Revelstoke made big news when it debuted in 2007, the newest ski resort with the biggest vertical in North America - an amazing 5,620’. We were stoked to ski "Revy," the British Columbia ski area with loads of nicknames. Revelstoke Mountain Resort's 3,121 acres were previously cat skiing tenure. Now Revelstoke offers lift-serviced resort skiing, plus backcountry terrain, cat and heli skiing all from one base - huge vert with huge options for avid skiers.
Revelstoke Ski Resort is actually located on 8,058' Mt Mackenzie, but named for the nearby town, neighboring mountain and National Park established in 1914. Across the Columbia River valley are the Monashees - home to some of the best heli skiing in the world. Revy has become a Mecca for big mountain skiers and thrill-seekers.
From Revelstoke's convenient base village, where we stayed at the posh Sutton Place Hotel, the Revelation gondola launched us 3,800' up the Frontside. We skied down to the upper mountain Stoke Quad, from this summit we found amazingly long alpine trails like Snow Rodeo and Pitch Black. These perfectly-pitched unrelenting runs descend well over 4,000' vertical back to the Revelation Lodge and gondi mid-station (closer to the bottom than mid-mountain). The stunning scenery of the Columbia River below and the Monashees beyond was my excuse to stop and catch my breath on these super lengthy ski trails.
Banging a skier's right, we skied a rather steep Critical Path (a Blue Square here but Black Diamond by our East Coast standards) around the mountain to the Ripper quad. This northern flank of Revelstoke offers plentiful glades, Snorkel, Powder Monkey and aptly-named Stop at the Road Glades - a reminder that Revelstoke has enough terrain inbounds, you don't need to duck the ropes and risk spending the night out there.
In the afternoon, we were stoked to ski the extreme North Bowl and Greeley Bowl, with a short hike up Lemming Line - a ski boot packed path from the Stoke summit. A few must-make turns in Drop In led us to open all-natural bowl skiing in Powder Assault. A later adventure in Greeley Bowl, we witnessed super steeps cliffs above us if we had hiked higher, we were plenty satisfied with Gracias Ridge which led to a bobsled-style run out on Baxter's, back to the Ripper Chair. Our runs took almost an hour at times on Revy's sizeable conical mountain, and we never waited in a lift line.
Adding a day of heli skiing is super convenient with pickups from the resort village, or cat skiing which you ski to from Revelstoke's lifts. Revelstoke really has the trifecta - lift, heli and cat ski terrain. The "problem" with Revelstoke? It has earned the nickname Revel-stuck when mountain roads like Roger's Pass close with too much snow. Most skiers don't mind getting stuck at "Revy" though.
Reve means dream in French, and if you fantasize about long steep runs and big fresh bowls, Revelstoke is your ski stoke dream come true. Much like Kicking Horse two hours away, Revy is best saved for when you and your family are ready for serious terrain. For an amazing alpine adventure, ski Kicking Horse and Revelstoke in British Columbia flying into Calgary with a few days skiing Lake Louise and Sunshine in Banff Alberta along the way. By Heather Burke, Photos by Greg Burke