Sunny side ski touring laps for those seeking Vitamin D and powder turns
The Montana and Kokanee peaks are big favourites for a short ski tour in the sunshine during the Revelstoke winter. They boast quick access, incredible views and - as long as you don’t mind a bumpy ride - a quick bobsled track back to the resort.
The routes I have put together for this guidebook are great for all levels of riding but make sure you have the experience and the equipment to travel safely in the backcountry before embarking on them. There’s nothing more uncool than being unsafe out there. If you’re new - grab some pals and hire a guide, you’ll learn a bunch and will probably ski the best snow of the day.
So, I know I said this area is great for sunny days but the fact of the matter is it’s often quite cloudy in Revelstoke in the winter - especially early season. That’s why it’s important to get to know the area and poking around Montana trees for the day in low visibility is never a waste of time.
These routes are located on the unceded territory of the unceded territories of the Sn̓ʕay̓čkstx tm̓xʷúlaʔxʷ (Sinixt), Secwepemcúl’ecw (Secwe̓pemc), Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis (Ktunaxa) and Syilx Tmixʷ (Syilx) Nations and have been since time immemorial.
Prior to the establishment of Revelstoke Mountain Resort (2008) the peaks south of Mount Mackenzie were mainly accessed by keen ski tourers and a local cat skiing company that was established in 1978. Local cat skiing around Kokanee Peak continued until recently, however now the area is used solely by backcountry skiers.
While these routes are close to the resort and are great introductory ski tours, they are still outside of the ski resort gates and require backcountry experience and avalanche rescue training.
Some things to keep in mind before leaving the resort boundaries:
• Know where you are going (your entrance and exit points)
• Take adequate training to make your own decisions (AST 1 is a great start, don’t just rely on your friends)
• Make sure you have adequate equipment for avalanche rescue, first aid and - of course - SNACKS!
• There is poor cell service on the southern side of the resort, make sure you carry a communication device such as a radio or a satellite device such as a Somewear Hotspot so you can communicate with emergency services.
• Read current weather forecast and avalanche forecast before leaving the gates
• Let someone know where you are heading and check-in once you’re safely back at the car park
• Check lift closure times (especially the Ripper chair)
• If you are returning via the resort after the lifts closures, stay alert for snowcats and winch cats. Don’t disturb the cat drivers.
• In case of an emergency contact 911 or call the Revelstoke Ski Patrol on 250-814-5055. The best reception locations are on Montana ridge or from the top of Kokanee Peak.
• If you are new to these skills, sign up for your AST 1 or hire a local guide to show you the goods!