Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Canadian working/holiday where?
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  • #574811
    chrisNZ
    304 Posts

    Need some advice where to base my self for 5months next winter in canada, their are so many options in canada. Will be getting a season pass and hopefully riding every day possible, unsure if im going to worrie about splitboarding yet, but also keen to see Alaska in the spring. Initial thought Whistler but a few people ive talked to say its over rated and there is much better…unsure about this. Im 25 and will be travling with my best friend (female) so somewhere with sick riding and fun night life is important also other non snowboarding activities would be good. Even if you just mention some towns/areas i will look into it.

    thanks

    #639916
    firstlight
    721 Posts

    Chris
    I did Fernie in 2000. Great resort. You can do kicking horse and Island lake as well from there and why not revelstoke!
    You’ll love it.
    Ps if your going to live in a van be prepared for the cold!!!!

    Adam West

    www.firstlightsurfboards.com.au
    www.firstlightsnowboards.com.au
    www.splitfest.com.au
    www.snowsafety.com.au
    www.mrbc.com.au
    www.backcountryglobal.com
    www.alpinefirstaid.com.au

    #639917
    KGN
    215 Posts

    I wouldnt live in a van if you can avoid it, unless you like scraping the inside of your windows every morning. 😉

    Whistler is a huge mountain, lots of lift accessed backcountry touring as well. Can get loads of snow, lots of nightlife. But I get a bad vibe from that place, feels like a giant shopping mall, which is the “Village”. And it can be pretty busy, its as expensive as fuck, lots of fashionable trendy people looking to be seen. Its facebook central. Can you tell I am from a small town?

    Fernie sounds like a good plan, with Rev and Kicking horse as well…Better vibes, cooler small towns, still awesome.

    I actually had a few pow days at Sun Peaks, like it better than Whistler. But they dont get much snow, and I dont think there is any backcountry.

    BC is pretty nice, you cant really go too wrong, lots of good folks :thumpsup:

    #639918
    strain
    42 Posts

    Whistler is what it is – all the hype about the good brings it’s fair share of bad. If you can deal with the scene, there’s no better place to ride. I live in Pemberton, it’s the best of both worlds IMO.

    I spent a bunch of time travelling around BC last season and Whitewater (Nelson) stuck out as where I’d want to be if I left Whistler.

    #639919
    vapor
    350 Posts

    Hit the interior,Rossland,Nelson Revy,Kickinghorse.All are great resorts with with different small town vibes and great backcountry

    #639920
    Hp_Sauce
    35 Posts

    The thing about Whistler is that it’s big, like really big. It has over 8000 skiable acres of on piste terrain – by comparison, Fernie only has 2500 acres on piste (I’m too lazy to look up the exact stats for other BC resorts at the moment, but they are in the same range of 1000-4000 if my memory serves).

    So yeah, if you are only going to visit one resort for the entire visit, Whistler is the place to go. I have been visiting there for 3 seasons now and am only just starting to discover the really fun/difficult/less visited areas and there are still many areas I haven’t yet explored. You will be able to keep yourself busy exploring new terrain for quiet some time.

    In addition to that, there is the Powder Mountain Catskiing operation 20 km south of Whistler which will cost you CAD 500.00 a day, but it’s worth it if you want a spectacular day out, without bringing your splitboard. And if you do decide to bring your splitboard there is all of Garabaldi National Park to explore, right on the door step of Whistler.

    There is also Vancouver city 1.5 hours south of Whistler, which would probably fulfill the “non snowboarding activities”… it’s a bit too far to drive for just an evening at the bar. But hockey games, concerts, etc. could be an option once in a while.

    The trouble with Whistler is that it’s big and it’s close to Vancouver city. So it gets a lot of tourists/visitors… which is actually the goal of ski resort business plans… But it means that it gets quite crowded on weekends (especially if it’s sunny, or there is fresh snow). And it means that you have to share the runs with kids, annoying teenagers, drunken 20-somethings, rich older people, lost/confused tourists & beginners. And it means that you will have to sit at the bar/dance next to all those same people when you’re in the village at the end of the day.

    So like strain said… Whistler is great enough that it actually creates it’s own “bad” features as a side effect.

    Personally, I can’t figure out how people are bothered by the “attitude” of a resort. If you are there to ride and the riding is good, then just enjoy the awesomeness! The lifties are friendly, the ski patrollers want what all other ski patrollers want (for people to be safe). And there is no need for you to talk to or bother with any of the other folk on the hill if you decide you don’t like them.

    Note: If you show up after 8:30am or so on a beautiful weekend day, you should be prepared to stand in a gondola line for a long time. But if you show up on a cloudy Tuesday morning, you can expect to find some great riding hidden up there somewhere, because everyone else woke up and thought “Oh, it’s cloudy today… I’m gonna sleep off this hangover instead”.

    That being said, I have not been able to visit any of the other resorts in BC yet, (thought I’ve heard good things about Big White, Fernie & Revelstoke) so please take my post with a grain if salt (it’s a bit one sided towards Whistler). And I have no doubt that (If you decide to bring your splitboard) there is probably some amazing terrain in the interior that I have not been able to see yet.

    If you’re going to visit more than one resort while you are here, I would think something like this maybe?
    -Fly/Drive into Vancouver:
    -Hit either Cypress/Grouse/Seymour – they’re small, but at least you can say you were there.
    -Head east to Big White, stay for a while.
    -Head further east to Fernie, stay for a while.
    -Head northwest to Revelstoke, stay for a while.
    -Head west to Sun Peaks in Kamloops, stay for a while.
    -Head all the way west to Whistlerblackcomb, stay for a while.
    -Head south back to Vancouver airport.
    (If you’re driving in/out of Vancouver, you could always hit Mt. Baker in Washington also).

    Alternately, you could fly into Calgary and go Banff -> Fernie -> Revelstoke -> Sun Peaks -> Big White -> Whistler -> Cypress -> and then fly out of Vancouver airport.

    Good luck with your trip! And if you end up in Vancouver or Whistler, let me know and maybe I can find a free day to give you a tour of the runs.

    -hps

    #639921
    chrisNZ
    304 Posts

    Whistler dose sound pretty sweet, everything but the higher cost of living, was planning on getting a house, but it looks like you have to be in whistler by october to find anything.

    Hp do you want to be my personal travel guide?…haha dam i might have to bring a split

    Thank everyone this is heaps of help will keep researching.

    #639922
    strain
    42 Posts

    Prices in whis have actually come down quite a bit – a ton of new housing has lowered rent and increased vacancy. Unless you need to live right in the village you’ll be able to find something reasonable.

    The biggest kick in the nuts is the cost of a pass – but the riding season is also longer here than anywhere else in BC, you can bank on being able to ride mid November thru May 30.

    You’re going to want your split no matter where you end up. Endless touring in BC.

    #639923
    Colin
    153 Posts

    if you want to avoid the hype of whistler (if you like clubs/hype/etc it is a great spot and the riding is hard to beat), I’d second the nelson thing, especially if nightlife is important. Fernie/revy/golden are great towns with great mountains, but if you want more of a diverse scene, nelson actually has some decent music on a regular basis, more of a mix of people, and the resort (whitewater and red isn’t too far either) and touring terrain is pretty rad. I’d stay away from sun peaks/big white/silver star–pretty flat in general and not much touring. Although kelowna has more of a big town vibe, if thats what youre after…

    #639924
    KGN
    215 Posts

    Personally, I can’t figure out how people are bothered by the “attitude” of a resort. If you are there to ride and the riding is good, then just enjoy the awesomeness! The lifties are friendly, the ski patrollers want what all other ski patrollers want (for people to be safe). And there is no need for you to talk to or bother with any of the other folk on the hill if you decide you don’t like them.

    To each their own I guess :guinness: I still dont love that place, and trust me, I dont bug anyone. I just get a better at home vibe from some of the other resorts. Over 100 dollar lift tickets at whistler…..

    I really think you will have a more down to earth, fun and authentic Canadian boarding experience at a smaller resort town, with still wicked night life, and lots of powder. Sun peaks is loaded with New Zealanders, they get nice snow, but nowhere near the dumping the coast gets. And dont be fooled by Whistlers huge size, as you dont often get the whole mountain, as the lower half or more is often wet sticky snow, but some years I guess it can be good all the way. I worry about that place if climate change is really happening. They are on the edge.

    It is a huge mountain, but I wouldnt want to live there. Pemberton is a sweet town though. Maybe buy a sled, a 4wd truck, and move to Bralorne for the winter. Get some good tracks out there. There is one bar there, share it with the 60 residents. You are nuts to leave your split behind 🙂 Despite Whistlers huge size, it will get tracked out pretty fast, but there proximity and lift access backcountry is pretty epic. That is the best thing about Whistler. Shit, dude you might as well go to Whistler, everyone else is there lol

    #639925
    KGN
    215 Posts

    @hp_sauce wrote:

    So yeah, if you are only going to visit one resort for the entire visit, Whistler is the place to go. I have been visiting there for 3 seasons now and am only just starting to discover the really fun/difficult/less visited areas and there are still many areas I haven’t yet explored. You will be able to keep yourself busy exploring new terrain for quiet some time.

    That is one good point, if I knew Whistler better, I would enjoy myself a little more I am sure. 🙂 I will give it a few more chances 😉

    I end up driving through the Duffey any time I go to Whistler, its tough to justify the cost of that hill when your passing through some of the best in BC.

    #639926
    maniacdave
    564 Posts

    Interior for sure. A seasons pass + a couple of those multi-resort deal cards + tons of touring and you’ve got a lot of terrain unlocked.

    Nelson has an awesome vibe. Truly a unique and original town. Whitewater, just up the road, is sick. Excellent snow, fun terrain & a great locals vibe. Who said no friends on a powder day? At WH2O you’ll wind up making more. Good amount of slackcountry. Rossland & Red Mountain aren’t far off from Nelson. Probably cheaper living. Red is a classic. Why discriminate? Get a seasons pass for both.

    Kicking Horse is badass steep. Spent a season here and part of another winter there. Slackcountry options are right there at the top of the chairlift. Sounds like there is some planning in the works to extend or replace a couple lifts and cover a bit more terrain. Superbowl was opened up this year. The nightlife in Golden is whatever you make of it, because it doesn’t really exist. Work town first. That can be a good thing though.

    Revelstoke is another option. Some folks are diehard Revy fans, others are Horse fans if that says anything. Can’t go wrong. In between the two is Rogers Pass, home of the Canuck Splitfest (thanks Wade!), which has epic touring options. Sledding is big out of both towns from the looks of it.

    I finally got to Fernie this year and promptly got my ass kicked touring 3 bowls over from Siberia. Former roommate from Golden spent a couple season there. Better nightlife than Golden for sure, similar terrain but a lower elevation than the Horse. The vibe I got was that it is/was a work town with a more established resort/village than Golden.

    Pretty much all of these places have cat and heli ops nearby. If you get bored, they’re all more or less within a days drive, with hostels and other sleeping options. My short list would be Nelson/WH2O or Golden/KH. Wherever you wind up, that’s up to you though. Hope it all turns out well!

    That was Pontus

    #639927
    chrisNZ
    304 Posts

    thanks for all these nuggets here is a cool video

    [vimeo:nxbwwacv]http://www.vimeo.com/23187672[/vimeo:nxbwwacv]

    #639928
    jerrett
    139 Posts

    Tossing in my vote for Nelson… especially if you like tree riding ;]

    The town is pretty cool too, won’t be a crazy bender-party town like whistler, but that’s a good thing in my books, and it does have a good community feel – it’s a cool place to just hangout, it’s got it’s share of nightlife

    #639929
    SPLITRIPPIN
    709 Posts

    It also has it’s share of Gaw Dam Hippies 🙄 (what happened to Nelson and all the freekin pan handlin’ dirtbags!) and a nice new breed of big city douche cops.

    #639930
    chrisNZ
    304 Posts

    Going with Nelson at this stage, maybee banff. Do i get season pass for both wh20 and red? do they have any deals for the two mountains. And im bring my split!

    @jerrett wrote:

    Tossing in my vote for Nelson… especially if you like tree riding ;]

    The town is pretty cool too, won’t be a crazy bender-party town like whistler, but that’s a good thing in my books, and it does have a good community feel – it’s a cool place to just hangout, it’s got it’s share of nightlife

    #639931
    vapor
    350 Posts

    You wont be dissapointed, and yes bring the split as the backountry scene is well established in that area……tree hugginsmellytele but there is nothing wrong with that.

    #639932

    Hey Chris me and my buddies are planning a trip to British Columbia for the Northern Hemisphere winter as well. We are planning on buying a camper van and are going to base ourselves around Nelson/Revelstoke (Yet to decide). We should keep in touch and meet up over there for some riding and touring. Also you should get down to the Canterbury region sometime this winter as it looks like we may have a bit of splitboarding crew starting up.

    By the way has anyone been riding at Shames Mountain up in Northern BC? Looks like it has a similar low key vibe like the club fields here in NZ do so we are keen to check it out.

    #639933
    kitejuneau
    6 Posts

    I guess I should start by saying where I am from, just so nobody is confused! I am from Alaska- that is in America! No pun- intended. I am living in New Zealand currently and everybody I meet thinks Im Canadian or they are being overly PC about assuming my identity.
    Anyhow- if you want the awesomest atmosphere with a mountain and backcountry that delivers, then head strait for Rossland. Red Mountain- It is hands down my favorite place to ride in Canada.
    And the town has a kick ass vibe. Living in a van there might just be possible. The other disneyland resorts might have good riding, but you will be dealing with rent-a-cop parking lot attendants and liftlines.

    #639934
    chrisNZ
    304 Posts

    @South Island Split wrote:

    Hey Chris me and my buddies are planning a trip to British Columbia for the Northern Hemisphere winter as well. We are planning on buying a camper van and are going to base ourselves around Nelson/Revelstoke (Yet to decide). We should keep in touch and meet up over there for some riding and touring. Also you should get down to the Canterbury region sometime this winter as it looks like we may have a bit of splitboarding crew starting up.

    By the way has anyone been riding at Shames Mountain up in Northern BC? Looks like it has a similar low key vibe like the club fields here in NZ do so we are keen to check it out.

    Yeah keen as to catch up this winter, im in chch. Add me on bookface (c.g.rayner) will be getting after it as soon as we have some snow! we got temple season pass’s too so many lines to run this winter.

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