Revelstoked - Norman Berge & Elly Pascoe

Revelstoked - Norman Berge & Elly Pascoe

Revelstoked - guest post by Norman Berge & Elly Pascoe

The forecast for Northern Michigan over the holidays wasn’t great, but Elly and I had been itching to go on a ski trip. After scanning flights out west, we found a cheap one to Calgary and decided to make Revelstoke, British Columbia our destination. It was a rather spontaneous idea, but we both knew we wouldn’t be disappointed!

Since its rebirth in 2007, Revelstoke Mountain Resort has been on the list of destinations for many skiers and it certainly was for us. Known for its steep and deep terrain and epic tree skiing, what else could you ask for? The scenery was so sick! The town of Revy was incredible! And the skiing? I’ll get to that.

After a 3am wake up call the day after Christmas, a snowy drive to the airport, and a layover spent searching for Drake in Toronto, we found ourselves in Calgary. Elly managed to beat the clock and get our rental car before the office closed early for Boxing Day. This was a quick reminder that we were no longer in the US. We hit the road and headed west from Calgary. Elly had been in this area during a previous summer, so she played tour guide by pointing out named peaks and other scenery in Banff and Yoho National Parks. We reached the town of Golden on the other side of the Continental Divide and made a pit stop, as we still had a couple hours of driving ahead of us.

Revelstoke Sunset

As I had said, Revelstoke is known for its steep terrain. It’s not at all like a Midwest ski resort - a flat parking lot and a hill just beyond. In British Columbia, you have to brave one of the gnarliest roads in the world to get to the skiing. Between Golden and Revelstoke, you must navigate  Rogers Pass, an infamous route with 130 known avalanche paths that intersect the highway and 31 snow sheds to protect traffic. This area is also home to the largest mobile avalanche control program in the world. Run by the Royal Canadian Artillery, crews fire 105mm howitzers from 17 roadside platforms on each side of Rogers Pass. Armed with this knowledge, we headed deep into the Selkirk Mountains after departing Golden. Fortunately, weather was good and roads were clear, but, even so, some hairy, white-knuckle driving was encountered.

The stoke was at an all-time high the next morning. After a short gondola ride from the base we were into the real terrain. The place was not crowded at all. In fact, on the first day we never waited for a chair. Revy only has two chairlifts once above the gondola, so deciding where to ski was easy. We explored the mountain from skier’s left to right, and we got a nice feel for the terrain and how to navigate the place. Despite the fact that it hadn't snowed for a few days, we still found some awesome terrain with untouched snow! Lunch consisted of $5 burgers - not your typical overpriced on-hill food! After wrapping up the day on fun groomers, mac & cheese and beer in town beckoned.

Norman Berge & Elly Pascoe

Bluebird skies greeted us the next morning, so we took advantage and hopped on a boot pack near the summit. It led us to the skier’s far right of the mountain, where we dropped into a large bowl. From the ridge we laid eyes on beautiful, rocky peaks that were laced with chutes and massive cliffs, but these areas were beyond the boundaries of the ski resort. We dropped into awesome, untracked snow and did some billy-goating to avoid a big cliff line. Below that, we skied some fun but challenging natural half-pipe river beds all the way to the chair! Later that day, Elly found the “Gnome Zone” and got totally barreled. Knowing there was snow coming we continued to explore but were careful to conserve energy.

Revelstoke Gnome Zone

A check of the snow report the next morning got us excited. At 7 am 10 inches of fresh was reported at “Gnorm the Powder Gnome,” - 27 centimeters in the local lingo. It sounded deep!

Gnorm the Powder Gnome

Patiently waiting in the gondola line, we watched mountain ops head to the top. The entire mass of people was throbbing with excitement. After getting as high up the mountain as the gondola and lifts would allow, we made sure to find our go-to run, Hot Sauce, a wide-open trail with awesome tree skiing on either side. We knew at this point it was going to be a great day.

Deep Powder

This was one of Revelstoke’s busiest days of the year. With this being the Saturday after Christmas, we heard reports of parking lots filled to capacity, but it didn't seem to matter. Yes, the lift lines were longer, but you could still ski an entire run without seeing another person until hitting the cat track. Elly was loving her Tubbys, which were the perfect ski for the deep snow! That afternoon I turned up the pucker factor while skiing a chute aptly named “Parachute”. I could have used one of those when I came out the bottom! For the duration of the trip I was on my Pure Carbon Ahmeek 115 186’s. Not only did they keep me afloat in the deep stuff, but they also held strong at high speed through chopped up snow. I have a lot of trust in my gear, and the performance of the skis during the trip solidified that trust!

Powder Turn

Our last day consisted of extremely tired legs and sore feet but still a lot of skiing! We went bell to bell all week - what else are you going to do at a place like Revelstoke? Though it involved a somewhat difficult traverse to access, Elly and I were having a blast skiing an area that was a bit off the radar, which meant that the fresh snow from the day prior was still untouched. We were making laps that consisted of 8-10 soft turns and catching a couple groomers with some fun side hits before getting back on the lift. Our 2-minus-1 for the trip (we all know calling ‘last run’ is bad luck) was a 14-kilometer-long cat track from top to bottom. ‘The Last Spike’ is one heck of a leg burner! Elly hopped on the gondola at mid-mountain and the race was on! Who would get to the bottom first? We deemed it a tie and wrapped up an epic vacation. Revy 2018 was in the rearview as we took off to the airport.

Revelstoke Trail Map

Conclusion: Revelstoke is sick! Buy some Shaggy’s and check it out!

Norman Berge & Elly Pascoe

Shaggy's Ambassadors, Northern Michigan

Selkirk Mountains

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