by Ben Blewett
Above the town of Golden in British Columbia sits the spectacular ski resort of Kicking Horse. The skiable terrain on offer is approximately 2,800+ acres with a maximum elevation of 2,450 meters (8,033 feet). Kicking Horse also boasts 120 runs; however, the whole mountain is accessible, which broadens the total amount of runs available. If you are a beginner, there is plenty on offer even though 60% of the runs are for advanced or expert skiers.
So don’t be put off on the face of it. The longest run (Its A Ten) is a green run (the easiest grade, blue for Europeans) which begins at the top of the Golden Eagle Express gondola and ends at the lodges at the base – after circling past the resident bear’s enclosure.
A day pass for the mountain is $73 for adults and $35 for children. Discounts are available for a half-day pass and for senior citizens. If you don’t have all your own equipment, or just fancy trying it out for the day, then the rental shop at the lodge will be able to fit you with quality gear. Low ticket prices and affordable ski equipment ensure that you will have a spectacular day on the hill.
Staying at Kicking Horse
If you decide that one day is simply not enough to see the natural beauty and tranquil nature of the mountain, then why not stay the night in one of the impressive and affordable lodges. The Glacier Mountain Lodge is situated right at the base of the gondola, enabling one of the few authentic ski-in ski-out locations in the Rocky Mountains. The room rates are exceptional considering its location and amenities offered. The Highland Lodge, placed a little further back from the slopes and a couple of minutes walk, is one of the more luxurious lodges at Kicking Horse. With a Scottish-themed restaurant (The Local Hero) and Jacuzzi baths in the rooms it is definitely worth considering booking into.
Being able to sleep in a ski-in ski-out resort is priceless, as you needn’t worry about waking up extra early to drive in, or how late you crawl into bed at night. Whatever your choices, you will wake up to stunning panoramic views either down the valley into Golden or up the groomed slopes of the mountain. Perfect for easing the mind and relaxing your senses from the stresses of everyday life.
Should you be inclined to indulge in the activity of ‘après’ (which is when the restaurants and bars are open for socializing and the drinking of alcohol) then you will be pleased with Kicking Horse. At the base of the gondola is the Whitetooth Grill, offering reasonably priced pitchers and table service. In the day lodge you can also purchase beers before 3 p.m., when they close for the day. During the spring months, when the weather becomes extremely pleasant on the mountain, it is certainly comparable to the Alps with lively music, sun, snow and social drinking.
Other Winter Activities
Should you feel like something different then there are plenty of other options open to you. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, telemark skiing, tubing and dog sledding are but some of the attractions. Kicking Horse is one of the most diverse resorts in the Rocky Mountains and has something for everyone. It is also one of the few resorts to offer heli-skiing, a sure way to get fresh tracks in all the powder lying up in the mountains.
Whatever your position on skiing, Kicking Horse is a spectacular resort that offers unrelenting panoramic views of the valley below. With the mountain holding a vast terrain and the lifts running smoothly, you infrequently queue and can experience tranquility and pleasure from chairlift to piste every single run.