Trip report format from Snowheads. Read on …
Date: Jan 16-19th 2012
Our mob: A bus load from the Desert Ski Club
Website : here
Basics : 5 miles over the USA border, above the town of Rossland, BC, sits the towering Red Mountain.
The skiing: Steeps, trees, bumps, often combined in a single run. That’s Red Mountain. The real fun is on Granite, the larger of the two lift-served peaks, both of which can be skied 360 degrees. There’s some fun groomers off the Paradise and Red chairs, but head any direction you feel like off the top of the Motherlode chair and plunge down the few marked and mostly unmarked runs, and be prepared to get your butt kicked by some of the best lift-served terrain I know.
Conditions were good and calm Friday, and after 20cm+ of snow Friday night, Saturday was excellent, albeit busy all morning. Sunday was colder, with a 5cm top up and wind-blown pow creating a gem of a ski day. We mined pow in trees all day long, and maybe, just maybe, skied the famed Cambodia. It’s hard to know on Red. With a 1.5m base mid-mountain, Red skies pretty well everywhere.
Off-piste : Extensive. Epic. Hidden. Watch out for cliff bands lurking beneath the freshies. Follow locals, Be careful.
The resort: In the last 6 years, a good collection of condos has appeared at the base, all basically within 250m of the lifts, and most ski back. Rafters bar in the base lodge is a buzzing but basic apres ski bar. There’s a couple of good restaurants too for evening dining. But if you want lively nightlife, get the free shuttle to Rossland, where several excellent pubs and restaurants are found. But you come here for the skiing, not the crazy night-time options.
Food : Gypsy at the base is an excellent, mid-priced bistro. The lamb shanks are great. Gabriella’s, just around the corner, is good Italian. On the mountain, the base lodge is an OK self-serve cafe. Over the back, Paradise Lodge has tasty soups, burgers and cookies. Not a huge range, but good quality. Paradise is small though, so think about timing at weekends.
Hotel: We stayed in the new condos 100m from the base, and ski back. Really nice place. Hot tub on deck, views of Granite peak. Hard to beat.
Costs: Not an expensive place, as it’s too far from civilization and major airports to get crowded. There’s usually excellent stay-and-ski deals, especially mid-week.
Conclusion: Best tree skiing on the planet (with Revelstoke!)
3 days: 8300m, 6800m, 6800m vert
Season Totals: 27 days, 207,700m vert, 11 powder days