Revelstoke Ski Resort Guide
Over the past decade Revelstoke has undergone one of the most dramatic transformations of any ski resort in the world.
In 2010 it was a young, slightly rugged resort where only locals and experienced Heli skiers could be found taking advantage of the quiet mountain and immense quantities of fresh powder. It wasn’t even an official resort until the 2007-2008 season.
Now, as we enter a new decade, the resort is no longer a sleepy country town designed for the experts.
But the powder is as epic as ever. . .
Despite its recent transformation, Revelstoke remains a fairly quiet resort due to its location.
You can fly into Vancouver but you’ll have to get another flight into Kelowna followed by a two-and-a-half-hour shuttle.
Alternatively, you could drive from Calgary but it is a six-hour marathon to get to Revelstoke. Unless you plan on hiring a car for your trip, you’ll be spending a fair amount of time on shuttle buses from local towns.
The mountain resort is situated at the bottom of the ski area and is 6km away from the main town of Revelstoke. This is where the hire car would come in handy if you are planning on staying in the main town.
However, the mountain resort has grown to become quite a decent size over recent years and has plenty of accommodation.
You’ll find a decent variety of hotels, lodges, motels and B&Bs to suit any budget.
The mountain resort is known for catering to its more experienced skiers but recent developments have all been geared towards encouraging families to holiday in the town.
There are several hotels right in the centre of town which offer all-day childcare as well as ski-in/ski-out accommodation and are fully catered.
While the town doesn’t have the widest variety of things to do if the slopes are closed, it does have enough restaurants, bars and shops to keep you happy during your stay.
There are some surprising cuisines on offer including a Japanese restaurant. Après skiing is mainly limited to bars and pubs which turn into nightclubs with packed dancefloors as the light fades.
On the slopes
The resort itself main not yet have as much to offer as some of the large resorts like Whistler, Kitzbühel or Chamonix but the skiing is in Revelstoke is unapparelled.
Revelstoke boasts as massive 40 ft of snow every year. It is the North American king of fresh powder and has a massive skiable area to match.
Revelstoke, affectionately known as Revvy by locals, has a huge 3,121 acres of terrain. Most of this is off-piste so while there are some beginner and learner slopes, you’ll have the most fun in Revelstoke if you are an intermediate or advanced skier.
The area also boasts the longest vertical in North America. A giant 1,713 meters from top to bottom. A new lift is being built which will extend this further making it one of the longest in the world.
There are only 75 actual trails across the entire area as the lifts are limited and off-piste is so incredible. While more lifts are currently being built, the lack of infrastructure doesn’t really affect your time on the mountain.
The runs are long and time-consuming, the average person only takes about 2 gondolas a day.
That’s a lot of time skiing with very few breaks. Another reason why the Revelstoke area is best suited to advanced skiers, or at least those with a very good fitness level.
The terrain is treelined with a variety of bowls, glades, moguls and groomed runs. But of course, the main attraction of Revelstoke is the Heli skiing and cat skiing.
Revelstoke is widely recognised as the epicentre of off-piste heli-skiing. There are multiple companies offering single-day or multi-day packages.
Several companies in town range in size depending on what you’re looking for.
If you’re a heli-skiing enthusiast there are some more specialist companies which cater for expert skiers and take you to the most remote, and most beautiful, areas of the mountain.
However, if you’re just looking to give heli-skiing a go and don’t want anything too intense and scary you can find tours which are single-day and take you too much easier areas.
The heli-skiing area stretches to a massive 500,000 acres of terrain so there’s something for everyone.
If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground but want to experience the ultimate freedom of back country skiing, you can take one of the many cat-skiing tours in the area. Again, there are multiple tour companies in town so you won’t be stuck for options. However, some tours book up fast so availability may become an issue.
The cat-skiing tours range from multi-day 5-star accommodation, fully-catered private trips to single-day, mixed group taster sessions.
Cat-skiing is also available to a wider range of abilities than heli-skiing so if you do want to get away from the pistes and experience the awesome back-country but you aren’t overly confident on skis yet, cat-skiing may be for you.
The only negative about all the beautiful off-piste runs covered in fresh powder is that on days when the snow if perfect and the weather is good, locals travel for miles to enjoy the Revelstoke area.
The quiet resort can often become overrun with locals looking to enjoy the conditions.
Sometimes, so many people come out, the most popular off-piste areas can become busier than the pistes!