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Unofficial Guide: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC

Unofficial Guide: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC
By Jim Kenney
April 9, 2018, updated September 17, 2020

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This is an abbreviated unofficial guide to Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC and more of a placeholder, than a finished product. I hope others who frequent the mountain more often than I will contribute useful details to this guide.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) is a really big place that has the vibe of a really small place.

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RMR Base Village, elevation 1680'/512m.

Overview

I have skied at nearly 100 ski areas in North America and Europe over the last 50+ years and in the winter of 2018 I visited a ski area that has to rank number one on my personal list of large mountains that have the feeling of a small mountain: REVELSTOKE. There is a minor resort complex at the base, but it would be a lonely place to spend a week. Most guests drive over from the nearby town of the same name, which is somewhat more lively due to popularity with vacationing snowmobilers. When I was at Revelstoke for two weekdays in mid-March 2018 it seemed like there were only a few hundred other skiers on a mountain with 3000+ skiable acres and 5620'/1713m vertical. It's the kind of place you better bring a friend or make some friends quickly, because you could get seriously lost skiing the more remote parts of the mountain by yourself.

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RMR mid-mountain lodge with the Columbia River in background. It is actually only 800 vertical feet above the base. The transition point from the first to second phase of the gondola occurs at the top of the magic carpet lift to right. Total vertical rise of the gondola is 3839'/1170m.

Lifts and Terrain

Revelstoke had three primary lifts at the time of my visit including a long, two-phase gondola, and two upper-mountain HSQ chairlifts. A smaller chairlift was added for the 2019-20 season between the two upper mountain chairs to better connect them. There is excellent high alpine bowl skiing from the highest chairlift on the mountain known as The Stoke chair. For most of it you will have to traverse and/or climb to earn your turns. Amazingly, for a mountain with such a huge vertical drop, the layout includes only 69 designated ski trails. It's almost like the ski area is a giant forest with a few trails and bowls that get in the way of all the tree skiing and off-piste terrain.

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View of the North Bowl after taking the higher line hike from the top of The Stoke Chair.

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Looking up The Stoke Chair to highest lift served summit of the mountain at elevation 7300'/2225m. The vertical rise of this chair is 2073'/632m. Nice tree spacing, eh?

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Photo taken just after skier descended through notch in upper center. This is in the vicinity of a hike-to alpine area called Meet the Neighbors.

The only problem during my visit was that the lower 3000 vertical feet of the mountain was not too user-friendly due to a recent rain-freeze event. This limited the enjoyable skiing to the terrain served by the two upper mountain HSQ chairs. This is still about 2500' of vertical and some great stuff, but it gave the mountain a more limited feeling compared to other large ski areas I visited on the same trip. The second day we were there the upper terrain got 6-8" of new snow and that was great fun, although visibility in the alpine bowls was challenging at times.

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Looking up The Ripper Chair, great tree skiing on either side of lift line here. The vertical rise of this chair is 1640'/500m.

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A slightly clearer view of North Bowl.

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Skiing Greely Bowl on a 6" powder day.

The Upside

If you happened to be at Revelstoke during a major snow storm when the whole mountain was in play, it could potentially be really, really special. You would have lots of trees to duck into and minimal competition for the goods. If you got sun after powder, the high alpine would be glorious and probably the nearest thing to heli-skiing without a helicopter. Revelstoke is separated from the Calgary population base and points east by some occasionally challenging driving over the Trans-Canada Highway, including snowy Rogers Pass.

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This is an open, alpine area called Separate Reality that is accessible with a short traverse from the summit of The Stoke Chair.

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This gully is in a tree skiing area called the Big Woody on the way from the high alpine terrain of Greely Bowl to the base of The Ripper Chair.

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PugSki was here.

Link to RMR trail map: https://www.revelstokemountainresort.com/resort/trail-maps
About author
Jim Kenney
Years Sliding on Snow: 57 (started in 1967 and have skied every year since)
Age: geezer
Days Last Season: 64 (2022-2023)
Skill Level: I ski blues and blacks.
Home Mountains: Snowbird UT (primary), Solitude UT and Massanutten VA (secondary)
Prior Home Mountains: Blue Knob PA
Favorite Conditions, in Order: powder, packed powder
Makes My Day: everyday on the hill is a privilege and a joy
Greatest Skiing Achievement: bringing four kids into the sport
Second Greatest Skiing Achievement: have visited close to 100 ski areas and since 2000 I've documented my ski experiences with numerous travel articles and reports on a variety of websites.
Current Quiver: Blizzard Bonafide, Renown Endurance 98, Kastle LX85, Nordica Vagabond
Boots: DaleBoot Custom ski boots

Replies

Revy is definitly a must do if your a serious skier. If you want an incredible, well rounded ski experience Revelstoke is the place. Tons of stashes for powder days after a storm, lots of challenging terrain, lot's of perfectly manicured wide open groomed runs of varying pitches.

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Bob Legasa getting a little untouched off the top

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Desiree Leipham Dropping in

If your looking for a little side country theres plenty to be had at RMR. One easy 20 minute hike is the climb up to the Nipple (a weather station) and from there your bound to find plenty of open untouched lines.

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Tommy Frey earned this fresh line after hiking the Nipple

If you like steeps there's plenty of that as well that will give the most seasoned riders a little bit of Pucker Factor and if you really want to test your ski legs try skiing non stop the 5600 feet of vert to the base area. That will put those legs to test.

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The mountain has some incredible views looking down to wards the town of Revelstoke, the Columbia River and the majestic Mt Begbie.

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Tommy dropping down towards the Town of Revelstoke

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Mt Begbie in all it's Glory

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The Wind sock indicates to Legasa, it's good to Send!

The mountain base and the town offer a pretty good variety of good cuisine. One place that has a great ski Vibe, is the Village Idiot for Pizza. Located downtown this is a True Skiers hangout with awesome Pizza, plenty of beers on tap. There's an awesome collection of ski photos, gear and cool ski memorabilia that fill the walls making it pretty hard to keep focused on your food.

It's no wonder a mountain of this caliber has attracted a plethora of incredible Big Mountain skiers who now Call Revy Home. As soon as the Border opens back up, It's definitely one you need to put on your bucket list.
 
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