chutes, variety of epic terrain and trademarked as the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada and with the 4th biggest vertical in North America, it certainly has more than enough cred to qualify!
After a long summer season of anticipation, the Freeride World Tour (FWT) launched the official competition calendar featuring a completely revamped competition schedule for the upcoming 2018 season. This year, the FWT unveils two brand new locations for the opening events in Hakuba, Japan and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden, BC, Canada – two legendary freeride destinations. Forty-five riders in four categories – ski men, ski women, snowboard men, and snowboard women – will make the five-stop international journey. All riders will face a round of qualification cuts after the fourth stop in Fieberbrunn, Austria before arriving at the grand finale in Verbier, Switzerland in March/April 2018.
- NEW FOR 2018 – Hakuba, Japan – January 20-27, 2018 – The Winter Begins
- NEW FOR 2018 – Kicking Horse, Golden, BC, Canada – February 3-9, 2018 – Time To Get Rowdy
- Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra – March 1-7, 2018 – Hold The Line
- Fieberbrunn, Austria – March 9-15, 2018 – Crunch Time
- Verbier, Switzerland – March 31 – April 8, 2018 – The Grand Finale
More about the Freeride World Tour
The Freeride World Tour is an annually toured series of events in which the best freeskiers and snowboard freeriders compete for individual event wins, as well as the overall title of World Champion in their respective genders and disciplines. The events take place on what’s commonly referred to as “backcountry”, “big mountain” or “extreme” terrain – essentially ungroomed powder snow on super steep, mountainous slopes. The first event series under the Freeride World Tour moniker took place in 2008. Prior to that it was known as the Verbier Extreme, originally a snowboard only contest launched in 1996 – with skiers also invited to compete in 2004. For the 2013 season, the Freeride World Tour merged with the Freeskiing World Tour and The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, combining all three tours under one unified global 5-star championship series.
We woke up, peeled back the blinds to a foggy interior BC morning. I loved it. The beauty of the fog rolling through the ancient trees and over the Canadian Rockies was breath taking. We packed up the truck and headed for Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, well… first a coffee, and then headed for Kicking Horse. As we drove up the winding road to the resort I got a little nervous. There were a few butterflies hammering around in my stomach, but nothing out of the usual. I get so stoked every time we pull up to rad resorts like Kicking Horse Mountain Resort – you know good things are to come.
We had roped ourselves into the ‘Via Ferrata’. This all started when we saw pictures online of people climbing epic routes up monster faces, and apparently anyone can do it… so we got on the horn and lined it up. Tell you the truth, we had to google what that the name even meant. Via Ferrata is Italian for “iron road”, often associated with helping move troops in the First World War through the Dolomite mountain range of Italy. It was designed to help those who had no climbing experience to be able to navigate those rocky climbs. Climbers secure themselves to a cable, limiting any fall. Along with the cable, additional climbing aids are provided, such as iron rungs (stemples), pegs, carved steps and even ladders and bridges are provided. This sounded unreal, we couldn’t wait.
Making our way to the Via Ferrata we walked along this amazing ridge at the top of Kicking Horse. Clouds parted and the sun came out, revealing an absolutely epic view of a thousand surrounding mountains came into view. We all stopped, it was entrancing. After a few photos and necessary selfies we carried on.
At the entrance to the Via Ferrata we slide our carabiners onto the cable. Game time. First was the suspension bridge, ‘Hanging Glory’. With merely two 2×6’s underneath you and two cables to steady yourself we made our way from one ridge to another… the ground was a long way down. It was thrilling. Our team moved on to climb the route starting small but soon making our way to the mammoth 465 meter rock face. The steel rungs definitely make this route accessible for everyone, it was incredible how easy this made climbing. This style of climbing allowed us to access a spot we never thought we could get to, and we did it safely. Halfway up we were already making plans to come back and do this again. As we we neared the middle of the climb we paused, it felt like we were in a movie. We were halfway up this wild, iconic route I never thought of tackling, sitting on the face of this massive peak. We felt pretty badass.
As we reached the top we were all exhilarated – sweating, catching our breath, high fiving and hugging. Our team had pushed through pre-conceived notions of fear and physical ability to prove to themselves they were capable of more. The feeling of accomplishment as we summited the peak was incredible. We all stood there in awe taking in our triumph as we enjoyed the view from the top.
This summer step out of your comfort zone and experience first-hand exposure in a safe environment, while soaking in the majestic views of the Rockies and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. The experienced and friendly guides will cater to your level, whether you are a lead climber or a never-ever in search of an adrenaline fix.
I highly recommend that adventurers of all ages try your hand at the Via Ferrata.
Check out the video to see more of the experience;
Summer might be the best time to get outdoors and enjoy what the mountains have to offer in our amazing backyard in Canada. In recent years, ski resorts in British Columbia have made a series of additions, upgrades and updates to have family friendly activities for adults and the little’s as well as keeping the hardcore activities available for the summer thrill seeker.
Summer is a great time to escape the hustle and city bustle, to relax and recharge. The tranquility of fishing will help those kids forget all about the stress of making the grade at school and will help you take a real mental vacation from work. Fishing provides kids (of all ages) a great lesson about being calm and one with nature in an authentic environment. More information about fishing in Golden is on the Tourism Golden website.
- Take a Hike
No, we’re not telling you to get lost, but we are literally telling you to take a hike. Fernie, Kimberley and Kicking Horse all offer hiking in a mountain setting with amazing views at Fernie and Kicking Horse the lift accessed hiking provides some epic views you won’t on any regular old hike. For more information about hiking in mountain towns visit the Tourism Fernie, Tourism Golden or Tourism Kimberley websites and for more information about lift accessed resort hiking visit the Fernie Alpine Resort or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
- See a real bear up close (and learn too)
Perhaps one of the most unique aspects at Kicking Horse is Boo the Bear who lives year round at the resort and has made a name for himself as a local celebrity. Boo has an interesting story of how he ended up making his home at Kicking Horse, in the largest protected Grizzly Bear habitat in the world. While living at the resort he’s offered us humans a rare and special opportunity to learn about the life and practices of Grizzly Bears. Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy taking a Grizzly Bear Interpretive tour and learning about his life at the horse! Get more information about Boo and Interpretive tours on the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
- Monkey Around
The Aerial Park at Fernie Alpine Resort is a good introduction to find out how the little’s in your family feel about heights. They can try out the free kids aerial park, or if they meet the height restrictions can venture up in the trees. The lesson beforehand from our knowledgeable guides and extensive safety system will allow them to feel safe while far away from the ground! If you have a very adventurous little one (who is at least 10), use the Aerial Park as a stepping stone to trying the Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Get more information and book the Aerial Park on the Fernie Alpine Resort website.
- Explore historic towns
Many towns in British Columbia have a strong history in mining and have museums or memorials in town to commemorative and conserve the memories. Along with learning about history, try out some of these unique town experiences;
- Visit Beanpod Chocolate (Canada’s Traditional Chocolate maker) in historical Downtown Fernie. Beanpod website.
- Walk the downtown platzl in Kimberley (also location of the Kimberley museum). More info.
- Walk with Wolves in Golden, a truly unique experience in the Canadian Rockies. More info.
- Visit the Heritage town – Fort Steele (near Kimberley, B.C). More info.
- Pop into the Clawhammer Press in Downtown Fernie. Clawhammer Press website.
- Take a golf lesson
Getting them started young is a great way to build impressive golf skills! Check out our websites to see about specials like ‘take a kid to the course day’, ‘family stay & play packs’ and family golf lessons.
- Sunbathe and Swim in the outdoor pools
Staying at ski resorts in the summer offers a full service experience! While many of our hotels have in house or nearby Spas to pamper, gyms to keep in shape and outdoor pools/hot tubs for the kids to keep entertained for hours! Shown in below photo – Lizard Creek Lodge at Fernie Alpine Resort.
- Eat all the food
It might be a bit of a hidden fact (although gaining more and more recognition), mountain towns are the best place to have great food! Each have their own unique restaurants, bars or cafes to check out – all come with an authentic mountain town vibe (guaranteed).
- Mountain Bike ON a mountain
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a great starting point to get the passion flowing for mountain biking, with a kid’s skills course in the base area set up each summer. Fernie Alpine Resort has also added a myriad of beginning trails over the last couple season to provide a gentle ride down the summer ski slopes. In addition to beginner trails, Fernie Alpine Resort along with the Fernie Trails Society and Fernie Nordic Club unveiled a new Peak to Park multi use trail last summer. Adding a different experience to the mountain biking game – ride the chairlift at Fernie Alpine Resort and bike your way back down to the town. More information about mountain biking at Fernie Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort can be found on our websites.
- All the best fests
What’s your jam? Outdoor music? Farmers Markets? Hardcore racing events? There is something nearly every weekend in Fernie, Kimberley or Golden. Check out the online events calendars on the resort websites or town tourism websites to find out the schedule for this summer!
Photos: Tourism Golden, @calsnape, Cali Sammel and Patrick Majer.
That’s what the experts are saying. And while many people across Canada may be rolling their eyes, for winter outdoor enthusiasts it’s music to their ears.
What is La Nina anyways?
La Niña is the positive phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and is associated with cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. (According to Wikipedia)
Okay, but what does that really mean?
According to Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada – “In B.C. there is a high probability that we can expect a more frigid winter. A little cooler, a little bit more snow..”
Read more about what exactly La Nina means and more from Dave Phillips on the CBC website.
For a longer and even more scientific explanation of La Nina visit the Weather Network website.
La Nina = Happy Skiers & Snowboarders
Don’t forget to order your Kicking Horse Season Pass before the end of the Early Bird Season pass sale on June 25th – order online through the RCR webstore now!
For Immediate Release: March 14th, 2016
KICKING HORSE MOUNTAIN RESORT announces BAND FOR WRANGLE THE CHUTE FWQ AFTERPARTY
Golden, BC – Outlandish, Aggressive and Rugged… Don’t miss out on the ultimate Big Mountain showdown, March 24th – 26th, featuring big lines and some of the best noram pro-riders with a Kicking Horse twist! KHMR is pleased to announce that Wrangle The Chute is in the IFSA/FWQ (Freeride World Qualifier), as a 4 star event alongside Taos (NM), Crystal (WA) and Crested Butte (CO) and the only stop in Canada.
PLUS, Royal Tusk has just signed on for our Wrangle the Chute afterparty on Saturday, March 26th. Royal Tusk, a quintet of bearded prairie men made a lasting impression with audiences on their well-received 2014 EP, Mountain and are releasing their first full length debut album DealBreaker right after Wrangle the Chute on May 6th. DealBreaker captures the true raw energy Royal Tusk wield, and the result is loud and guitar-driven with hints of Americana and soul.
“These are really great guys, in a really great band. It was an absolute pleasure to play on their record.” – Ian Thornley (Big Wreck)
Don’t miss out! Contact Guest Services to buy tickets to the Wrangle the Chute afterparty!
About Kicking Horse Mountain Resort & Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a world-class destination resort located 2.5 hours west of Calgary, nestled between the Purcell and Rocky Mountains in the heart of British Columbia. Winter offers a fully integrated mountain resort experience and the most progressive in-bounds skiing in North America. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, www.kickinghorseresort.com, is part of the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc. (RCR) family. Proudly Canadian, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc. (RCR) is the largest private ski resort owner/operator in North America, owning six ski resorts across Canada, including Nakiska Ski Area in Alberta; Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort in British Columbia. RCR also owns and manages a number of hotels and golf courses, including Trickle Creek in Kimberley, and Wintergreen Golf and Country Club in Bragg Creek. RCR aims to provide each and every guest The Ultimate Experience.
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For more information, please contact:
Senior VP Marketing & Resort Experience, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
Twitter – @PowderMatt • Powder Matt’s Blog • Powder Matt on Pinterest • Powder Matt on Google +
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is thrilled to introduce a new 2 stars Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ). To foster and support the local adult freeriding scene, this additional big mountain event will be held in the original Wrangle the Chute Venue, where it all started! Although anyone is welcome to enter, the event is dedicated to reveal the best local talents. The winner of each category will be invited to enter the 4* Wrangle the Chute, scheduled for March 24-27.
Event spectator friendly!
Don’t miss the action at the Heaven’s Door Yurt! On both Saturday and Sunday, the athletes will compete in the chutes facing directly the Heaven’s Door Yurt. Tasty BBQ treats and cold drinks will be all day. Don’t miss out on the ultimate Big Mountain showdown featuring big lines and some of the best pro-riders with a Kicking Horse twist!
Participate in IFSA’s “Rip It! Shoot It! Share It” campaign. You have a chance to win an IFSA trucker hat each week if you post your photos on the IFSA Facebook page, or on your own Instagram/Twitter using these official hashtags: #IFSA16, #IFSAfreeriders, #FWQ16.
For Immediate Release: January 6th, 2016
LEARN ABOUT AVALANCHE SAFETY AT KICKING HORSES’ ANNUAL AVALANCHE AWARENESS DAYS
Golden, BC – Avalanche Awareness Days is a national celebration of Canada’s avalanche safety expertise and an invitation to enjoy the winter backcountry with education and training and everyone is welcome to attend for FREE. In partnership with the Canadian Avalanche Center and CARDA, the KHMR Safety team will have a day of fun, education, hands on demonstrations, and many prizes to be won.
Schedule – Saturday & Sunday, January 16-17
11:00am – Transceiver Demo & Race
11:30am – Digging Demo & Race
12:00pm – Dig a snow profile with a pro
1:00pm – CARDA search and rescue demonstration with our avalanche dogs
2:00pm – Watch Explosive Avalanche Control Demonstration with a live blast.
About Kicking Horse Mountain Resort & Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a world-class destination resort located 2.5 hours west of Calgary, nestled between the Purcell and Rocky Mountains in the heart of British Columbia. Winter offers a fully integrated mountain resort experience and the most progressive in-bounds skiing in North America. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort,www.kickinghorseresort.com, is part of the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc. (RCR) family. Proudly Canadian, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc. (RCR) is the largest private ski resort owner/operator in North America, owning six ski resorts across Canada, including Nakiska Ski Area in Alberta; Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort in British Columbia. RCR also owns and manages a number of hotels and golf courses, including Trickle Creek in Kimberley, and Wintergreen Golf and Country Club in Bragg Creek. RCR aims to provide each and every guest The Ultimate Experience.
Can’t wait to get those skis shined up for this winter? Neither can we, or Richard over at Kicking Horse Powder Tours across the pond in the UK, for that matter.
Have a sense of even more adventure? Check out the Storm Chasers trip; an epic guide led, backcountry focused road trip, for up to 12 guests. Visit the destinations that will be best for your arrival in terms of snow conditions, changing weather patterns and storm tracks, and do it in style! Your mode of transport is a luxurious rolling lounge motor coach that delivers comfort, entertainment and carefree travel. Check out more info here.
Kicking Horse Powder Tours specialize in providing skiing and snowboarding holidays and experiences throughout western Canada’s famed Powder Highway area. This boutique tour operator offers everything from simple family skiing holidays to fully organized multi-resort ski safari trips with full-on, epic skiing and snowboarding adventures. Kicking Horse Powder Tours is up for the World Snow Awards 2015 Best Specialist Tour Operator in the World.
Photos by Caroline Van t Hoff and Anna Henley
Feature Photo by Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Kicking Horse has beat out some great ski resorts to make it into round 3 of Powder Magazine’s Ski Town Throwdown, including Whistler and even our very own family member, Fernie Alpine Resort. Once again WE NEED YOUR VOTE! Help us make it to the next round in the 4th annual Ski Town Throwdown by voting for Kicking Horse on the Powder Magazine website – your vote can make a difference!
Vote now! Voting only goes until Thursday night at 7 pm MST!
New York City-based OutdoorFest is expanding their popular Mappy Hour program internationally to Calgary this October! A Happy Hour night with a twist, it offers a chance to meet fellow skiers, backpackers, kayakers, climbers and adventure buddies and to plan adventure packed trips with a like-minded outdoor community. Launching this new event series in New York City in 2014 and Washington, D.C in early 2015, Calgary is a perfect next event location – being close to so many outdoor activity options it draws enthusiasts from all over to settle into city/mountain life.
With some already having fallen in the mountains, the backcountry skiing and fitness theme for October’s Mappy Hour comes at a fitting time, there’s enough time to get in shape before our tentative opening date on December 11th!
Who should attend?
Anyone who loves to hike, kayak, ski, surf, climb, and generally explore the great outdoors!
Free, just bring some guidebooks, maps, or interesting stories to share
For location and to RSVP visit the Mappy Hour website.