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Travelling to remote and not so remote places


Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Three and a half months in Revelstoke

It’s been almost a year ago that we’ve chosen Revelstoke as our first destination of our round the world trip. We’ve been sitting on a balcony in Italy late in May 2015, looked at the various candidates and thought: let’s go to Revelstoke. Our criteria? Decent skiing (well, Revelstoke boasts the highest vertical drop in all or North America – check. Four lifts? Hmmmm.), a proper village (the population is a bit less than 8000 people – check.), good schooling for Molly and Max (three elementary schools in Revelstoke – check.)  and affordable accommodation (we found a place to stay on Airbnb for an acceptable rate – check). We got in touch with schools and skiclub with very encouraging exchanges – it started to feel good. Nevertheless, we tried to manage our expectations, particularly with regards to the ski resort (thinking if it’s not that great we can still hop around to other places) and had hopes that we and the kids would meet a few nice people.

Boy, were we up for a surprise! We arrived on Friday, the 18th of December 2015. Saturday was a training day at the ski club, so Max was quite keen to meet the boys and girls he was going to ski with for the next few months. I drove him to the hill and met his coaches: Gill, Filip, Ben and the two Mikes from Ontario and Austria. The following day was Molly’s first training day and we met a whole bunch of people from the ski club and other parents. Pleasantries were exchanged with a few “uh, we have to meet up for dinner/beer/skiing” – I took that for the usual make-you-feel good, but unfortunately rather superficial approach of your typical US American. Little did I know that Canadians are different! Much different! Phone numbers were exchanged and when we came to the ski hill on Monday it took just a few minutes until the first SMS arrived: “You at the hill? Wanna meet up?” – ‘course we did! That was when Darrell gave us a first rated tour around Revelstoke Mountain Resort and we got a first impression of the incredible possibilities on this ski hill. Anna and I were so delighted – we couldn’t believe our luck. Everything was there: enormous amounts of snow and great skiing all around with everything from wide pleasant meadowy lines to steep, narrow couloirs. But – above all: an incredible friendly, enthusiastic, ski crazed community, with all people open, fun and – my impression – happy with their choice to live the ski life in Revelstoke. Thus, my little review starts with the aspect, that I loved most here – the people! Shendra and Chris arranged a fantastic farewell BBQ for us at their incredible place right at the Columbia river – and all our friends, who we had the pleasure to meet in this quarter of a year in BC were there!

Farewell BBQ I
Farewell BBQ, hosted by Shendra and Chris. Beautiful location, spring evening – couldn’t be nicer to say “See you soon”.
Farewell BBQ II
Saying Good-Bye to our friends from Revelstoke with BBQ and fire.

It was quite hard to leave Revelstoke after this intense period – our little family had grown to a very relaxed and happy team with a fun driven life powered by new friends and an incredible ski hill. Continue reading “Three and a half months in Revelstoke”

50 Days of Skiing…

…in a row. To make it short: do I have enough now? Nope. It’s fun, a lot of fun, actually. Revelstoke Mountain Resort is a superb ski area.

The guys who run the show here say the mountain has three weather zones – and they are right. Continue reading “50 Days of Skiing…”

The Blue Slopes of Revelstoke

Follow Me - Fall Me
The blue run “Follow Me” felled me. Bummer.
Green, blue, red and black are the known colours to indicate the difficulty of a ski slope in Europe. Continue reading “The Blue Slopes of Revelstoke”

Fresh snow addiction at Revelstoke

Revelstoke is a very laid back place. People are relaxed and friendly. An important member of the Revelstoke community is Gnorm, the power gnome. Gnorm stands on a little board at a weather station on top of the Ripper chairlift and is constantly visible via a webcam. The board he stands on gets cleared of snow every day at 3pm. Typically, a day here starts with a look at Gnorm when you wake up.

Gnorm, the powder gnome, can be seen on a webcam. The board he stands on is cleared of snow every day at 3pm. If you wake up in the morning and Gnorm cannot be seen - it's a huge powder day!
Gnorm, the powder gnome, can be seen on a webcam. The board he stands on is cleared of snow every day at 3pm. If you wake up in the morning and Gnorm cannot be seen – it’s a huge powder day!

If Gnorm looks like on the picture above – everything stays nice and easy. However, if Gnorm is covered in snow, everything changes: Revelstokians forget about work, jump into their cars and race up to the resort (the road, unfortunately, runs past a school where the speed limit is 30 km/h – some racers seem to forget that). And if you arrive too late, the lift queue looks like that:

The lift queue on a huge snow day at Revelstoke Mountain Resort at 8.30am. Not even the hat of Gnorm showed.
The lift queue on a huge snow day -Jan 22, 2016 – at Revelstoke Mountain Resort at 8.30am. Not even the hat of Gnorm showed.

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