I love spring skiing at Kicking Horse. The main reason is...it is powder skiing. Sure as you get closer to the bottom of the resort you can get a mixed bag, from hard packed, ice to soft stuff. But with 4000 vertical it is unlikely you will get the same snow conditions from top to bottom this time of the year. It is certainly well worth some hiking to find untracked powder. We did get a week of warm sunny weather and that was ok if you are sitting in the sun on the deck with a beer. But I am not a big fan of warm weather skiing. It is just too hard on the old knees. Give me soft powder any day and that is what we found again yesterday after a nice snowfall. It got more challenging as we got close to the bottom but that was ok.
The season is winding down with the resort extending their closing date until April 11th.
March 15th 2020. One year ago. A day that will unfortunately stick in my memory for a long time. It was our final day of skiing at Kicking Horse for the season. The next morning we woke up to find out Kicking Horse Resort was closed. That was the end.
We had guests at the time. It was looking like our best year ever for occupancy. We had a group from Vermont/Alaska and another group from Germany and Italy. The American group had been doing some ski touring and was not supposed to leave for another week to return home. Finally by Wednesday night I managed to convince them they should return home as I was concerned for their health as well as ours. The next day they left. Same with the European group who were heli-skiing with a local company, The heli-skiing company shut down on the Wednesday. Our guests again were not supposed to leave until the Saturday. I was concerned about the Italian who did not seem that healthy. They left for home also on the March 19th . The Italian when he got home did get tested and was negative..
It has been a surreal year to say the least for us. Tourism throughout the world has been devastated to say the least.
Our season at Vagabond Lodge has been dismal with the fact the bulk of our usual visitors are from overseas.
We have had a few regular guests come and stay from Alberta but only a few. Has it been worth opening? Probably not.
The resort has seen a steady base of skiers driving for the day from Alberta. Mostly the younger set. They hop in the car at 7 am and are here by 10. At 4 they hop in the car and drive home. We have managed to limp through the winter with the ski area closing on April 4th.
It has been a good year for snow up to now, which has been really the only positive besides the fact we have stayed healthy as well as our family.
And with being vaccinated hopefully before the summer there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It has been frustrating in BC getting a handle on what exactly is being planned for vaccinating the general population. It is a dogs breakfast to say the least. The provincial government actually hired Telus for their call centre to book times to get the shot. Have they ever tried to get through to Telus at the best of times? What a disaster. You would have thought they would have had something in place for months but instead they roll out their plan it seems, at the last minute. I would have thought they would have known a vaccination plan would be necessary. Brutal. A friend in Mexico has gotten his already and we are waiting for a date yet.
I suspect the summer will be relatively busy for travellers in our area. With warm weather hopefully coming soon, everyone will want to get out of town and the mountains seem like a safe place to be.
We are getting down to the final runs of the season and still hopeful of a good dump of snow before it all closes but no complaints if it doesn't come. Bring it on. I am looking forward to some mountain biking, hiking and kayaking. Oh yes also getting vaccinated would be nice too.
Ken along with his wife Lori are the owners and operators of Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.