Kicking Horse - like many other mountain ski resorts in Western Canada - was blessed with some amazing early snow allowing it to open days ahead of schedule. Last weekend was the first of two "preview" weekends at the Horse and it's going to happen again this weekend on Dec. 5 and 6 before opening full-time on Dec. 11.
More than 2,000 people took to the Horse to get in on the snowy goods on Nov. 28. As you can see from these photos I shot on Saturday, it's safe to bet no one went home disappointed.
Six-year Kicking Horse ski patroller Alex Giesbrecht hasn’t seen conditions this good, this early - ever.
“This is the best start I’ve ever seen here in my six years, that is for sure,” said Giesbrecht. “At current, we have the same amount of snow we had this time last March. Opening came fast after that storm system in mid-November delivering over 50 centimetres of snow within a 24-hour period. At one point our snow-monitoring system was telling us we had 10 cms in one hour, and we thought it was wrong."
Seems winter god Ullr wasn’t kidding. See the evidence in the following photos.
Fernie Freestyle Coach Ben Ogilvie (@RexOgilvie on Instagram) basking in some serious powder glory, during the preview weekend at Kicking Horse.
“With the best snow pack in years, bombing and getting the mountain open was easier when you don’t have the snow pack to play with,” said Giesbrecht.
Alex Giesbrecht points out some of the goods on the ridge line leading into Feuz Bowl.
For a full map of the mountain, click here.
As a side note, a special thanks goes out to all the hard-working men and women who have been busting their butts this past few months to get these mountains open early for us to enjoy. Next time you see a ski patroller, give them your thanks for being so awesome!
Preview weekend festivities kicked off in style at the Horse, with raffle tickets being sold in support of the Golden Food Bank. With people in line from 5:30 a.m. to get in on the powder party, Justin Giroux was pretty stoked when Kicking Horse staff pulled his winning number. With that win came four VIP passes, providing them with lift line privileges all day (hint: you can score these same privileges when enrolled in one of Kicking Horse’s Big Mountain programs).
The day was epic, and with that much snow on the slopes, there was a lot of hooting and hollering to be heard around the mountain. Check out this video to see what all the fuss was about.
Salomon Team Rider Mike Witlox (@Mikelwitlox on Instagram) lays it out in Crystal Bowl.
Even the little rippers were out opening day at Kicking Horse’s perfectly pitched learning area.
With all the stoke out there for these early epic conditions, I couldn’t resist including another quick glimpse of the POW within this post for you to enjoy.
With conditions like this and all of the early openings, rally your crew and head to the mountains. Get in on it before you miss out!
Tis the season to make your ski plans. Join the SnowSeekers Challenge, and add Kicking Horse to your bucket list plus few more this season. Check out the SnowSeekers map featured within The SnowSeekers Challenge, Alberta and B.C., home to 78 ski and snowboard destinations. How many have you been to? How many will you and your friends get to this season? Join us now and get planning!
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