The Powder Highway is your ultimate ski destination with many resorts scattered over the best mountains to find major powder. If you're ready for a full on ski holiday then follow these helpful tips provided by the Powder Highway.
Time for a bit of a road trip!
To save time, the easiest way to get to the powder is flying into Cranbrook’s Canadian Rockies International Airport, renting a car, and pointing 'er in pretty much any direction. North to Kimberley, Fairmont, Panorama, Kicking Horse, and Revelstoke. East to the Fernie and Island Lake. West to powder-choked Whitewater and the ballsy chutes of Red Mountain.
And those are just the lift-serviced resorts. Add in 13 cat ops, 9 heli ski companies, 10 Nordic centres and a mind-boggling 21 backcountry lodges and you have likely the greatest concentration of powder options anywhere in the world.
Here are a few safe-driving tips before you go:
1) Before you leave, buddy up and travel with a friend or three! Stuck way out in the sticks on Highway 6 is not the best place for a solo road trip. Besides, you’ll need someone to operate the video and still equipment to show off all the face-shots you’ll be getting.
2) Snow tires, always. If you’re renting from Budget or at one of the regional airports in like Cranbrook or Castlegar, make sure your vehicle (AWD, preferably) is equipped with snow tires and ski/snowboard racks. Call in advance to make sure you get the right vehicle for the trip – it can be a long way between destinations.
3) Try to drive in daylight hours as much as possible – if you have to make it to a remote lodge, you might want to pass on the après ski Kokanees.
4) Cell phone service is spotty throughout the Rockies and Kootenays (which is why you actually see BC Tel landline phone booths stuck out in the middle of nowhere).
6) Coat your windshield with Rain-X and make sure the windshield wiper fluid is topped up, and that you have an extra jug in your trunk
7) Stay out of the passing lanes through Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park on Highway 1. Long haul truckers have way more experience than you do, and will be high-ballin’ down the passing lanes (and throwing up a mighty spray as they pass). Respect.
8) Consider leaving an itinerary with your friends. If, for instance, you’re checking into a cat skiing op, give the owners an ETA. (Places like CMH Monashees and Mica Heli-Skiing are truly in the middle of nowhere).
9) Get in touch with your Inner Canadian. Your radio choices will be CBC, CBC, and CBC.
One guy you might want to follow on your travels this winter is Kate Ediger from Grand Prairie, Alberta. Lucky Kate won the Powder Highway’s “Ultimate Ski Bum Competition,” — a three- month journey along the Powder Highway, including free lift tickets at all of the resorts, 12 days of heli and cat skiing, accommodation and transportation.