FATMAP difficulty grade
Located off the Sunshine Coast intermediate run on Goat’s Eye Express; The Wild West, like Delirium Dive, is an extreme freeride ski and snowboard zone.
Just like an old western, you’ll need to gain entry to the area through a centennial guarded gate.
To ride the coveted steeps, skiers and snowboarders are required to ride with a buddy, to have avalanche gear (beacon, probe, shovel, pack), and know how to use the equipment. Now before you “ski how the west is rode” here are a few things you’ll need to know.
Different from the Dive, The Wild West is something of a slow burn.
At first, you’re ushered into a powder utopia.
The perfect pitch and deep snow temps and teases you as you’re led to the chutes.
The Wild West is Sunshine's most technical ski terrain, and comfort in Delirium Dive is recommended before upping the ante to ride The West. In an ode to Banff’s “wild west” early days, each of the runs within The lines in The Wild West have been named after mavericks of Banff’s early.
Wheeler’s, Peyto’s, Luxton’s, and Engler’s.
Arthur Wheeler was an Irish immigrant, whose life work was to survey the Canadian Rockies including the Sunshine mountains.
While Wheeler's is the easiest chute in the area, there is nothing facile about Wheeler’s.
The bridge is narrow and rocky, the chute is tight, and you will be faced with mandatory air.
Wheeler’s will certainly push most out of their comfort zone. To get to Wheeler's, enter The Wild West Gate accessed off the Goat's Eye Chair via the blue run Sunshine Coast.
It's here that you'll have your avy gear checked.
Traverse far right until you reach the most prominent gully.
This gully is Peyto's.
To get to Wheeler's, you must cut hard right once you're 1/2 way down the gully (there may be a red fence that indicates when to cut over).
In especially low snow years, Wheeler's might require a bit of mandatory air to exit the chute but in most snow years, the chute is usually wide open with easy to spot cliffs.
Eventually, you'll plunge into the trees and merge onto the cat-track runs that lead back to Sunshine's base where you'll have to take the Gondola and the Goat's Eye Chair to lap this area again!