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BC’s Coolest Ski Towns
The case for skiing north of the border, written by an American
The historic former railway town of Revelstoke has found renewed life as a snow utopia since Revelstoke Mountain Resort started spinning its lifts in 2007. Nestled at the western entrance to Rogers Pass alongside the stunning Columbia River, “Revy” might just be the ideal ski town. Charming streets, beautiful brick architecture and friendly locals give Revelstoke a welcoming vibe.
It all starts on Mt. Mackenzie. This is where Revelstoke Mountain Resort confidently claims North America’s highest lift-serviced vertical at 1,712 metres (5,620 feet). And that’s a big deal. For powder seekers, there is nothing worse than waiting in long lines, and big vertical means more people skiing and less time spent standing around.
Here a reliable, deep snowpack combines with well-gladed trees and open bowl skiing to provide a huge range. The Stoke Chair is generally considered the reigning champ, with easy hike access to incredible terrain in North Bowl, but it’s hard to go wrong on any of Revy’s three lifts. Snow Rodeo is a super fun run with varied terrain. Wooley Bully is a testament to the resort’s grooming team. And Kill the Banker is an out-of-bounds lift line ripper of a run, deep, steep, and filled with options for catching air. Leave this one to the experts. There are also two magic carpets to keep the kids and beginners happy.
Snow activities in Revy go beyond lift serviced. There is world-class backcountry skiing in Rogers Pass. The resort runs cat-skiing, and heli-skiing is offered through their partner Selkirk Tangiers. Snowmobiling is a way of life in Revy—Great Canadian Tours can accommodate the uninitiated. For a slower pace, the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club operates a lodge and maintains trails at Mount Macpherson, located south of town on Highway 23. There are 26 kilometres (16 miles) of groomed trails here, with six kilometers (four miles) of newly lit trails for nighttime use.
For a proper coffee and pastries, The Modern Bakeshop & Café in town delivers, with a healthy dose of friendly atmosphere. A quick-and-tasty breakfast at La Baguette is the go-to at the resort. The vibe on powder mornings is electric. The Mackenzie Outpost is a mid-mountain restaurant where skiers can stay fueled up for those long, trademark Revy descents. Their Bruce Burger pairs well with views of the town far below.
Mackenzie Common Tavern is the on-mountain spot to celebrate après—try their signature Ugly Sweater cocktail—and the Village Idiot Bar & Grill is the spot in town for drinks and food. The Idiot is a classic ski town bar, with cold local draft beer, old skis as décor, and ski and snowboard movies on repeat. The Last Drop Pub at the Powder Springs Inn is another solid choice. Be sure to taste a pint of the locally brewed Mt. Begbie craft beer. It’s one of the best ski-town-based breweries in Canada.
Featured image: Bluebird day at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Photo: Eric Berger
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