Until 2007 Revelstoke’s incredible snowfall was just for those who could afford hedonistic heli-ski holidays or cruisy cat rides up Mackenzie Mountain. All that changed when the 69-run ski resort was built there with a two-stage gondola, two chairlifts and two tow-lifts. Although the infrastructure has opened 3,121-acres to everyone, it all remains pristine. The 30-45 ft (9-14m) of sublime seasonal snow and the vertiginous vertical is just like the former heli and cat kingdom but with lift access. And there are still hikes for the hardy backcountry brigade as well as designated heli and cat zones. Revy’s differential: you can resort ski, heli ski and cat ski all from the same base area right from your hotel. It also has North America’s longest vertical at 5620 ft (1713m) and longest run at 9.5miles. And secluded in southeastern British Columbia, nearly five hours’ drive from Calgary and ten from Vancouver, it has been a savvy skiers’ secret. That is until this season when it was voted Canada’s Best Ski Resort at the World Ski Awards in Austria!
By Louise Hudson (http://onetwoski.blogspot.com/)
1. Revelstoke Resort
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With Kelowna International Airport just two hours shuttle away, Revelstoke is gradually attracting more attention from international visitors. But the village is still in its early stages so don’t expect the carousing crowds of Whistler! However, the Master Plan has prioritized all the basic needs: La Baguette, a designer coffee and pastry café complete with gluten-free and vegan options; Rockford Wok Bar Grill for all day decadent dining and drinking; Mackenzie Common Tavern for micro-brew bar flies; retail store, rental shop, ski and snowboard school, childcare and guest services. The beauty of it all: everything is central and skirting the ski slopes. I guess the planners realized that everyone would be too tired after an epic ski day to walk very far!
2. Radical Revy
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It’s all about alpine adventure in Revy’s North and Greely Bowls. Bordered by well-marked cliffs, these rugged areas resemble backcountry or heli terrain and are only for the hardy hard-core skiers and snowboarders. First timers should ‘Go with a Pro’ (http://www.
3. Revy Respite
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At the top of the Revelation Gondola lies the quaint cabin, Mackenzie Outpost, a high-altitude warming hut with outside benches overlooking the Columbia River – on clear days! As well as coffee and sandwiches, it serves on-the-go homemade treats from Revy’s breakfast bar, La Baguette, to those needing a rest between runs on the upper chairlifts. A short ski down to the mid-gondola station is Revelation Lodge, an impressive post-and-beam building with a cafeteria-style restaurant, an espresso bar and an upscale cocktail lounge. The dramatic deck overlooking the valley also serves barbeque food on warmer days. From breakfast to après ski, the Lodge is particularly appealing to beginner skiers and snowboarders who learn their first moves just outside alongside the Little Bit Magic Carpet.
4. Revy Rewards
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With seven percent green and 45 percent blue runs, Revy has plentiful pistes for more recreational, intermediate skiers who want the cruisy benefits of skiing on groomed Selkirk snowfall. Snow School can bring intermediates up a notch by giving them the technical tactics to tackle next stage runs (http://www.
5. Revy Recreation
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With its recent focus on developing its family facilities, Revelstoke is a fun place for kids to learn both skiing and snowboarding. Right in front of Sutton Place Hotel is the Turtle Creek Beginner Area with 175m magic carpet, learner’s slope and tubing. This is also adjacent to the Snow School and childcare centre, which, as well as daycare, offers kids’ après activities including crafts, climbing wall and games (http://www.
6. Ritzy Residential Revy
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With 205 lovely luxurious condos for rent or privately owned, Sutton Place Hotel provides an enviable modern mountain lifestyle right on the slopes (http://www.
7. Revy Retail
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The Revelstoke Mountain Resort Retail Store, R Gear has everything required to keep warm, dry – and up-to-date – on the slopes (http://www.
8. Revy Revels
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Rockford Wok Bar Grill is the go-to place for big breakfast buffets, leisurely lunches, drinks, après ski and contemporary food with lots of ethnic choices to satisfy carnivores as well as vegetarians and vegans (http://www.revelstokemountainresort.com/resort/restaurants). When temps allow, there is a posh panoramic patio with trendy fireplaces and comfy seating arrangements with views over the Kootenay Rockies. By night, the upscale modern décor, well-trained solicitous servers, intimate lighting, and decent wine list gives it a slightly more city vibe than conventional ski hill eateries – but everyone is still wearing ski-chic clothing. The choice of private booths, bar stools, or interactive communal tables enable date-nights, socializing or group gatherings. Just opposite is The Mackenzie Common Tavern, a busy sports bar with pub snacks, micro brews on tap and live music at weekends.