Revelstoke: Huge vertical drops at BC's newest ski destination
To be accurate, the mountains in and around Revelstoke on the northeast side of the highway have been prized by skiers and snowboarders for decades, but until 13 years ago, in order to get to the top of them, you had to either employ your body’s own power using some form of uphill-oriented gear or take a snowmobile, SnoCat or helicopter.
Then, in 2007, Revelstoke Mountain Resort was born. The statistics that sets the resort apart is its dizzying, 5,620-foot vertical drop: the longest in North America. What many don’t know is that you don’t have to plummet off a cliff or be an expert skier to clock in this bounty of vert. From the top of the resort, you can ski the entire way to the base on a four-mile long, gentle groomer. If you have the skills and want to get your adrenaline pumping, the best way to do it is by taking a short hike to the powder-packed, steep chutes of North Bowl and Greely Bowl. There is also a series cruisers for the in-between riders; two that you will never tire of are Denver Dollars off of Ripper Chair and Practically Pro, off of the brand-new Stellar Chair, which serves an entire area of terrain in which you can always find a large swath of slope to call your own. Although Revy boasts more vertical than anywhere else, it’s not easy to get lost, as the entire ski area is served by one long gondola and three chairlifts.
On a sunny day, there’s no better place to take in the views than at Mackenzie Outpost, the tiny lodge that gets packed with the lunch rush (the chicken and waffle sandwich is worth the wait) and outside of which lies one of the most intimidating runs on the mountain – Kill the Banker. The steep pitch alone will have you trembling, but the prospect of becoming a human snowball directly in view of the gondola, which runs the length of the slope, will make sure only the least self-conscious of shredders try their turns here.
The rental shop at the base area carries top-line skis and boards for every type condition and Mackenzie Common Tavern is where the collective après energy reaches a high note over a Caesar (i.e.: Canadian bloody Mary) or hot mulled wine.