Revelstoke

Revelstoke resort has a family side

RICK MACDONNELL

Revelstoke Mountain Resort, British Columbia Canada
Revelstoke Mountain Resort offers plenty of adventurous terrain, but also an abundance of family-friendly trails.
Courtesy REVELSTOKE MOUNTAIN RESORT

REVELSTOKE, BC — Revelstoke Mountain Resort has quickly established itself as one of the premiere adventure-seeker ski hills in Western Canada. With its massive vertical drop (5,620 ft, the highest in North America), stellar backcountry, and amazing terrain, Revelstoke becomes an instant favourite with every powderhound that spends time here.

This was my first trip to Revelstoke, and given that I'm nothing more than an intermediate skier, I was curious as to how I would fare. I was a bit surprised to find out that Revelstoke Mountain Resort is a much more family-friendly hill than most people realize.

All about the adventure

"When the hill opened it was more directed toward those adventure-seeking types," said Dan Sculnick, manager of the Outdoor Centre at the resort. "Now that we have a hotel at the base, and some great beginner and intermediate terrain, we're definitely becoming more family-friendly. But we're still focused on our 'adventure' model, for sure."

In every area of the hill there are options for both Mom and Dad (and kids). From the top of every gondola, every chair, there are both blue and black (and sometimes green) options. Any group, no matter their skill level, can go on any lift and find a suitable way down the mountain.

Excellent trail design

"Who said Mom and Dad both can't ski here?" Sculnick said. "You know, it's great. Mom and Dad can take the kids up The Stoke chair, and whoever is the better skier can shoot down through Separate Reality Glades while the lesser skier can take the kids down Critical Path. Within a few minutes your paths will cross and you can enjoy each other's company the rest of the way down the hill."

There are dozens of scenarios just like this one. I was struck by how well the trails were laid out. Each trail constantly intersects with others of varying difficulties, allowing friends of different levels to maintain contact with one another even if they aren't skiing the same lines. It offers each skier the chance to ski at the level and pace that makes him/her feel comfortable. 

People first

Sculnick attributes the user-friendly nature of the hill to Revelstoke's reaction to the recent recession. 

"Ski resorts were always built around being bigger, badder, and more flashy. The focus wasn't always on what people needed or wanted, it was just about throwing as much as you can at as many people as you can and hoping that it sticks, where we really had to target market and focus on what was going on here."

Revelstoke Mountain Resort opened roughly one year prior to the recession, which meant that there wasn't room in the budget for a lot of those "excesses," as Sculnick calls them. "We learned very quickly what works and what doesn't. The mountain experience is fairly streamlined because of the adjustments that we needed to make."

Revelstoke is still a shredder's mountain, though. With the Greely and North Bowls, the cat skiing terrain, and the plethora of amazing blacks (Jalapeno, Iron Glaiden, and Devil's Club come to mind), this is a hill that serious skiers seriously love. 

"It's just becoming a great all-around resort."

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