Kootenay Rockies Tour
10 Days I 3 Resorts
February 17, 2019 to February 26, 2019
$2790 PER PERSON
British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies is home to the POWDER HIGHWAY®, where deep snow, funky towns, and some of the most downhome, stash-laden, adventure-packed ski resorts in North America exist. This legendary place offers an abundance of deep Kootenay powder melded with authentic ski towns, full of vibrant locals. Join us on this 10 day tour where we ride at Whitewater, Fernie, Panorama and you get the option of helis-kiing in the legendary Jumbo Valley and the Purcell Mountains.
+ Riding the best resorts along Canada’s famous Powder Highway
+ Canadian experiences like snowmobiling, hockey games & hot springs
+ Go heli-skiing in the legendary Jumbo Valley and Purcell Mountains
+ Riding ‘Panorama’s Taynton Bowl, which is patrolled, ex-heliski terrain.
+ Exploring Whitewater Resort – ‘one of the best powder mountains on the continent’
+ Discover what riding in Fernie is all about with huge alpine bowls and uncrowded trails
is Located just outside of the funky and vibrant city of Nelson, it is hard to describe its true authenticity and abundance of snow. Over 12 m (40 ft) of snow falls each season on 2,044 vertical feet of uncrowded slopes, groomers and remarkable steeps, top-of-the-line tree-riding and endless backcountry. This year marks a new chapter for this legendary resort with a number of upgrades and an expanded Glory Lodge. A key part of the resort’s experience is the legendary food. Whitewater serves up proper Kootenay hospitality with its internationally acclaimed menu. Whitewater is best described by its tagline. Pure, simple and real … DEEP.
Fernie receives an average of 9 m (30 ft) of legendary powder snow each season and attracts a wide range of skiers and riders from around the globe. With over 2,500 acres of skiable terrain, 107 runs, 5 alpine bowls, state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming equipment, Fernie is a true winter playground. You’ll discover what riding in the Canadian Rockies is all about – huge alpine bowls and uncrowded trails. With a mild but snowfall-heavy climate, the weather won’t send many chills down your spine, but the scenery and incredible riding will.
Located in the heart of the Powder Highway, Panorama Mountain Resort lives up to its name. Surrounded by the towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies, endless vistas of snow covered summits stretch as far as your eyes can see. This place is Pure Canada. Where the best of creature comforts are bordered by stunning wilderness and a vast 2,975 acres of patrolled, skiable terrain – from beginner-perfect groomed trails to wide rolling cruisers, to the steep and deep exhilaration of Taynton Bowl to the rush of heli-skiing – all right from Panorama’s ski-in / ski-out village. Home of Canada’s largest slopeside hot pools.
If you want to experience heli-skiing in Canada, then join us for a heliski day with RK Heliski, based at Panorama Resort. It will no doubt be the highlight of your trip. Expect to ride deep snow and fresh lines every run. RK Heliski is one of the highest operations in North America, with consistent, light, dry snow and very few cancelled days and a huge amount of vertical. You’ll get to ride the legendary Jumbo Valley and the Purcell Mountains (3000m+) with runs ranging from incredible open bowls, long glaciated runs and and many other areas that comprise of perfect gladed tree runs.
When we are on mountain, we keep our group size small for a more personal experience between our guests and guides. Our typical guide to guest ratio is 1 : 5. This ensures you get the most out of your time with us, and keeping the groups small means less time waiting and more time riding powder!
Snow & Conditions
This region scores it’s biggest storms during February. What you can expect on this tour is cold temperatures and deep powder. Most days you can expect to ride powder that’s anywhere from boot to waist deep. Even if we don’t get fresh snow overnight, the cold temperatures and our local knowledge will ensure you’ll be able to ride light dry snow days after a storm.
We make sure all our guests stay in quality accommodation that’s in the best location. Our comfortable twin share rooms are equipped with 2 single beds, and each room has a great heating, private ensuite bathroom, TV, and free WiFi.
Access to Powder Boards from Trapper Snowboards
Throughout the tour you’ve got access to our fleet of powder boards from Trapper Snowboards. You’ll get to test ride the latest powder shapes from their range. Plus you’ll get to visit their factory in Revelstoke where you will see how these handcrafted boards are made. For anyone wanting to buy a Trapper Snowboard before the tour starts, get in touch, and our guides will have your new ‘custom made’ board waiting for you to ride on day one. Check out their range HERE
17 February, 2019
Arrive at Castlegar Airport and your guides will meet you and transfer you to our hotel in Nelson. After you’ve checked in to your hotel, you’ve got the afternoon free to explore downtown Nelson – one of our favourite town in Canada. Located close to the US border and famous for its liberal attitudes. In the evening we’ll regroup for a welcome session where your guides will run you through the tour plan and you’ve got the opportunity to ask any questions. We’ll then head out for dinner where you can get to know the guests and guides.
Whitewater Ride Days
18 & 19 February, 2019
Each day we’ll load up the van and make the short drive from Nelson to Whitewater. We spend 2 full days riding here. Whitewater Resort is ‘one of the best powder mountains on the continent’ according to Powder Magazine and for this reason it’s our favourite place to ride in BC. Deep pow, bowls and epic tree runs is what keeps us coming back every season on our Canada Roadtrip Tour. Our guides know this place better than most as it’s their home mountain. After riding you can head back to the hotel, hit the hot tub, then it’s time to check out Nelson. We’ll head to the legendary core snowboard store, Tribute. The guys will put on some beers and hook us up with deals across the store. Each night we’ll catch up for dinner in town, and head to Nelson’s best local craft breweries and bars to rub shoulders with the locals.
Transfer to Fernie
20 February, 2019
Today we have a mid-morning transfer from Nelson to Fernie. You’ve got the morning free, before we check out, load the vans and depart. Sit back and relax as you take in the local sights on the drive. In the afternoon, we’ll check in to our hotel in Fernie, then head to the legendary Fernie Brewing Co. We’ll stop off at their tasting room where they always have new and seasonal beers on tap. We’ll then head out for dinner at one of the great local pub’s. Fernie is renowned for a lively local bar scene, especially in Winter.
Fernie Ride Days
21 & 22 February, 2019
Each day we’ll load into our van and make the short drive to the Fernie resort base. You’ll spend 2 full days riding here with our guides. Fernie is all about bowl riding. There are five of them to explore, all opened strategically throughout the day after a heavy dump, keeping the pow fresh. After riding you’ve got bars, restaurants, snowboard shops to explore in Fernie.
Transfer to Panorama
23 February, 2019
In the morning we’ll check out of the lodge, load the vans and head into town for breakfast before we depart for Panorama Resort. If we have time, we’ll make a stop at Radium Hot Springs on our way. In the afternoon, we’ll check in to our hotel, then head to the slope-side T-Bar, for a game of pool, drinks and dinner. The T Bar is a favourite with the local mountain staff, so it’s always lively.
Panorama Ride Days
24 & 25 February, 2019
At Panorama we stay in ski-in/ski-out condo’s right on the main run. So after you’ve cooked yourself breakfast in the morning, step out the door and you’re ready to go. We’ll spend two days on snow exploring the resort with your guides. The terrain here ranges from perfect corduroy groomers, perfect for laying down high speed carves to ‘backcountry style’ runs in Taynton Bowl, which is patrolled, ex-heliski terrain. This is the perfect warm up if you’re looking to do a heli-ski day. Taynton bowl is accessible via a short hike, which largely keeps the crowds out, so you can expect to find pockets of powder, long after a storm has passed. Taynton Bowl offers deep snow, perfectly spaced trees, long runs and endless lines all to yourself. After riding each day, head to the largest slope side hot pools in North America to rest the legs and then head out for dinner and drinks with the group.
Optional Heli-ski Day
25 February, 2019
All guests have the option of pre-booking a heli-ski day with RK Heliski. Prices start from $929 per person + tax.Today will undoubtedly be the highlight of the trip and the perfect way to finish off the tour. Weather and snow condition dependant, you could find yourself on an open glacier run or in perfectly spaced trees.
Morning: Meet at the RK Heliski office, located within Panorama Mountain Resort. All guests must complete the release of liability waiver, ski and snowboard rental forma and log an accurate guest weight. After you have enjoyed a hearty complimentary breakfast, one of the guides will discuss what to expect for weather, suggest layering and demonstrate several safety equipment functions located in the Guest Pack.
Your guides will conduct a further after briefing outside which includes Companion Rescue Training and how to properly use your avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel and radio. They will also brief you on Helicopter Safety. All of the guides are trained in avalanche rescue and have a wealth of knowledge that they are happy to share with you. Questions are welcomed and encouraged.
Lift Off: As you are ready to board the helicopter run through your checklist. do I have skis/board, gloves, beanie, goggles, lenses, helmet, camera, sunscreen and most of all a sense of adventure! The first group of the day departs by helicopter and others are shuttled to the nearby staging area where the helicopter will be waiting after dropping the first group on one of the many mountain tops. The flight is as exciting as riding powder. Some of the tallest mountains in British Columbia are located in the heart of the Purcell Mountain Range. When the helicopter strategically lands, the helicopter does not shut down, so it is important to wait for the signal from your guide to disembark carefully. Remain in the heli-huddle until the guide unloads all of the equipment and the helicopter takes off.
Now there is only silence and smiles at the top of the mountain where the only way home is down. Your guide calls your name, hands over your equipment and gives you the instructions. The guide is experienced in providing a safe and enjoyable day for everyone in the group. Ride in control, take your time, buddy-up in the trees and when the guide stops, you stop above. The first run of the day can be the most challenging; adjusting to the environment, new equipment and DEEP POWDER! Remember to take your time, stay in control and if you are having difficulty ask the guide for a few pointers.
The guide will stop at intervals as the group descends. The average time per run varies from 20 – 50 minutes. There will be instructions regarding the route and hazards on the way down. As you reach the bottom of the run, the helicopter may be waiting for you or may fly in as you are bundling up your gear. Always use caution when approaching the helicopter and listen and follow instructions from your guide. Hand your gear to the guide and buckle in for the next lift. Typically, the group will road 2 to 3 runs then break for lunch. Take a rest and refuel on hearty sandwiches, juice, water, hot tea, snacks and treats.
After lunch, the heli adventure continues. The guide and pilot determine if you will move to another zone or continue in the same area. There are many factors to be considered, with safety being the priority. Once you have completed your purchased package (5 runs), your guide will ask the group if anyone would like to ski extra runs. Weather, snow conditions, remaining day light hours and minimum requirements will determine how many extra runs you do. You may decide to call it a day while some of the group choose to keep going. There is a change, depending on several factors, that those who choose to sit out the next run remain at the pickup area while the helicopter takes off. Or you may be regrouped with others and shuttled to the staging area.
End of Day: So you did it! After an epic day of riding deep powder, head back to the heli lodge where you can relax by the fire while enjoying apres ski and exchange photos with your heli group. We’ll then head out for dinner with the crew to celebrate our final night on tour.
26 February, 2019
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Say farewell to your guides and new friends that you’ve just spent 10 days with and we will transfer you back to either Calgary Airport or Banff for your next leg of your trip.
Your tour includes:
- 10 days of guiding on & off mountain
- 2 day lift ticket, Whitewater
- 2 day lift ticket, Fernie
- 2 day lift ticket, Panorama
- On-snow guiding with professional guides
- Access to demo fleet of snowboards
- Mint Tours hosting throughout the tour
- Nightly tours to restaurants & bars
- 3 nights twin share accommodation, Nelson
- 3 nights twin share accommodation, Fernie
- 3 nights twin share accommodation, Panorama
- Airport transfer, Castlegar Airport to Nelson
- Airport transfer, Panorama to Calgary
- Private transfers throughout the tour, including daily resort transfers
- VIP instore night at Tribute Board Shop
Mint Tours Guides
Your professional guides have an in-depth knowledge of the local area, terrain and conditions. You can be assured we will always find you the best snow conditions available. Our goal is to get everybody on tour enjoying themselves and pushing your riding in a relaxed and fun environment.
Small Group Numbers
Our guest to guide ratio is typically 5 : 1. We like to keep our group sizes small so you can get the most out of your time with us. There’s nothing worse than riding with a large group, especially on a powder day! We have our guides on-snow every day. At night we’ll have our hosts on hand to show you around the local area. With our small groups, you’ll feel like part of the Mint Crew and not just another face in the crowd.
Unlimited Access to Powder Boards
All Mint Tours guests get exclusive access to our demo fleet of powder boards from the Trapper Snowboards range.
If you’re travelling solo you won’t be alone. In fact our tour is perfect for solo travellers, we just match you up with someone to room with for the entire time. Not only are our guides with you on-mountain during the day, they keep the stoke going well into the night, so you’ll always have people to socialise with and places to go.