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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”

Three flying boys


When I was 10 years old I thought a 6-seater gondola was the most luxurious way to access a ski hill. Max, on the other hand, being used to 8-seater chairlifts with a bubble and bottom heating, has discovered a much more interesting way of getting onto the mountain:

3 boys in a heli
Three excited boys (from left to right: Reed, Max and Parker – all in in their red Revelstoke Ski Club jackets) getting a lift in a helicopter to access fresh powder.

Parker’s Dad managed to get them onto a CMH helicopter – the opportunity of a life time for the three lads Continue reading “Three flying boys”

Nancy Greene Festival in Sun Peaks


Yup, folks – yet another race weekend for the Breadbaskets. This time we had been hyped up by our local friends: the Nancy Greene Festival in Sun Peaks was supposed to be a lot of fun for racers and parents.

Sun Peaks Ski Resort
Sun Peaks makes a good attempt at looking like an Alpine village. Quite successful, actually, on this bluebird Saturday morning.

And a lot of fun it was: over 500 kids came together, starting on a bluebird Saturday to compete in four skills events: skier cross, speed trap, jump and moguls and a glalom (that’s a mix between giant slalom and slalom with slightly tighter gates than a GS – two runs with combined time). Organisation was perfect, the event rolled along very smoothly: the bigger kids competed in the skills events on the Saturday and had their two run combined time glalom on Sunday, whereas the younger kids fought it out in the glalom on Saturday and the skills on Sunday. And that’s what it looked like: Continue reading “Nancy Greene Festival in Sun Peaks”

Impressions of Kicking Horse


Race weekends are fun: the kids are having a great time meeting and competing with lots of other kids (in Kicking Horse we had around 170 starters) and the Breadbaskets get to see other ski resorts.

So, the last weekend, as you know, let us to Kicking Horse. Kicking Horse is in the Purcell Mountains, one step closer to the Rockies from the Selkirks, where we’re usually roaming. Kicking Horse is the name of the ski resort, approximately 20 minutes from Golden, a rather charmless village at the Canadian Highway No. 1.

We stayed in a classic motel not too far from the highway, the Days Inn in Golden. These inns are not the most charming of all places, but they are very convenient.

The Day Inn - Motel in Golden
Breadbaskets and bad-ass monster truck in front of room #106 at the Days Inn in Golden. Drove the baggage right into the room. Charming, isn’t it?

As practical as this might look, the view across the parking lot was a different story: Continue reading “Impressions of Kicking Horse”

A Day in the Helicopter


February 4th, 2016 – Anna and I were sitting in our monster truck on the way to meet the Tangier Selkirks guys for a day of heli skiing. In the car we were having mixed thoughts: snow was falling hard, we were looking at 15-20cm of fresh snow and the valley was covered in clouds. This would have been fun in the resort, too, we thought.

Continue reading “A Day in the Helicopter”

Silver Star Ski Race


Race weekend again: this time focussing on the smaller kids, and little Molly was rather keen to do some racing herself after having watched her big brother. Thankfully, the older kids could race, too, so both Breadbasket kids gave their best in the gates.

As it can easily be seen, Molly and Max are in different stages of their development as racers! And a full success it was:  Continue reading “Silver Star Ski Race”

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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