Kicking Horse is known for some of the most interesting and technical terrain on the Powder Highway, but if you’re a novice snowboarder or skier, that shouldn’t scare you from earning your chops on the slopes.
A few starter runs on the Jellybean and Pony training hills are the perfect way to get things started whether you’re a first-timer or are coming back from an extended absence.
From there, our trainers from our snow school will work with you to figure out which hill to tackle next.
Our Catamount chair services a solid chunk of beginner and low-intermediate terrain (primarily green runs). This includes runs like Big Ben and Wolverine, heading down towards Beaver Tail and Crowfoot. Overall, it’s a great lift for to build your confidence, nail turns and improve general skill. Since most of our beginner and intermediate terrain is located below mid-mountain, it’s not a very daunting proposition if you’re a rookie.
When you’re ready to progress to longer runs and looking to work in some blue/intermediate terrain, take our gondola to up to Eagle’s Eye and use It’s a 10 (green cat track) to enter Crystal Bowl. There’s a mix of blue and green terrain available in Crystal Bowl (one of our personal favorites is a blue: Northern Lights) They can then use It’s a 10 to travel down the mountain (a 10 km long track from top to bottom!) to access more beginner runs in the lower mountain. Alongside this run, you have to check out Kicking Horse classic #43 Blaster as well, which is a green run.
If you’ve earned your chops and tackled this suggested lineup, that’s a solid day’s work. End your day back at Peaks Grill with a couple of beers to analyze the day’s runs and take a look at tomorrow’s conditions. There’s so much terrain to discover at Kicking Horse, you’ll find yourself with far more to conquer than you could ever do in one trip, but the best boarding/riding weekends are the ones that leave you wanting more!
Slowly and gracefully we take the final steps to the summit Terminator Ridge. We release our carabiners from the cable guide we’ve been following for the last three hours and soak in the moment. The fresh breeze atop Terminator Ridge rushes through our hair, the 360-degree view encompassed our vision with stunning peaks and a sense of accomplishment relaxes our adrenaline pumping veins. High fives, hugs and even a jump for joy, we did it!
Contently we walk back to Eagle’s Eye Restaurant for a celebratory beverage, where our journey as a gaggle of girls began not so long ago. Over tasty local brews, we relish our favorite moments from our Via Ferrata experience. Starting on the Hanging Glory Suspension Bridge certainly put us on the right track for adventure and helped us grasp trusting the cables and our own balance. Hanging out in the sheltered rock nooks on the spidery traverse offered time to soak in the terrain we were somehow able to work through with ease. The most adrenaline-pumping moment was mutually agreed upon as the Guts Bridge, a gripping experience walking over a single cable bridge, but the rush was enjoyed from the safety of our harnesses. And of course the magic of reaching the summit, but it wouldn’t have had as rewarding without the dotted giggles, toe curls, ladder climbs and spectacular views along the way.
Spending the day atop Kicking Horse Mountain Resort partaking in the Via Ferrata was the ultimate girls outing, here’s why:
It’s not your normal girls weekend, AKA it’s memorable and you’ll talk about it for years! No seriously, it’s not another bunch or night on the town, you’ll experience “firsts,” scary moments, laughable moments and there’s always bonding to be had when you are out of your element.
Earn your apres. Yup, you read that right! Surely after a few hours of gripping a mountain, you’re entitled to whatever beverage your heart desires and some tasty truffle fries from Eagle’s Eye to top it off.
Private booking for six people are available to keep your lady crew together for the experience. Nothing says new experience better than a supportive group of friends doing it together.
It’s the perfect way to test the waters for alpine climbing and scrambling. You might have just fallen in love with a whole new sport.
Push your boundaries, learning new ways to maneuver, build confidence in your mountain travel and practice your flexibility and balance for an epic workout.
The Via Ferrata is available from mid June to the September long weekend yearly which means there are plenty of opportunities to plan a women’s weekend nestled in the mountains. Get your dose of adrenaline, relaxation and sightseeing in with a stay at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort before summers gone!
Words + Photos by Abby Cooper
The Horse is back with more kick than ever! With our recent expansion, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort can now offer 4314 feet of vertical descent – the 5th biggest vertical in North America!
Here are the fast facts:
- 4314 feet (1314 meters) of vertical
- 3486 acres of skiable terrain
- 8218 feet (2504 meters) at top elevation
- 5 alpine bowls
- Endless Champagne Powder
Dialing up for this coming winter, Kicking Horse’s new terrain includes the legendary Ozone South face (made famous as the competition venue for last year’s Freeride World Tour event) and Middle Ridge, offering fantastic turns into both Feuz Bowl and the adjacent Rudi’s Bowl. This is Canada’s BIGGEST expansion in skiable terrain – a loud and large 660 acres of new, rowdy skiing! 660 acres that embody what Kicking Horse represents: adventurous terrain offering challenges to all skiers and riders.
To access Ozone, skiers and riders will hike up to Whitewall, ski/ride down to the saddle and hike up to the top of the face. For Middle Ridge, a dedicated bootpack will head up from the bottom of Feuz Bowl. Big rewards will be available to those happy to do a little hiking!
Like all of our existing terrain, these features will be opened and closed at the discretion of our Mountain Safety team, allowing for the necessary avalanche control to be completed so that we can all play safely!
This would not be possible without the incredible support of Purcell Heli-Skiing, who will be offering their beautiful brand of small-group heli-skiing from the base of Kicking Horse this winter! Adventures abound from The Horse – the finest marriage of lift and heli-accessed terrain around!
We want to give fair warning now: when these features are opened, you will not want to be sitting in the day lodge. This is some of the most exciting in-bounds terrain you will ever make turns on, so do not miss out! Going forward into this winter season and beyond, Kicking Horse will boast more inspiring and vast terrain than any one pair of skis can handle!
So, have you started waxing your skis and boards yet?
Join us at the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant terrace for a unique chance to practice Yoga and meditation for free with Yogi Master Jessica Pyper among one of the most wondrous mountain backdrops in North America. There is no better way to cap off a fun-filled day of skiing! Did we mention it’s FREE?
Meet at 2:15pm on the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant’s terrace. Events from 2:30pm to 3:00pm.
Friday December 29th and Saturday December 30th.
Learn more about Jessica’s yoga classes & retreats: http://www.jessicapyper.com/
Bundle up the kids and get ready to have an up-close and personal experience with real Alaskan Sled Dogs!
Kingmik Dog Sled Tours brings their pups and passion to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and want to take your little ones* for a ride, for FREE! The guides love their dogs, and the dogs love their job! Believe us, you don’t want to miss out on this unforgettable experience.
Meet us at the Learning and Adventure Centre December 24 and prepare yourself for some high energy excitement!
*For children 6-10 year old only
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.
On B.C’s aptly-named Powder Highway, lifetime memories are created from epic moments that might only last a few seconds. Moments like that epic face shot at Fernie or Kicking Horse, when the snow fell like puffy diamonds from the sky and where your body was on auto-pilot, screaming straight down the fall line ais if guided by an invisible hand. Up and down, up and down. You’ve heard the clichés before—about needing a snorkel to breathe, and now you’re burrowing through a tunnel of white, crouching down to extend the fantasy for just a few seconds longer.
That, in a brief paragraph, is what the B.C Powder Highway experience offers. The Powder Highway – originally a marketing vehicle cooked up by Chris Elder of Fernie Alpine Resort and Dave Nicholls of nearby Island Lake Catskiing – is a woven fabric of main roads, backroads, and sideroads in southeastern B.C that encompasses everything from deluxe cat-skiing operations to under the radar local ski hills to prestigious alpine touring lodges for skiers with big heart, lungs, and quads.
Start your exploration by flying into Cranbrook’s Canadian Rockies International Airport (YXC). Pile your baggage and gear into an SUV or well-equipped rental car for the short drive to Kimberley Alpine Resort, less than twenty minutes from the airport. It’s the perfect resort to get your ski legs under, with challenging glades, steep bump runs, and mellow cruisers.
Next, pack up and set your GPS coordinates for the powder-famous Fernie Alpine Resort. Here, the Lizard Range—the storm-battered alpine ridge above town that resembles a lizard’s back—catches over 11 metres (37 feet) of snow annually from passing storms. Similar to Colorado ski towns like Telluride or Crested Butte, the historic red-brick town of Fernie is an authentic Canadian winter sports town.
Further adventure awaits farther north at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort just west of the Continental Divide near Golden, B.C. Monster bowls, jaw-dropping steeps, endless cruisers, and the best mountain scenery in North America from the deck of the Eagle’s Eye restaurant await. Kicking Horse is a massive playground that offers big vertical, consistent steeps, and a terrific range of ski in and ski out options right up at the resort.
And those are just the lift-serviced resorts. Add in 13 cat ops, 9 heli ski companies, and a mind-boggling 21 backcountry lodges and you have likely the greatest concentration of powder options anywhere in the world.
Words: Steven Threndyle
Photos: Brandon Hartwig, Brad Lorriman, Abbydell Photography, Love Street Media, Antoine Caron Cabana
Our partner tour operator, Kicking Horse Powder Tours, has set up an exclusive pro-athlete hosted, fully inclusive, on-mountain lodge based trip at Kicking Horse this March.
This exclusive hosted trip is truly the real deal – you’ll get to ski some of the best terrain Canada has to offer and ski with an Olympic winter sports athlete from the UK.
Based out of Kicking Horse, the trip is open to all levels of skiers from intermediate to experts looking for powder snow adventures.
If you’d like to tie in a cat skiing experience to your trip, they’ve got an option for that too.
Imagine this; you wake up from your slumber early, really early. And you’re not getting back to sleep. What do you do? What do most of us do? Grab our smart phones. Now, when you grab your phone you’ll have the ability to get the most up to date information for snow conditions, weather reports, trail maps, resort info and more from one handy app for Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (and our other RCR resorts).
Your next problem – it’s going to be a powder day!! Time to call in sick and head out to the mountains!
For more information on our App read our Press Release.