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Allee

2017 Nakiska Expression Session

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I was thinking random thoughts today, and among them was the idea that maybe we could change the location of the NES next year.

 

With the cheap season pass deals likely to come back again for 2017, Nakiska is getting super crowded on the weekends, and while it's always fun, the terrain isn't super challenging. The lack of grooming on Red Crow and the fact that they're always racing on Whoop Up is definitely a problem hill-wise.
 

So, if we changed it, where would we go?

 

Sunshine - "yawn"

 

Lake Louise - expensive, also crowded, limited good carving terrain. Both Sunshine and LL mean stays in Banff for visitors, which is expensive.

 

KH - steep and challenging, limited carving, could definitely make for a fun weekend. Accommodations In Golden aren't too pricey.
 

Revelstoke - reasonable drive on a Thursday night and back home Sunday, or a short flight to Kelowna. A Kelowna base would mean that we'd have options at Silver Star and Big White too, and hotels are cheap in the winter.

 

Fernie - short drive, but not carving terrain, also pricey for lift passes and accommodations.

 

Kimberley -same driving distance as Revy, cheap accommodations and a very fun hill. (I have a soft spot for Kimberley, and there's some stellar carving runs there). Also the option to hit Fernie on the way home on Sunday.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

 


 

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None of the other hills within driving distance of Calgary are really suitable if it's to be carving focussed.  I'd be down for Sun Peaks or Big White, either of which would be great. Whitefish would also be great. I highly suspect it would go from 20 people down to a half-dozen though. 

Edited by Neil Gendzwill

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Could do. The event name would obviously have to change. I would also add Sun Peaks to the list.

 

I would love to go back to Sun Peaks, but Kamloops is just that little bit harder to get to ... expensive to fly, and then a 45 min drive out of the city to the hill, which means accommodation wise you're pretty much stuck out there. I was thinking more along the lines of something road-trippable, and further than Kelowna is probably not.

 

I'd love to get back to Red too, but same problem.

 

Of course, everyone heading to WTF is a great option. With half a dozen Alberta carvers, we could certainly keep the mountain photogs busy :-)

Edited by Allee

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Kamloops and Kelowna are within 20 km of each other, travelling from Calgary.  They both have the same issue with the hill being 45 minutes out of town, although in either case I don't know why you'd want to stay in town.  On-hill is the place to be!

 

For me personally, Kelowna or Kamloops is more than double the points compared to Calgary for redeeming airfare. 

 

On the plus side for me, if we go to BC or Montana Donnagail is going to want to come.  Whitefish is a 10 hour drive for us.  OTOH US resorts are still likely to be very pricey for us Canucks.

 

Any way you slice it I will want more than 3 days at these places, whereas 3 is about my yearly limit at Nakiska.

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OTOH US resorts are still likely to be very pricey for us Canucks.

 

 

Ha, I'm hopeful that they elect Trump as president and the whole thing goes to hell in a handbasket by next January :-) (j/k)

 

Whitefish isn't awful $$$ wise, but the prices are about the same as the Canadian resorts, just marked up by the exchange difference. Which last Jan was almost 40% (ouch).

I randomly checked some airfares and there isn't actually as much difference as I remember between Kelowna and Kamloops - both in the low $400 range. I've seen seat sales to Kelowna for 300-ish, though, I've never seen a cheap fare to Kamloops. And yep, they sock you an alarming number of points to fly there on a twin prop cigar tube.

 

Hmmm, feeling some love for Sun Peaks though ...

 

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It's just the way this Visa Avion thing works.  Short haul (one province over) is 15K points, if I have to go outside AB or MB it's 35K, even if I can get the ticket for under the dollar limit on the short-haul redemption.  I've dumped a fair pile of Avion points into NES because of that.

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2017 planning?  Nice.  

 

I'm flying in anyway, so I'm up for anything.  I've heard lots of good things about Sun Peaks!  

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Okay, resurrecting this conversation. Need to start planning 2017 NES. Do I start planning it here or do we just all head down to WTF in January?

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Hey Folks.

I live in Golden, so I obviously have a dog in this race.  I say: come to Kicking Horse!  There seems to be a preconception that there isn't much to carve at the horse.  This isn't really the case, it's just that there is a lot of mountain, and only 1 real lift.  This means that you have to link up the carving zones and that there is not likely to be much chairlift viewing (ha ha)  Seriously, there is lots of good carving here, it's only that there isn't all that much in the blue zone.  Lots of hard green stuff, and a significant number of challenging black stuff that is often groomed.  It really depends on the snow.  If it snows it takes a couple of days for the groomed stuff to get good.  The first day they are busy just getting the cat roads flattened down, and the green runs opened up.  The second day is usually a lot better (at least as far as groomers are concerned).  But hey! if it's snowing its a hell of a fun mountain!  If it hasn't snowed in a while then KH has pretty damn good grooming, but the real positive is the snow quality and almost complete lack of crowds.  The hill faces north.  Snow stays good for a long time, and is only rarely icy. 

If you have a trail map.  Decent snow (read powder)?  Here's the run :  Gondola to the top.  Click in and ride one of the CPR chutes to the bottom of crystal bowl and ride super cruisy blue runs to the bottom of the stairway chair.  Up Stairway.  Climb to the top of White Wall.  Ride the first chute to the through Feuz Bowl. Come out of Feuz and traverse high to get the mini alaska zone above the cat road/pioneer chair area.  Go to the top of the pioneer chair and ride the "pioneer knob" under the chair and continue right on down on pioneer or kicking horse or porcupine.  You have just ridden about 4800 vertical feet of legit fun powder in about 45 minutes.  Fresh snow all groomed out?  Gondola to the top, mount up and ride down crystal bowl cruising the mellow blue runs on the west side of the bowl and get onto the stairway chair.  They often groom one of the two runs down from the top of the ridge into crystal bowl.  Both are solid and steep.  this time cruise the mellow bottom of the bowl past the chair, and continue to upper Euphoria.  Euphoria is almost always groomed, at least the top.  Lower Euphoria groomed?  Ride that!  Steep as hell and challenging off camber fall lines.  At the cat road, there are usually about 3 options that are fun:  Wiley, Buffalo Jump, or Porcupine.  Ride to the next cat road crossing, and hang a right over to the top of the Catamount chair.  This is a beginner area, but has solid hard green runs.  Wolverine is great fun.  With a nice cruisy finish to the bottom of the gondola.  Hey! another solid 4800 or so vertical, about 70 percent carving.  There are lots of options.

Kicking horse is usually pretty quiet so there are almost always some sort of mid january deals on accomodation/lift passes.  If the resort isn't doing a good sales job, there are lots of hotels and some pretty nice hostels in town. 

I don't have as swank a place as rice, but can offer up my more pedestrian digs as some sort of place to hang out one evening for libations.

Just my (too long) five cents, Had a great time at last years event at Nakiska, Would see you folks there again happily.  But give KH a some moments of thought.

 

Later, Carl

 

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Carl, I love KHMR but it really isn't well-suited to this sort of event.

Steve while I think WTF would be a hoot it would likely be a very small turnout compared to the usual 15-20 at Nakiska.

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Neil:  Fair enough. 

Could handle a multi hill sorta thing.  As long as they are drive-able from the rockies.  WTF works for me, but not so much for lots of other folks.  I do kinda like Kimberly.  Haven't been to Revelstoke mountain resort yet...

If people are passing KHMR give me a call.  Can be a sort of unofficial guide on a surprising number of days...

 

 

 

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If you didn't feel like organizing it, Rice, I can thoroughly recommend heading to WTF. I know you've talked about going to the Fish forever and haven't done it yet. You should. It's sooo much fun, and having a crew from here would be a damn fine time.

I've kind of had a wrench thrown in my plans by my parents announcing they're arriving here on Jan 26. So that means that IF I go to WTF (and that's a big if), it will have to be the first weekend (21/22), and I'd have to drive there and back at ungodly o'clock as I'll have to work on Friday and Monday. So NES at home would work for me - but I'm definitely a fan of finding a different venue for Sat or Sun. I'd be up for a visit to KH or LL if the conditions are good - I haven't been to either in forever. Nakiska is groomer heaven. but the weekend crowds can be tiresome.

If we stay here, maybe if the out of town visitors want to plan to stay in Banff for a night on Fri/Sat, instead of heading back to Cgy. We could do a mini-après, and head out early morning?

 

Edited by Allee

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I don't think I can make WTF as we are planning a trip to BC for the last week of January/first week of February.  The normal 2nd weekend in January at Nakiska and potentially Sunshine or Louise would work for me.

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Fun, where you going this time?

I was thinking of you when I was riding through the Columbia River Gorge last week too, hope your trip down that way went well!

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Another busy year for us... just had a baby boy a month ago, and I'm back on skis for a bit to teach Addy to ski this year. I'd be up for a day if it's driving distance from Calgary. Nakiska has just bothered me too much in so many ways, so that's not my first choice, especially on the weekends. 

I grew up at Sun Peaks, and it's an awesome hill! Highly recommended for carving too. 

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It sounds like NES is on life-support for this year, mainly due to the crazy weekend crowds at Nakiska.  What about a mid-week session at Nakiska to avoid the crowds?  Is that an option?  

If NES doesn't go, I'm debating doing WTF.  Or going to Nakiska anyway.  Or something else random, I don't know!  

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