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Skiing in western Canada will change your life; here’s the roadmap you’ve been waiting for

Published on November 16, 2017 by FREESKIER

It’s high time for you and your pals (or fam) to book a big ski trip for the 2017-18 season. We’ve scoured the globe in the hopes of delivering you with trusty ideas for A+ trips and there’s one that tops our list of recommendations this year: Skiing in western Canada is not only a dream for any skier; historically low, low exchange rates (1 U.S. Dollar equals 1.25 Canadian Dollar as of this article’s publication date) mean you can live that dream on the cheap this season. The skiing options in western Canada are literally never-ending, so we’ve saved you some headache by focusing on three key areas: Banff and Lake Louise, Whistler and two resorts in the Canadian Rockies: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Fernie. Our editors have spent extensive time at these locations and have turned over every rock to uncover the best places to ski, as well as the best deals, eats & sleeps in the resorts’ respective ski towns. Dive in below, and remember, we’re just a tweet away if you have questions pertaining to making these trips become a reality.

Extreme Skiers Will Love Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

In the same way that a bucking, kicking horse is difficult to ride, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (KHMR) is home to terrain that will make even the most seasoned skiers check their egos. An impressive 4,133 feet of vertical ranks as the highest in the Canadian Rockies; ski top-to-bottom laps all day and your legs will feel like Jell-O, guaranteed. And any true skier knows that “Jell-O legs” are a sure sign of a day well spent on the mountain.

Situated above Golden, British Columbia, KHMR is the northernmost resort on the Powder Highway. The resort is situated between the skiing meccas of Revelstoke, BC, and Banff, Alberta, and lies just two-and-a-half hours west of the international airport in Calgary. Hailed by many as the “Champagne Powder Capital of Canada,” Kicking Horse receives some 23 feet of cold, dry snow each season, on average. That delectable snow falls upon 128 runs, spread across 2,800-plus skiable acres.

Once you’re atop the mountain, take your pick between four gargantuan cirques or the three ridgelines that separate them. Those ridges are home to many of KHMR’s 85 inbounds chutes. If you’re up for a short hike, to the tune of 10 to 30 minutes, you’ll access inbounds terrain that feels remarkably like the out of bounds variety.

See our custom trail map, detailing where exactly to ski at KHMR, right here.

SLEEPS » Lush Mountain accommodations offer luxury mountains homes, while Glacier Mountaineer Lodge and Palliser Lodge are mid-range price-wise, but offer slopeside digs. There are also a multitude of authentic mountain accommodations in the form of cabins, lodge and bed and breakfasts in Golden, a short drive from the mountain.

EATS » Fire Pit BBQ Smokehouse if you’re hankering for smokin’ meats; quick grab-and-go at Bluebird Café; Whitetooth Bistro for hearty meals and a local’s vibe; Wolf’s Den for premium steaks and hand-crafted burgers; Eleven22 offers a more upscale, fine dining experience with plenty of local beer and wine. All of the aforementioned are found in Golden. Of course, there’s the mountaintop Eagle’s Eye Restaurant, too; situated at 7,700 ft. the spot boasts stunning views and the food & beverage offerings are killer.

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