Kicking Horse Ski Resort
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, interior British Columbia’s big mountain skiing destination, began as an idea after a visit to Whitetooth Ski Hill (the resort’s former name) by award winning Vancouver architect Oberto Oberti in 1996.
Oberti saw the potential to expand the infrastructure into a four season destination resort. With immense support from the local town of Golden, as well as local and international investors, the resort was bought and redeveloped and opened in December 2000 under its new name of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
A far cry from its humble beginnings of one double chairlift, one T-bar and 2,000 ft of vertical, the ski resort of Kicking Horse now has access to some of the most formidable terrain in Canada. The Golden Eagle Express gondola shuttles skiers and snowboarders directly into the high alpine in just over 12 minutes. This 8-person gondola serves the majority of the 2,750 acres (1,100 ha) of terrain. The only other high alpine lift is the Stairway to Heaven, which runs from the bottom of Crystal Bowl to Blue Heaven Peak 8,033ft (2,450m).
Kicking Horse has built its reputation on its steep terrain and high annual snowfall; average 275 inches (700cm). The unique layout of the ski resort is the way it traverses three distinct ridges – Terminator Peak, CPR Ridge and Redemption Ridge. These three areas have countless couloirs, each more hazardous than the last. And many of the ‘skiable’ lines of these ridges would be classified as permanently closed areas at bigger more popular resorts. Local skiers and riders have a common sense factor that keeps them away from such areas when the conditions are not forgiving.
The lower mountain has plenty on offer for beginners and intermediates. Long, flowing groomed runs, steep bumps and a network of easy to navigate green runs make the lower mountain ideal for families and those looking for less of an ‘extreme’ experience.
Kicking Horse’s small base village has a handful of hotels and restaurants. High end homes within walking distance of the village provide a base of luxury vacation rentals.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is located 6 miles (10km) outside Golden, British Columbia. The closest major city with an international airport is Calgary, two hours and 30 minutes drive away.