If you are looking strictly at snow conditions, it has been a great start to the winter season here at Kicking Horse Resort. We have had a number of big snowfalls already and maybe one of the biggest one-night dump since we opened Vagabond Lodge 17 years ago with about 40cms of snow last week. We have been lucky in our area with not many cases of covid but that can change quickly especially with a lot of non locals coming skiing. I am actually surprised by the number of day skiers who are travelling here. I suspect a number of them are realizing that Sunshine Village has closed their ticket sales and the same at Lake Louise and they just drive another 45 minutes and they are here. Kicking Horse in the last couple days appears to be scaling back on their numbers they are allowing on the hill. Initially they were not selling any lift tickets at the resort, and then they were . With all the fresh powder there were some pretty long lineups for a few days. Now I see they are publishing the fact they are sold out, at least until January 1. Interesting. It is a good thing in my mind. Once it becomes too busy, some people have a tendency to become impatient and not following some of the rules such as always wearing a mask and wearing it properly while not skiing. I went up yesterday for a run, and waited about 30 minutes in the lift line. Everyone in the lift line was doing a good job with the masks and social distancing. Once you are the top of the mountain, this resort is great for spreading out. We hiked up to the top of T2 yesterday and there was only 1 other person on the run down. Along with friend Patrick we have had some good runs already with all the fresh snow. Right now BC Health is still asking everyone to stay local and avoid non essential travel.
It is a trying time to say the least for the tourism industry around the world. Hopefully 2021 will be a lot better. Be safe, stay healthy, wear a mask. Enjoy the video from December 18th. Amazing day.
Another season has started at Kicking Horse and it was the best opening day conditions I can remember and we have been here for 17 years. Some of the opening dates though have been earlier. They have had over 300cms at the top of the mountain and surprisingly good coverage at the bottom. One more good dump and it will be good all the way. Usually you have to pick you way around rocks near the bottom but not this year. I went up with friend Patrick on opening day and was surprised by the great coverage. We skied a couple of runs off the stairway to heaven chairlift and had some nice powder despite the fact we didn't start skiing until about 1. Kicking Horse did a good job I thought with the lift access. It took about 30 minutes to get on the lift and there are a number of protocols in place depending on if you are skiing alone or with other people. Check out their website for more detail. BC Health mandates everyone in public space need to wear a mask. From what I could see everyone was. Some maybe not wearing it as well as they should be but they did have masks on. Overall a good job. Food service will be a challenge. In the evenings at the resort there really are only two places open for food, Winston Pub and Peaks Grill. I suspect most people will do take-out which will be tough on the eating spots, since the profit is in liquor. BC health has asked for only essential travel until at least January 9th. Obviously that will mean a pretty quiet and lean Christmas for the tourism industry throughout the province. Vagabond Lodge is deemed an essential service so we are allowed to be open with restrictions in place. It is very confusing for the hotel industry in general. On one hand everyone is asked to stay home, but we are allowed to be open. For whom? Our area has been very fortunate with very few cases of Covid. The latest numbers by BC Health shows only 4 cases of residents in the past month in Golden. With some newcomers into our area with the ski resort opening, it will be interesting to see if that number stays low. As long as people follow the guidelines of wearing a mask and social distancing we hope cases will remain low.
Enjoy the video from opening day. Be safe and stay healthy and wear a mask. #wearamask
We are not sure what will unfold in the next few days regarding covid-19 restrictions in BC and Alberta. Increasing numbers of covid have already put a hold on reservations for the upcoming season. We looked pretty good for parts of the upcoming winter but in the past few weeks cancellations have been coming in daily and I really can't fault the guests. Especially those coming by airplane. I would not want to fly right now. We still have a few coming from either Alberta or elsewhere in BC but they are all driving. But at the same time the BC Government has asked all their residents to stay at home for the next week at least and I suspect that will be extended. But having said that, health comes first but the tourism industry is getting devastated throughout the world. Kicking Horse Resort will be opening on December 10 and our first guests right now are scheduled for December 15th. Ski passes are available on-line only for those who do not have a season pass. You can get them off the Kicking Horse website as they will be limited and there will not be any sold at the resort itself. We do have a covid protocol at Vagabond Lodge and will be limiting the number of people to 50% of our usual occupancy. Instead of up to 20 people at a time, we will be only taking a maximum of 10 or 12 depending on if they are from the same bubble. One thing we have decided to do it provide lunch to our guests along with our usual breakfast. It will be quite basic with some hot soup and a hunk of my sourdough bread and will be available for couple hours in the afternoon. Food service and restrooms will be the biggest issue I think on the resort itself with the various health regulations in place. Especially on a busier day. Whether we will have a busier day is still questionable. We will get through this. Wear a mask and follow all the health protocol. Until we see you back, video is from some fun from last winter at Kicking Horse.
Ken along with his wife Lori are the owners and operators of Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.