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JimK

Great 2018 Northern Rockies and Canada Tour

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Will edit later with comments and more photos.  Been on a trip to UT, WY in last 14 days, now at Revy.

 

Snowbasin, UT pow day, 3/4/18, moi.

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my buddy got a face shot

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Easter Bowl at Snowbasin, 3/5/18

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Trees near John Paul chair

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late in the day we finally got a glimpse of the Great Salt Lake from top of Strawberry gondy.

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3/6/18 at Alta, Catherine's area.

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again, steeper part of Catherine's.

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young local fella dropping about a 50-60' huck below Devil's Castle.

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Edited by JimK
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Wed 3/7/18 at Snowbird, UT

Mineral Basin on a gorgeous day.

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Middle Cirque

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two of my four adult kids on little cloud chair 3/9/18, Snowbird

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Again on 3/10 on a very old Yan center pole double at Alta

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Alta sells a 3-430 PM ticket for $10, only good for Sunnyside lift (~850' vert), this family on left with old skinny skis is typical of those who get the ticket.  This is how you save the sport folks and get newbies and families to give it a try!!!

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Edited by JimK

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My son and I skied Jackson Hole on 3/12 and 13.  The beautiful weather continued.

Tower Three Chute

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Laramie Bowl?

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Tiptoeing into Corbett's

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My son dropped this three times while we were there.  I watched:-)

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This looked painful.

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Nice outdoor lunch spot at top of big Gondy.

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Going to Revelstoke tomorrow, then Banff areas later.  Will try to post again.  Might see new snow at Revy.

Edited by JimK

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yes, saw boarder do a controlled feet-first belly slide down the steep step-in, then he got on his feet and finished run.  some skiers were doing a more sporty entry, no step-in, just ski-in straight drop!

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More Revy from 3/16, the more I ski this place the more there is to like.  It's an insane tree skier's paradise, but also some nice open alpine bowls.  Regular tree lined runs are super long.

There were as many or more snowmobilers in the town of Revelstoke as skiers.  Talk about an expensive sport!!

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mid-mtn lodge at Revy

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this is the stoke chair and the great tree skiing is on both side of lift line, trees go for 5000+ vert.

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north bowl again

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heading down greely bowl

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Edited by JimK

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Lake Louise, first time, on St Paddy's Day - possibly the most beautiful spot I have ever skied!!  Banff is a real nice town too, not stuffy in the areas I visited.  All the high rollers must be in the big chateau hotels.  Off to Sunshine today, new snow!

 

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Edited by JimK
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My first trip there was last year, staying in Canmore. LL is great, indeed. The locals are the nicest people I’ve met on ski trips. My wife wasn’t with me but I’d be curious to take her to the hotel near the top of Sunshine Village. A couple of nights there could be a cool experience.

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just finished three days at Sunshine.  Stayed at the mid-mtn Sunshine Lodge at elev 7100.  One of the best slopeside situations I've ever enjoyed.  Small crowds, great snow and scenery and good value at about $150 per night due to MCP discount and favorable exchange rate.  They let us check in at 11am and checkout at 1pm, essentially giving us three days at hotel for two nights lodging.

bunch of photos from sunshine

28 minutes ago, Jcb890 said:

Lake Louise and Sunshine look amazing!

 

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Some of these pics show a posse of four of us and on second day we did Delirium Dive, which required avi gear.  we only had two sets of avi packs, so we took turns in pairs going up there.  Unless you took the really sporty entry my son took, you had to walk down a set of stairs to enter Del Dive bowl.  The sketchiest part was putting skis back on a bottom of those stairs on tight, rocky and icy surface  with drop offs all around.  If you lost control of a ski stepping in binding it was going to be big trouble collecting it, possibly far away in steep and deep snow.

 

 

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my wife doesn't ski anymore, but we enjoyed lift served snowshoeing on two afternoons is super scenery.  on our last morning at sunshine we woke up to about 6" snow and it snowed 6 more during the day for some excellent powder turns, what send off.  best part was when we left mtn at 3pm to take son to calgary airport, there was no snow at our car at base parking lot or on highway to calgary, strictly a mtn top storm for us alone!

 

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skied 14 of last 17 days, son skied something like 17 of 18.  i think he finally got tired, but spent last few days tracking weather at his home mtn of snowbird where they have been getting bombed and more expected there on mar 23.  resting today, will ski one more day each at louise and norquay, then start long drive home.  believe it or not, I look forward to the driving days to rest my body before going back to work next week in wash dc.  we will travel about 7000 miles before we are done.  i owe wife big time for all road time and motel jumping while me and son chase snow and mtns.

Edited by JimK
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1 hour ago, JimK said:

i think he finally got tired, but spent last few days tracking weather at his home mtn of snowbird where they have been getting bombed and more expected there on mar 23.  resting today, will ski one more day at louise and norquay, then start long drive home.  believe it or not, I look forward to the driving days to rest my body before going back to work next week in wash dc.  we will travel about 7000 miles before we are done.  i owe wife big time for all road time and motel jumping while me and son chase snow and mtns.

Wow!  Having skied a little with you two, I know it takes a lot to get him tired!

Hadn't quite realized the Sunshine Lodge was actually mid-mountain.  That's very intriguing.

Agree that driving on main highways is less tiring that skiing the type of terrain you've been exploring.  The snow in DC should be gone by the time you get home.  Good thing you weren't trying to fly home today or tomorrow.

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3/21 I took a day off from skiing.  Slept in, then wife and I hiked Johnston Canyon for an easy one hour hike to a lower waterfall (frozen, about 60' tall).  Trail had pretty light traffic, but I suppose might be mobbed in summer, there were multiple large parking lots at base.  Cool part was lengthy sections of boardwalk hung to rock walls above the creek.  Then we went to Upper Banff Hot Springs for a soak that lasted probably longer than the amount of time we hiked:-)  Then we went to Banff town and ate at a memorable restaurant called The Grizzly House.  I had beef and chicken fondue cooked on my table top hot rock, with lots of dipping sauces, rosti and a big bottle of Czech pilsner.  Wife had a steak. On 3/22 I skied Lake Louise again, enjoyed two hour free black diamond level mtn tour given by two LL "friends" (mtn hosts) including George C. and Cam.  There were a bunch of americans with MRG stickers on their helmets in my tour group so it was a good skiing group.  Then I did high tea with my wife at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, cost about $70 american before tip, but you pay for the ambiance.  In general, dining out in Canada is about 25% cheaper than US. We snowshoed after the meal on picturesque Lake Louise for about an hour.  This visit to the super classy/upscale Chateau scored brownie points with wife after putting her through brutal road trip for a non-skier to endure without the reward of slope time at the great resorts visited.  Tomorrow I plan to ski Mt. Norquay, then eat a mtn top late lunch wife with and start drive home, which google maps tells me will take about 37 hours of road time.  I plan to take 3.5 days to do it, a little less grueling schedule than the drive out to SLC three weeks ago.

 

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Edited by JimK
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Jim, You are having some great trips , and even better to be able to share with son, I hope to do another trip out west to meet up with you at Big Ski next year or definitely JH the year after. Great report and pictures as always 

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Typing this as my wife and I near Fargo, ND, well into the return leg of our long road journey.  3/23/18 was my last ski day of the trip and it was a beauty.  I went to Mt. Norquay, the oldest and smallest ski area in the Banff region.  It was a great final sample of Western Canadian skiing and I really enjoyed its special blend of history and scenery.

Since arriving in Utah on March 3 I skied 16 of 20 days.  The first two were snowy days, but then I got a long stretch of sunny ski days in both Utah and Wyoming.  However, since arriving in Canada about ten days ago I’ve seen a mix of sunny and cloudy/snowy days and while I’ve enjoyed some good powder, I’ve also learned not to take a good visibility day on the slopes for granted in the Canadian Rockies.  

3/23 at Norquay was extremely scenic. They tell me this ski area goes back about 90 years. It has four chairs and two of them (North American double and Mystic quad) are significant with about 1650’ of vertical each and serving different terrain.  The crown jewel at Norquay is the ancient NA center pole double chair.  I believe it goes back to about the 1940s or 50s, but I don’t have internet right now to research details on it.  It is set up in a sort of pulse mode with four chairs close together, and then a 200 yard gap until the next four chairs.  They are in sync and slow down when arriving at loading and unloading zones.  The lift serves nothing but double black diamond bumps and glades!  It has some of the best scenery I’ve ever seen on a single lift.  The Mystic serves good, but more conventional mixed level terrain and is where I did most of my runs.  The other neat thing about Norquay is they gave me a free day on my MCP pass.  Previously I got my two free days each at Louise and Sunshine (I also skied an extra day at half price at Sunshine).  My motel for my last three nights in the Banff area was in the nearby town of Canmore and it was very nice too.

It was a great trip, but I’m glad to be back in the USA and heading home.

Here are some pics from Mt. Norquay.

 

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Edited by JimK
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