Does Kicking Horse, BC Have The Best Snow on Earth?

Robin Azer | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Prepare to be impressed. Dropping in at Kicking Horse. Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

Brought to you by Kicking Horse

Does Kicking Horse, B.C. have the best snow on Earth?  They just might…  They don’t call it the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada for no reason.

Located in the northernmost point along the famed Powder Highway, deep in the Great White North, Kicking Horse ski resort provides a powder paradise. 

As connoisseurs of snow conditions we, the avid skiers and riders, have come up with a sport-specific vernacular to help distinguish between its varying forms. For example, there is an appreciable difference between blower-light and mashed potatoes. The former has been known to inflict an almost drug-like addiction on many among us and has even spawned the ‘ol adage of “no friends on a powder day.”

In the pursuit of powder, what can you expect at Kicking Horse? Three levels of awesomeness – that’s what.

#1 QUALITY:

Champagne Powder Capital of Canada

Ski the cold smoke on the steeps of the Horse. Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

There’s a collection of enticing terms often applied when discussing the quality of snow at Kicking Horse: floater, cold smoke, white gold. You know, the ones you’re hoping to hear bantered about at the start of the day. The claim of the “Champagne Powder Capital of Canada” is very befitting.

The legendary snow quality is thanks to its geographical location in the Purcell Mountains of Canada. The simple version of the science behind it is that quality is influenced by temperature and moisture content. The snow-to-water formula determines the density of the snow with a low percentage of water producing the light, dry powder – think effortless turns.

#2 QUANTITY

Face Shots in the deep Kicking Horse snow – Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

Kicking Horse receives an annual average of 24 feet of powder and even higher amounts in the upper elevations. Combine that with the quality of snow produced here and you have the makings of bottomless turns in snorkel worthy conditions – welcome to the white room.

Steeps, chutes, or free-roaming turns in the big open bowls are all at your disposal. The goods in the trees can be epic.

           #3 SNOW RETENTION

Launching into powder Photo: Kicking Horse Facebook

The final fan favorite is snow retention. Kicking Horse has the combination of altitude and orientation to retain their powder deep into the season. With peak elevations above 8,000 feet and plenty of north-facing slopes, Kicking Horse is able to preserve a healthy amount of snow all season long, particularly in the upper bowls and the south sides of CPR and Redemption Ridges.

Kicking Horse is on the short-list of resorts with just the right mix of snow quality and quantity to appease even the most discriminating powder hound. As of this writing the resort has already received over 280 inches of snow on their slopes and has all the makings of yet another great ski season at Kicking Horse. What are you waiting for?

This is Kicking Horse snow – Photo Kicking Horse Facebook

“Tucked among soaring peaks in the Rocky Mountains, Kicking Horse is all about big mountain skiing: At 1,260 metres (4,133 feet), the resort claims the fourth highest vertical in North America.”

Winter Within

Mountain Stats

  • Runs: 120+
  • In-bound chutes: 85+
  • Elevation: 8,033 ft.
  • Vertical: 4,133 ft.
  • Snowfall: 288 in.
  • Acres: 2,800+

 

Lots of reasons to feel happy on a powder day. Graphic: Backcountry Magazine

 

Snowstorm at Kicking Horse, B.C. image: kicking horse

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