NY Ski Magazine: Revelstoke Mountain Resort

The British Columbia Powder Highway has become a legendary destination for its big mountain terrain and snowpack that is reliable in normal seasons.

Revelstoke Mt Mackenzie

But with so many mountains towns and resorts scattered throughout this sparsely populated southeastern corner of BC, skiers are spoiled for choice. A mining and railroad town turned pilgrimage site for the Selkirk hardcore, Revelstoke Mt Mackenzie is one of the many plum spots to park one’s skis and boots for a few days. The town became even more attractive to long-distance visitors seven years ago when Revelstoke Mountain Resort opened, offering the highest lift-serviced vertical drop in North America.

At a leg-busting 5,620 feet from the top of the highest chair back to the base area, Revelstoke is a test of stamina even for diehard fitness enthusiasts. With a healthy mixture of Canadian tastes, scruffy ski town charm, and the kind of scenic mountains that make the “Beautiful British Columbia” license plate slogan live up to its name, Revelstoke should be a stop on any Powder Highway traveler’s list.

Please read our magazine feature:
Revelstoke Mountain Resort: The Mt. Mackenzie Legacy

Zealand Falls Hut, NH: A Hard Pack Tour

For skiers who prefer earning their turns away from resorts, few winter pleasures compare to overnighting in a backcountry hut. No traveling to the trailhead: Just open the front door.

Zealand Notch

In the Northeast hut options are limited, but hardly non-existent. David Goodman, author of Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast, considers the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Zealand Falls Hut the best option for hut-based ski touring in the region. With two nights booked between Christmas and New Year’s, my party of two hit the trail in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.

Unfortunately, the Grinch stole Christmas for northeastern skiers, decimating our early-season snowpack with rain and warm temperatures. Over three days along the busy Zealand Winter Trails, we were the only group foolhardy enough to attempt a ski tour – everyone else sported hiking boots with traction aids and just-in-case snowshoes that they never used.

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High Peaks, NY: Adirondack Asphalt

Cascade concrete. Sierra cement. West Coast skiers have endearing nicknames for the moisture-laden snow that doesn’t ski like champagne powder but can come down in fountains.

Wright Ski Trail

While the northeast sees every imaginable kind of winter precipitation, our mountains tend to get icy before they get heavy. Not this past week. Now we’ve earned our own coinage: Adirondack Asphalt.

Winter Storm Damon was touch-and-go for much of the region as sleet, ice, freezing rain, and plain old rain foiled the hopes for a 100% snow event. Luckily, on our side of Lake Champlain, the Adirondack High Peaks stayed almost entirely snow to the tune of two feet.

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