It is hard to believe we are already into August and finally got some hot weather. It has been around 30C for the past few days which has been nice for a change. We have been spending a lot of time kayaking on the Kicking Horse River that runs right through the town of Golden. The Kicking Horse then empties into the Columbia River at the base of the mountain below us. We have a great trip we do that takes about 45 minutes with some small rapids and then a nice float once we hit the Columbia River. The cold water is great with the heat of the air to cool off. Lots of fun. And we are generally the only people on the river. So social distancing is not a problem.
The resort itself seems like they are having a busy summer with a lot of mountain bikers. More than I have ever seen. With border restrictions in place the only tourists are from Alberta, and BC with a few from the rest of the country. We have had to scale back on our operation with only 4 rooms being able to be booked in order to keep a safe distance from our guests and vice versa. Obviously this impacts our bottom line but not much we can do about that. I am guessing this will be the scenario for awhile.
Hope everyone is healthy and safe. Enjoy the video of some of our kayaking.
We are back in business at Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Resort. Yesterday June 26 was the opening day for the resort and our first guests roll in today. From the looks of it, it will be a quiet summer for us. We have a few bookings but mostly cancellations. Most of our early bookings were from Europe and the US. The border between Canada and the US is closed except for essential traffic and the US is not doing so well in the fight with controlling covid-19. I suspect it will remain closed for a few months yet and from our health perspective we are happy about that although we love our US guests. Stay healthy and stay at home for now my friends. BC has now said it safe to travel within the province and are welcoming visitors from other parts of the country. The problem for the tourism industry is our country does not have enough people to sustain the industry. We rely on overseas and US visitors. It is going to be tough sledding. We did go to Lake Louise last week where I hadn't been for a long time. I was surprised how busy it was and there was very little social distancing happening. I witnessed a young couple with a cute little puppy on a leash. That puppy must have got petted a hundred times in the short time they wandered in front of the lake. Probably not the best thing to do. Just saying.
It was great yesterday to head up to the top of the mountain again on the gondola. We went for a short hike to the top of T1 with friends and family and then had lunch at the Eagle's Eye Restaurant. It will be quite a challenge for the management of the top of the mountain eating spot as their seating capacity will be a lot smaller than usual and it looks as if they are understaffed. But we enjoyed the first day lunch and look forward to heading up there a few times this summer. The video is from opening day.
Vagabond has some direct booking specials and are offering a 15 % discount on stays of 3 or more nights. Give us a call at 250 344 2622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless something foreseen happens in the next week, it is full steam ahead for an opening for the summer of Vagabond Lodge and Kicking Horse Resort. The BC government has yet to announce officially they will be allowing resorts to open on that date but it looks pretty good. The citizens of BC have done exceptionally well with the lowering the curve of covid 19 and in our area especially have had very few cases. Most go back to the March from out of country visitors. Of note, the border between Canada and the US is closed until July 21st at the earliest for reopening. There have been reports of US tourists arriving by car in recent weeks claiming they are going to Alaska which is apparently ok. Hopefully the Canadian Government will close that loop hole soon. If they are going to Alaska, fine as long as they follow the rules of not stoping in hotels, paying for fuel at the pump etc. Instead some of had been going into Banff and having dinner in the restaurants, wandering around the town(without masks). We welcome our US visitors when the time is right. Now, it is not all right. Sorry.
We have been working on getting Vagabond Lodge ready for our first guests on June 27th. So far it looks like a very quiet summer for Vagabond as right now the only guests we can get are from Canada and right now only from BC but we are more than welcoming to other Canadians. The province's tourism industry cannot survive on only BC visitors. We just don't have enough of a population. Vagabond will have a number of protocols in place for our guests to hopefully ensure everyones health.
We have a lot of opportunity in our backyard for social distancing as we have a lot of space with very few people. One of my favourites' throughout the summer is kayaking on the Columbia River. There are a number of great spots near Golden to put your kayak or canoe into the river with a nice float for a couple hours and see the wildlife and enjoy nature. We have seen a lot of bald eagles, osprey, and even bears during out trips. We can show you the way. Video is from a couple weeks ago with family and friends on the Columbia River.
Give us a call at Vagabond Lodge 250 344 2622 or email email@example.com to book your stay.
We have not heard anything official but Kicking Horse Resort may be opening for the summer about June 19th. We are not sure what that means yet. It would be the third stage of opening in BC which includes resorts. We will keep you posted.
We have kept busy around Vagabond Lodge getting some work done inside and now that the snow has gone at least around our property, we are working on the yard which is a nice change. The weather has not been great with cooler weather and rain off and on but that is ok.
We have managed to go for some bike rides in the area. I am amazed at the number of people on bikes. We have a number of biking trails in our area and on almost any given day all the parking areas for the trail access, there are cars everywhere. Everyone is doing a great job of social distancing and BC in general has done a fabulous job. We do not have any known cases of Covid19 in our area and not many in the province and that includes a major city such as Vancouver.
On one of our bike rides recently we went to a great spot about 30 minutes from Vagabond Lodge to Canyon Creek where we came across some mountain goats. They are illusive animals so it was pretty cool to see them. We are hoping soon, guests of ours at Vagabond Lodge will be able to take advantage of some of the spectacular spots near us.
Not much to say that anyone doesn't know already. Vagabond Lodge closed its doors about March 15th and who knows when we will be able to reopen.
Lori and I are hunkered down and hoping we can survive financially until the world changes for the better. We are lucky because if you are having to self isolate, there is no place better. We are still able to get out walking, biking, and hopefully in a month we can get on the river for some kayaking. We wish everyone to stay healthy and hope to see our great guests back sooner than later.
Ken and Lori
We truly have some amazing terrain at Kicking Horse Resort. Steep chutes, big bowls, and long runs. And that is just inside the resort. If you are more adventuresome, you can go outside the ski area boundary and find even more. We never recommend anyone do this unless they have a guide and the necessary avalanche equipment and we can certainly get you hooked up with a certified guide and the equipment. If you want to take an avalanche course while you are here, we can also get that organized.
I am lucky enough to have some great friends who have the necessary experience and training and have I have got pretty hooked this winter on "slack-country " skiing near Vagabond Lodge. It is more of a challenge and extra work to get there but the reward is amazing. Video is from some terrain not far from Kicking Horse.
We are taking bookings for the 2020-2021 ski season. Give us a call at 250 344 2622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It turned out to be a pretty great February 29th here at Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Resort. We woke up to a surprise dump of 20 cms of fresh snow and maybe more in a lot of places. It had warmed up considerably and we were even getting some light rain in the evening. But overnight the temperature dropped and it began to snow.
I went with some friends for a great run from the top of T1 and then some out of bounds stuff that was untracked.
We are taking reservations for next ski season and have our 10% Early Bird savings in effect. Give us a call at 250 344 2622 or email email@example.com for more info.
What I love about skiing, is that it is truly a family sport. There are not too many other sports you can do as a family for a long time. Son Shane and his family spent the weekend with us. Not only was I able to watch grandson Waylon skiing on the kids area but I had the pleasure of going with Shane and his friend Matt to T2 for a run. Shane is an amazing snowboarder and former slalom snowboard racer. I had some fun to say the least skiing with the kids.
March is almost here and is one of my favourite months for skiing. It can be one of the best months for powder. Give us a call and book your stay 250 344 2622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the video of Shane doing his thing at Kicking Horse.
A bit of a dry spell for the past week here at Vagabond Lodge plus we had the long weekend which is one of the busiest few days of the winter. Needless to say the bulk of the runs get skied out pretty quickly. Great coverage but not as easy to find the soft untracked snow.
But if you are a little more adventuresome and have the necessary avalanche equipment, there is still a lot of great spots to explore just outside the boundary of Kicking Horse Resort. I do not recommend this to the uneducated in terms of avalanche awareness. When I go I make sure it is as safe as possible and have a transceiver with me just in case and follow routes that do not take me under or near possible avalanche areas. And the skiing is fabulous.
We are closing in on the final month of operation of Vagabond for this winter. Don't rule out March. It can be a great month for skiing at Kicking Horse. Give us a call at 250 344 2622 or email email@example.com
One of the things I have wanted to do for a number of years is to ski into Canyon Creek. It is basically the valley behind Kicking Horse. I see it every time I ski and think how nice it would be to go down. It is certainly getting more and more popular for the back country enthusiasts because of the great terrain as well as the proximity to the resort. There have also been a number of incidents over the past 15 years, where skiers and boarders have gone down into Canyon Creek not realizing they need to have skins on their skis or boards and have to walk back up. They have gone down unprepared and unaware. There was a fatality there a number of years ago as well.
I went with some friends this week. One if very experienced in the backcountry and we took all necessary equipment. It was a great day with untracked powder. The easy part was going down. The hard part was coming back up which took about an hour. They went for a second run. One was enough. Included in my trip was a ski that decided to run away after a spill near the bottom. Luckily it did not go as far as it could and was found and brought back up to me. I hate to think about the consequences of not finding it.
Awesome day and I will be doing that again in the right conditions and with the right people.
Ken along with his wife Lori are the owners and operators of Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
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