9 Reasons Why You Need to Ski Kicking Horse, BC Right Now

Robin Azer | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, British Columbia, Canada. Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

Brought to you by Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Nestled in the northernmost region of The Powder Highway, just outside the mountain town of Golden, British Columbia sits Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. This ain’t yo’ mama’s ski mountain unless of course, she likes to shred the gnar. What was once only an option via a helicopter ride is now a lift-served resort fully equipped to turn your steep-and-deep dreams into a reality.

Why do you need to ski Kicking Horse this winter? Let me count the ways …

#1 Big Mountain Terrain:

Facing down your fears …
Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

Welcome to the big leagues. The majority of the terrain at Kicking Horse packs a punch worthy of a heavyweight championship belt. The geography literally resembles a fist, turned on its side, like a fist bump: four ridges (knuckles) and four bowls (the space between). The rugged ridges and deep bowls provide plenty of action for the adrenaline junkies seeking monster descents or straight-lining chutes. There’s terrain variety enough here for everyone but definitely favors the brave.

The Horse delivers the 4th biggest vertical in all of North America at 4,133 feet and offers up 85+ in-bound chutes. The rigor is real.

“You can get next level at Kicking Horse. It boasts tons of natural features to send it off of and a litany of steep drops and pillow lines.”

Freeskier

#2 Snow “Champagne Powder Capital of Canada”

Ripping some treed terrain covered in blower-light powder. Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

With the right combination of cold temps and low humidity, the snow quality here is nothing but floater, blower-light pow. Kicking Horse rightly holds down the title of the “Champagne Capital of Canada.” All that snow stays well preserved deep into the season, thanks to the cool climate, elevations topping 8,000 feet, and predominately north and east-facing slopes.

Big terrain, but few lifts mean opportunities for the seekers to explore the resort and find generous stashes of freshies.

#3 Freeride World Tour:

It’s not any mountain that can offer up enough powder and challenge to play host to the Freeride World Tour. This February 6-12 2020, Kicking Horse played host as the second stop on the tour of the world’s biggest freeride event. There are only four stops on this year’s tour and Kicking Horse is one of them.

#4 Backcountry & Heli-Skiing:

Exploring the goods of the backcountry Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

Kicking Horse is surrounded by vast quantities of backcountry terrain that offers nearly unlimited options. Everything from an hour of off-piste exploration to a multi-day adventure is all readily accessible, right from the resort. As always, when heading into the hinder lands, be prepared to self-rescue and take all necessary precautions, as this territory is not patrolled.

Or kick it up a notch; explore unlimited, untracked powder by combining some heli-skiing with your trip. Purcell Heli-Skiing outfit is based in nearby Golden and caters to everyone from first-timers to powder addicts.

 #5 Favorable Exchange Rate:

Take advantage of the weakened Canadian dollar. Save big on a trip to Kicking Horse this year with the current exchange rate of $1.39 CAD for every $1.00 USD.

#6 Food:

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant – Canada’s highest dining experience, just off the gondola. Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

The top-rated Eagle’s Eye Restaurant is perched just off the gondola at 7,700 feet. This culinary experience offers daily gourmet creations with an eye-popping backdrop of 360-degree alpine views. Go ahead, treat yourself. Mid-mountain hit the Heaven’s Door Yurt with it’s ‘funky mountain soul food,’ suitably found at the base of the Stairway to Heaven chairlift. The Village Plaza has dining and après options as well, including the western-style Kicking Horse Saloon and the popular Peaks Grill.

#7 Mountain Town of Golden:

Located in Golden, BC, Whitetooth Brewing Company offers a solid line-up. Photo: Whitetooth Brewing Co.

Kicking Horse sits just on the outskirts of Golden, British Columbia, an up and coming full-on ski town “at the heart of the parks.” Six national parks, to be exact: Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, and Yoho.

Think top-rated restaurants, bars, shops, the Whitetooth Brewing Company, and, of course, hockey games. Come on, it’s Canada, eh?

#8 Access:

A short shuttle ride from the airport, then up the Golden Eagle Gondola to the summit. Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

Back in 2017, Ski Canada magazine in awarded the Kicking Horse shuttle (Calgary International Airport (YYC) to Kicking Horse) “Best New Shuttle”. Twice a week this shuttle can whisk you directly to the resort while you relax and take in the surrounding, stunning scenery.

Mountain vistas-a-plenty thanks to the unique convergence of no less than four mountain ranges all contribute to the mind-boggling scenery along the route and from the slopes. 

  #9 Boo the Bear

Boo the bear at home in Kicking Horse. Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

Boo the Bear – an actual grizzly bear, was orphaned as a cub and is now an honored member of the culture here. Adding to his lovableness, Boo predicted another epic winter, as evidenced by his current feeding habits. He lives in the largest grizzly bear habitat of it’s kind in the world. However, don’t plan on any sightings during your ski holiday, Boo will be in the deep sleep of hibernation. For more on Boo see here: Boo 

Mountain Stats:

  • Snow: 300 in.
  • Acres 2,800+
  • Vertical: 4,133 ft.
  • Elevation: 3,900 – 8,033 ft. (highest in British Columbia)
  • Runs: 120+
  • Inbound Chutes: 85+
  • Trials: 20%| 20%| 45%|15%
Bring your big boy/girl pants and a big shot of courage. Credit: Freeskier

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