We intentionally chose to go to Kicking Horse even though there was no new snow. That’s no typo - we PICKED it over some other closer mountains that had a little bit of fresh. My husband and I had been anticipating our first kid-free ski trip since our youngest arrived on the scene last March, and we were vibrating with excitement. Without a doubt we thought we’d be heading to Golden, B.C. to experience their world famous champagne powder, but when the snow didn’t come, we were still excited to go.
It wasn’t an outlandish assumption to bank on a great deal of powder to play in for our March trip. We had gone a few weeks earlier with the kiddos and needed snorkels on the green runs. With an average annual snowfall amount of 24 feet of it seemed like a pretty sure thing.
But it’s still weather, and sometimes less than ideal conditions arise even for the greats. Heck, Elvis caught a cold once in awhile and couldn’t sing, but people would still line up just to see him and have their very own Elvis Presley experience.
Kicking Horse was our Elvis. We were dying for that big mountain experience that you just can’t get inbounds at any other resort.
Even though we weren’t surfing in the deep, we found soft fun snow to play in. Equally as fun was skiing with some incredible skiers, and watching other freestylers huck off big booters they built. The views from the gondola and lifts were out of this world, which isn’t surprising with it’s 8218 feet of elevation. Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe the staggering sights.
The mountain is renowned for it’s incredible backcountry access, but the real showstopper for me was the inbound skiing. With over 4000 vertical feet, 120 runs spanning across 3486 acres of land there wasn’t a little bit of everything – there was A LOT of everything.
We had already experienced the fun greens and blues with the kids, enjoying tree skiing and jumps in blower snow, but we were dying to get back and ski the top of the mountain.
With lifts like the appropriately named, “Stairway to Heaven,” and double black diamond runs through couloirs only accessible by boot-packing up the back of a cliff band – a day of skiing Kicking Horse felt like an adventure unmatched by that of other resorts.
There is no doubt why this mountain hosts events like the Freeride World Tour that explains its contest online as, “…the worldwide circuit of freeride snowboarding and skiing with the best riders in the world competing on the most legendary and challenging alpine faces at the most renowned ski resorts across the world.”
That sounds about right.
Now that’s what drove us out to Golden for this trip, but as I mentioned earlier, we had visited a few weeks prior with our three small kids and it was amazing for the whole family. The high-speed quad, gondola and charming village equipped with sweet shopping and eats made for a great place to spend time even without skiing.
In fact, maybe next time I will just enjoy my coffee on the patio and let my husband take the kids skiing. Don’t tell anyone though, it sounds cooler if you go to Kicking Horse as a hardcore skier.