This is a shout out to Revelstoke, an architectural gem in British Columbia’s mountainous interior.
About five hours west of Calgary and nearly six east of Vancouver, Revelstoke is isolated in a global sense, yet culturally it claims a pivotal position within Canadian mountain culture.
Located strategically along the Canadian Pacific railway lines and on the Trans-Canada Highway, Revelstoke is an key transport hub and important migratory root for mountain junkies.
I have travelled through – and stayed in – Revelstoke so many times I cannot possibly count. On almost every journey I think to myself; “this would be a great place to live.”
On this particularly trip west, we called into ‘Revy’ for two nights and two days of skiing. The drive through the Kicking Horse Valley and over the genuinely famous Rogers Pass was O.K. as long as no one rushed.
We stayed at the fairly new Best Western in Revelstoke – a remarkably clean and friendly hotel – which was full of Canadians there to ski or snowmobile on Revy’s surrounding mountains.
As hotels go, that Best Western’s included breakfast is really excellent. I am not sure we were entirely aware of Western Canadians’ deep love of eggs with ketchup – but the hotel has adapted to this clear – almost overwhelming – demand by offering the red sauce in large pump format.
On the first night we hot-tubbed, ate sandwiches and slept early in anticipation of powder. And powder we found!
At 8:30 am we were in line for the first gondola up the Revelstoke Mountain Resort and the weather was perfect. It has snowed all night and temperature were only slightly below freezing.
Finn, who really has not skied all that often due to other commitments, borrowed some light twin-tip skis from our friend Andre. While in line we ran into Canmore friends also looking for perfect snow and… it was perfect.
Little Finn followed me through the powdery glades (treed areas) and even though it was a busy day by Revelstoke standards, we were still finding fresh powder towards the end of the day when the sun came out.
Upon returning to the hotel, we soaked our tired legs in the hot tub and then ventured into town for dinner. I always seem to eat well in Revy and on that night we went to the Village Idiot for dinner. A perfectly mountain restaurant, the food was excellent (Finn of course had fish), the staff were extremely friendly and international and the place was busy. I do not recommend restaurants too often, but The Village Idiot gets five stars for ambiance.
Day two on the slopes was almost better. We still had much of the mountain to discover and there were about 1/2 as many skiers. Finn’s skiing improved exponentially and we really loved each run. I had done 10 days of squats and balance exercises before this trip and my aging legs responded as desired.
Good snow matters – as do long, long runs. Revelstoke Resort now claims the highest vertical in North America and, at least this December, it offered some of the best skiing in recent memory.
Find Revelstoke on a map! Regardless of season, do make a point of visiting this charming little city in the heart of BC’s Columbia mountains.