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The mighty ridge in the distance used to be just a dream to guests at Kicking Horse, but finally, this year, that dream will become a reality. After Ozone was made accessible for competitors on last year’s Freeride World Tour stop at Kicking Horse, the resort has formally opened the Ozone South face and Middle Range, two enormous new pieces of terrain.
“It’s unlike anywhere else, really, having so much of that big terrain,” said Matt Mosteller, senior vice-president of marketing and resort experience at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, the company that owns Kicking Horse. “The new terrain is the biggest terrain expansion in Canada, if not North America. It’s a massive amount of terrain and it changes the dynamics of the vertical. Kicking Horse now has the fifth biggest vertical in North America.”
The new area offers 660 acres of big-mountain skiing and snowboarding to guests, and while the upper areas will mostly be appetizing for those of us looking for a serious challenge, the lower sections of the new terrain do offer opportunities for intermediates to head into both Feuz Bowl and the adjacent Rudi’s Bowl. Kicking Horse has always been famous for its big bowls and chute skiing, and the area they’ve added for the 2018-19 season is only going to reinforce that reputation.
“This terrain adds to that pedigree of being one of the top destinations for hardcore skiers and snowboarders in North America, absolutely,” Mosteller said. “It’s got an off-the-charts big mountain feel.”
If anyone thinks this is all hyperbole, continues The Herald, it’s worth noting that Ozone was a serious test for the most talented big mountain skiers on the planet last winter when the Freeride World Tour made its stop at Kicking Horse, and the tour will be returning Feb. 2-8, 2019 for its only competition in North America.
“It’s the best skiers and riders in the world and they’re competing on the most challenging terrain there is, bar none,” Mosteller said. “It’s a sight to behold, you can’t even believe it until you see it that humans are able to conquer the mountain with that speed and aptitude and composure. It’s the real deal.”
With Ozone open to the public, though, we’ve finally got the chance to test ourselves against one of the most thrillingly challenging pieces of alpine terrain you’re likely to find anywhere.