Building a Better Mountain

Oct 22, 2007
Outside Magazine

When British Columbia's Revelstoke Mountain Resort opens this December, it will offer fresh natural snow—every day. An ambitious transportation trifecta will deliver complete access to an already powder-pounded region (up to 60 feet annually). Dumped last night? Ride the gondola and high-speed lifts. Runs are tracked out? Hop in one of Revelstoke's helicopters. Winds have the choppers grounded? Roll to off-piste slopes in a snowcat. All told, the terrain adds up to a whopping 500,000 skiable acres. Here's to leaving your carving skis at home.

1. The backcountry SNOWCAT will access 5,000 acres of permitted slopes, including the tight chutes and open glades of the Kokanee and North bowls. From $300 per day

2. With 35-degree pitches and west-facing views of the Columbia River, SNOW RODEO is a 4,700-vertical-foot top-to-bottom thigh burner.

3. A HIGH-SPEED QUAD and eight-passenger GONDOLA transport customers to the top of 8,073-foot Mount Mackenzie, which offers several thousand acres of tree skiing and 4,700 feet of vertical, similar to that found on Telluride's Apex Glade. Plans call for 18 additional lifts. Full day, $53

4. The village HELI-CENTER sits fewer than 100 feet from the Nelsen Lodge's front door. The operation's 13 guides will lead guests to some of the 500,000 heli-skiable acres in the Selkirk and Monashee mountains. Three-day packages from $2,100

5. The 200-room NELSEN LODGE, the poshest hotel at the resort, is steps from lifts, shops, and restaurants and offers a heated outdoor pool and four-bedroom penthouse.

6. Some new homes at RMR are equipped with private HELI-PADS. Guides will pick you up after breakfast and take you home when you've had your fill of waist-deep powder.

7. Private planes and, during the winter, Powder Air (, a charter service from Calgary, fly into a small AIRPORT three miles from downtown. RMR hopes to increase capacity in the future in order to handle commercial flights from Vancouver, Kelowna, and Calgary.

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