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Kiwi Canadian Tour.


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Thinking of a trip to Canada and wondering which resorts to visit.

Some thing a bit off the tourist trail would be nice with beautiful grooms, friendly local hard booters, a relaxed and cheerful scene, good weather, a bit of pow but not to much, a mixture of wide open and interesting terrain, no rocks, reasonably cheap accommodation, and close to on to it techs and great carving gear shops. Paradise in other words.

Dose this exist in Canada?

Dan Yoja recommended Red Mountain when he was over here. If I want to demo a Coiler I'll have to go out east... Is MSLM too crowed? I see Rob Stevens is at Lake Louise..

Where would I go if I wanted to do some CASI courses with hard booters, say level 1 and 2 and if I was up to it Carving Instructor?

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If you come to the province of Québec, go to Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif. Mont-Sainte-Anne is a very nice place to carve, especially the North side. Le Massif is not a carver's mountain, but one of the most beautiful moutain of the province. They both are near the city of Québec, which is a very nice city to visit. And avoid Tremblant (north of Montréal), really overhyped.

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If you do not mind sleeping off the slopes, stay in Vancouver itself!

You'll have Whistler/Blackomb and Mt Baker (on USA side) within 2hrs drive, and Cypress, Grouse and Seymor mountains within 1/2hr drive. On Cypress you'll find our "carving tribe". In Whistler is Prior Snowboards, and you should be able to get alpine lessons.

Other option is Okanagan area with 4 maountins in vicinity.

Boris

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You stand a very good chance of running into hardbooters in Quebec and Southern Ontario. Out west, seeing a hardbooter is like a Bigfoot sighting - very rare and no one will believe you.

However, the best riding is in BC and Alberta. For your first trip to Canada, I recommend Banff. It's very accessible (less than 2 hours from Calgary), relatively inexpensive and a great experience. You can ride three big resorts with a lot of variety - Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Nakiska. The nightlife in Banff is also a blast - something for everyone.

I've never been to Red Mountain but take a look at it on the map. It's tough to get to and a bit isolated. Same thing with Fernie.

As for Whistler, I'm not a big fan. It's too expensive, overly commercialized and the weather is very, very iffy. It's rained 50% of the time I have been there.

Kelowna area is also good - Big White, Silver Star and Apex. Choice riding at those mountains but I think a notch below Sunshine and Louise. They are also very family oriented and pretty quiet at night.

And while we'd love to have you in Ontario, it's pretty flat here. MSLM is a pimple compared to the Western or Quebec resorts.

In Quebec, they have real mountains but I find the runs are not carve-friendly. Mt. Tremblant has some nice wide groomers on the southside but the place is overpriced and over-commercialized. Quebec also gets freaking cold in January and February. Might freeze your kiwis there.

Good luck, bonne chance.

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If I did this, what would I do?

Well, everyone knows the best snow is out west :eplus2: so :

I'd start in Vancouver because it's easy to fly there via Hawaii from NZ. Hit Whistler midweek for a couple of days. Then grab a car and head to Kelowna, 2 days at Big White or one at Big White and one at Silver Star. If you have more time maybe hit Sun Peaks on the way, that's a great hill and accommodation in Kamloops is very reasonable.

Work your way down to Red Mountain and maybe catch a day's cat skiing with Big Red Cats, very reasonable prices.Or alternatively head into the Cranbrook area, Fernie is a powder haven, Kimberley is one of my favourite hills and again accommodations are reasonable, especially in Cranbrook and on hill at Kimberley.

Then head towards Golden, Kicking Horse is a steep and deep that will keep you on your toes. More cheap accommodation in Golden. From there it's a hop skip and jump to Lake Louise which is huge and at times fantastic, when the ice stays away.

You have to visit Banff once in your life, ski at Sunshine which is my local, the snow there is always in great shape. Drive to Calgary, drop the car and catch a commuter plane back to Vancouver.

Be aware that Canada is very big compared to NZ so you'll be doing a fair amount of driving. And don't get the bug so bad you have to do what I did, and leave NZ to move here ...

Actually, can I come with you? This sounds like a blast. :)

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Thinking of a trip to Canada and wondering which resorts to visit.

Some thing a bit off the tourist trail would be nice with beautiful grooms, friendly local hard booters, a relaxed and cheerful scene, good weather, a bit of pow but not to much, a mixture of wide open and interesting terrain, no rocks, reasonably cheap accommodation, and close to on to it techs and great carving gear shops. Paradise in other words.

I've gone through the same thought process when I was living in NZ as well, and ended up at Mammoth and Tahoe.

The cost of travel to get there with subsidised low cost airlines flying up from LAX to Reno plus cheap casino hotels tends to save money vs. Canada, and the range of resorts is pretty decent. With the USD tanking (against the baht anyway) it is pretty cost effective. There are shuttle buses running to Alpine, Squaw, Flatstar, Rose and a few others for about $60 including the lift ticket, or hiring a car is even easier. Mammoth is out of the question these days I think; too expensive and way too crowded.

However, if your mind is set on Canada, word I got from my pals who did seasons in Canada is that Whistler is pretty costly; Bamff is very very cold but cheaper, and some of the middle part of the place, I think Silver star etc is nice. Red Mountain and Fernie are two that get mentioned as cheap and good.

But compared to Mt Rose or Squaw I have no idea how they stack up. Allee's schedule looks pretty decent. I think one guy ended up driving all the way up to POwder King in Alaska and then went Heliboarding somewhere; that rates as the road trip from hell.

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Holly Sh*t you guys are awesome. :)

Banff sounds nice. The only tech I've ever fully trusted with my gear in NZ was a Canadian called Duke who was from there and if Rob Stevens is around there what better place to do a lesson / instructors course.

Quebec eh... I hadn't even thought of that... I have an old flame there.. hmmm could go bad! Allee you caught the bug eh. Love your itinerary are you a travel agent? ;)

I'll have to show this thread to the other kiwi carvers. One guys thinking of Japan but.. well there aren't many nice Canadians there EH?! There's a small resort just out of Toronto where a guy called Gord Manuel and some CRAZY Canuckstanies that I met over here ride that I'd like to visit and then there's the Coiler factory... This is doing bad things for my resting heart rate.

Hey do you Canadians ever do your own SES? Maybe a yyzcanuck, Dan Yoja and coiler sponsored one how abooout it eh?

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Just had three seasons here to see a bit of the place. If you need some help tracking down accommodations and package deals then let me know, I've got pretty good at that too!!

You know that Toronto is a five hour flight from Vancouver, right? (and Quebec is half way to Europe ...) And unless you really have your heart set on visiting Coiler, Prior is in Whistler and is supposed to be very accommodating to visitors, and you can demo his stuff on hill as well.

I know there's CASI precourses and instructor courses at Lake Louise, I was looking at the website today. There's one next week.

Have fun planning! Hope it all comes together for you!!

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Don't bother with Ontario for ski resorts. mere bumps compared to what you'll experience in BC/Alberta. I can't think of any southern Ontario hill which has over 1000' of vertical. Quebec has some choice terrain but I wouldn't fly there to sample it. People from Ontario drive to Quebec for ski vacations because its cheaper than flying out west.

I'd look into Allee's road trip. Each of the mountains on her list are well worth visiting. Kicking Horse, Fernie, Louise and Red are my faves.

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I'd like to visit and then there's the Coiler factory... This is doing bad things for my resting heart rate.

Hey do you Canadians ever do your own SES? Maybe a yyzcanuck, Dan Yoja and coiler sponsored one how abooout it eh?

Again, Prior factory is in Whistler, and you can demo, and buy directly from stock, or have a custom one made pretty quickly.

Last year we had a pilot WES (Whistler Expression Session), look up the old tread. This year we'll do it bigger (but still one day event). Date's not been set yet.

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I'll have to show this thread to the other kiwi carvers. One guys thinking of Japan but.. well there aren't many nice Canadians there EH?! There's a small resort just out of Toronto where a guy called Gord Manuel and some CRAZY Canuckstanies that I met over here ride that I'd like to visit and then there's the Coiler factory... This is doing bad things for my resting heart rate.

Hey do you Canadians ever do your own SES? Maybe a yyzcanuck, Dan Yoja and coiler sponsored one how abooout it eh?

Japan is VERY expensive for the most part, although the northern most bit is apparently some of the best dry powder you'll find anywhere...however not so good for carving.

If you are set on Canada, go to the west coast, or at most, the centre bit.

But I think west coast. west coast, west coast is on faaaiya. Aruond Silver Star, Okenagan or something called that; not too expenisve, and not crazy cold; I think you might be in shock for how cold Canada gets, at least according to the guys I know who did seasons at Lake Louise.

Go in March and all the gear is on sale as well; in USA any time after president weekend which is some time late Feb is a great time to buy gear; although less relevant for boards and bindings i guess; certianly impotrant for gloves, jackets, g-strings, etc.

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Hey do you Canadians ever do your own SES? Maybe a yyzcanuck, Dan Yoja and coiler sponsored one how abooout it eh?

There are some chances of having a demo day at Mont-Blanc with YYZCANUCK and Sharks (one of the local alpine shops) that may turn into some kind of QES.

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I'm not sure if/when Coiler does demos, but Prior is set up for it every day if you go to Whistler.

Never been to Red but from everything I've heard, it is not a carver's hill. Steeps, pow, glades, cliffs. Likewise carving terrain at Kicking Horse is limited. There is some, but mainly it's a hill full of steeps and pow and a whole lot of bumps if it hasn't snowed lately.

You'll find lots to carve at Big White. I haven't been to Apex and Silverstar for ages but they're both good. Sun Peaks has a ton of carving terrain.

Banff is great, absolutely gorgeous. You'll enjoy both Louise and Sunshine. The carving doesn't get much better than Great Divide on a sunny day at Sunshine.

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The carving doesn't get much better than Great Divide on a sunny day at Sunshine.

Oooohhhh. Right side of the lift, then pick a random line down under Continental Divide and nail it all the way back to the daylodge. Half a mountain of wide open space with perfect snow and rollers.

Dammit, Neil. Now I'll be distracted for the rest of the day...

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No 2;

Haven't seen Duke in awhile, but Kiwi Andrew (pronounced Indrew), can get you going. He's at the Source in Canmore and really good.

Flights are getting cheaper all the time and flying direct to Calgary is easier now than ever. Van would still be the ideal gateway.

Despite the terrain not being carve friendly, I would visit the resorts Allee mentioned, like KHMR, Fernie, Red, ect. Demo soft gear and hit it. You didn't come all this way to stay on the groomers! They are only a small percentage of what's on offer.

The interior resorts are rad. Silverstar and Sun Peaks have great carving terrain.

If you just want to improve your riding skills, I can suggest some people who you could go out with. If you actually want to take courses, you should look on the CASI site and see if anything lines up with your trip. www.casi-acms.com

The East is fun and Montreal is the best city I've ever seen, but I don't know if it's the ideal destination if shredding is your primary goal. I do love Tremblant for the easiest carving there is (midweek).

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Hey thanks every one. I've had a good look at the at the spots you've mentioned. I'm really liking the Banff area. Lots of vertical and Sunshine looks awesome.

Oooohhhh. Right side of the lift, then pick a random line down under Continental Divide and nail it all the way back to the daylodge. Half a mountain of wide open space with perfect snow and rollers.

You'll have to show me that one Allee. :)

The Quebec side of things looks like the north of Mont Sainte Anne and the South of Tremblant. But I probably should stay away from there for now. ;)

Cypress looks cute. Lots of snow and cheep! Whats the grooming like there. Definitely worth a day trip eh.

Scapegoat funny you mentioned Apex. I have an Apex sticker on my Rubbish bin stuck there by a guy called Jackson that stayed with us, he's a groomer there. He was also pretty much solely responsible for the best grooming on Turoa we've ever had.

You didn't come all this way to stay on the groomers!

WELL.. To tell the truth Rob I've only been into this snow thing for about 4 years and I have got to say that I am sooo grateful to all the people that have helped keep this particular bit of the snow scene alive. I am completely in love with carving. If soft boots were all there was I simply wouldn't be on the snow at all. Of all the things I've done in my life including being very silly with motorbikes and racing some of craziest boats ever invented including 100ft super maxis, Tornadoes and Americas Cup boats. I have never found any thing that feels so good when it comes to geather. :o (Oh OK one other thing!) The guys I ride with like to go off trail but to me thats such a sad waste of good groom.

Jackson did used to talk about steep and deep pow like a possessed crack addict. I've yet to be converted and I hope for a little while yet that maybe I wont. Call me sheltered but I just LOVE carving. :1luvu:

Duke IIRC has been working at AKS in Whistler for a while and is currently touring around our South Island. Thankfully he'll be back next year. He did l some lovely Chevron structures for us.

So Vancouver -> Cypress -> may be interior then Banff and stay for a while. Possible Red and possibly a trip to see Bruce. Looks like if could be a good plan A.

Thank you so much for all your suggestions. It'll be interesting to see which areas get hit the most this season. We've just had a great season here. I think Turoa had its most skiiable days in history. I hope you guys have a good one too.

Thanks again every one.

Jas.

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Oooohhhh. Right side of the lift, then pick a random line down under Continental Divide and nail it all the way back to the daylodge. Half a mountain of wide open space with perfect snow and rollers.

QUOTE]

Now that has got to be my favorite line...I'm gettin all hot and bothered thinking about it!

:1luvu:

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Jas,

Your itinirary sonds like a good plan!

Make sure to you contact me when in Van. Gosh, not just a carver but a top notch sailor too! I did fair bit of sailing too - Finn Gold Cup 2002 in Athens, and sailed my 30' sloop from Cape Town to Vancouver when I emigrated to Canada. Design boats for living now (Rayburn Yachts, power, unfortunately).

As for Cypress, yes we do have some high snowbase readings, but it's deceiving. Cypress is a very rocky mountain and needs good base. Snow quality can vary a lot as it is a coastal montain (that includes total melt downs). Grooming is mostly good in the morning, but not re-groomed in the aftenoon/evening. There's couple of carving friendly long greens and medium length blues. There's one briliant carvable black, they do not groom it all the time, sometimes it's just mogulls. Weekends can turn into a mess due to the proximity to the city.

Still, it is your best bet to meet a hardbooter around Vancouver. Also, it has more chairlifts than some of the interior mountains...

Boris

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OK Boris especially for you. :) One of my fav boats of all time. That's me on the pointy end. Thats our 3rd out of 4 smallest rig. For the non sailors those things are kind of like 2 people trying to sail a windsurfer with 3 sails ie kaso. They get some good air at times as well. Some call it sailing while others call it swimming. Gota laugh. Any way thats rather OTT.

post-1236-141842220916_thumb.jpg

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rough to ride in both the US and Canada but Quebec city is is my favorite city that I've been to anywhere, it has a charm to it and I never wanna leave

tremblant is hell unless you go late spring for the bumps

St. Anne is carve friendly and a nice place but is friggin' cold mid season just like most the east coast

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Not an 18 Allee, 18s sail 3 up these days.

Looks to me to be a 12 with the smaller rig up; with the big rig the boat looks like it has been photo shopped, the boat shrunk in half size, and the rig doubled in size. Most crazy boat.

AFAIK the 12s actually accelerate fast enough they need foot straps to stop falling out the back sometimes; is this rumour true number 2, or are the skiff guys telling me lies?

U gonna have a great time in North America; the snow quality and grooming pl;us size of the runs are on another level to NZ>

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Thanks bobdea. I was in France last year. And they have a certain je ne sais quoi don't they.

I used to work for Southern Ocean Ropes in New Zealand

Did you now! I used to be sponsored by them when I was sailing the Tornado. What a small world. Well as we all know NZ is a small world.

You're on the money there Kip, the straps are mainly to stop you falling off as they throw them selves all over the ocean. Skiffies are just psychos. I wonder do first time SES virgins get initiated with KKK out fits, bear body slides, swinging through lobby rafters and clothes tearing nakedness? Hmm I wonder if I just reviled too much there.

I'm very much looking forward to meating you 'guys' some time. Now I need to talk to the lads and ladess not to mention work. Or should I just quit, catch the plane and become an instructor?

'Some ones givin' me fever'

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