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Revelstoke Mountain Resort opened with 10 feet of snow

Revelstoke Mountain Resort has won the early season snow lottery this year, with over 10 feet of snow to date. I met resort VP of operations Peter Nielsen, and he’s happy to report the best opening day conditions in years, with a new snowfall blanketing the resort village.

Skiing on Revelstoke Mountain Resort just about the historic town of Revelstoke, B.C. Photo: Ian Houghton/Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Skiing on Revelstoke Mountain Resort just above the Columbia River and the historic town of Revelstoke, B.C. Photo: Ian Houghton/Revelstoke Mountain Resort

After a low snow season in western Canada in 2014/2015, hungry snow chasers’ eyes have been on on the forecast for this El Niño year. The weather system churns up precipitation and temperature norms, making it harder to predict where the snow’s going to fly.

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RMR offers cat and heli-skiing right from the resort base. They’ve added new sidecountry programs this season. Photo: John Antoniuk/Revelstoke Mountain Resort

RMR, as the locals call it, is known for deep powder skiing and is on track to offer up another deep season. But Nielsen says the resort’s focus in the off season was to weatherproof the resort. The resort has the longest lift accessed vertical in North America, and ample on- and off-piste skiing and snowboarding.

“We really want to shift the thinking of Revelstoke as a powder destination to a skiing destination,” Nielsen explained. “But we want to nail the non-powder offering [so] you can plan your trip to Revelstoke and not be worried about the weather.”

La Baguette is a Revelstoke bakery and restaurant beloved by locals. They operate a gondola-top coffee hut and food service at Mackenzie Outpost. Photo: Royce Sihlis/Revelstoke Mountain Resort
La Baguette is a Revelstoke bakery and restaurant beloved by locals. They operate a gondola-top coffee hut and food service at Mackenzie Outpost. Photo: Royce Sihlis/Revelstoke Mountain Resort

This means several new initiatives. For the first time, the resort has added a terrain park, an 11-acre facility with jumps and 20 jib features, all just under the Stoke Chair. Its location closer to the top of the mountain ensures it’ll be available until closing day. It’s a full-size progression park about 450 metres in length, with something for beginners to advanced skiers and snowboarders.

“There is a whole market of people who love the terrain parks. And when the snow isn’t fantastic, it gives you something to do,” Nielsen said.

The Mackenzie Common in the resort village opens up for apres ski. Photo: Grant Gunderson/Revelstoke Mountain Resort
The Mackenzie Common in the resort village opens up for apres ski. Photo: Grant Gunderson/Revelstoke Mountain Resort

RMR opened in 2007 and is still a new resort with lots of development potential. New glades are developed each season at the resort, and they’re something to look forward to each year in this young resort. This summer crews added over 50 acres of glades below Clyde’s Secret, and in the Snorkel and Beauty glades in the Ripper Chair area. “Tree skiing is such a core part of our brand,” Nielsen explains. Crews also continued brushing and filling existing glades to help them fill in earlier.

The Rockford is RMR's destination restaurant and bar, localed in the resort village. Photo: Grant Gunderson/Revelstoke Mountain Resort
The Rockford is RMR’s destination restaurant and bar, located in the resort village. Photo: Grant Gunderson/Revelstoke Mountain Resort

“We spend a lot of time of energy and resources manicuring the mountain,” Nielsen said. “Making our runs smoother and easier to groom.”

They also went to work with heavy equipment on the runs to make early and late-season grooming easier, allowing for more efficient grooming. They’ve added a new groomer to the fleet this year and plan to develop the grooming system to keep both backcountry skiers and on-piste skiers happy.

The resort has worked to develop its offering for everyone, including skiers of all ages and abilities. They operate extensive programming for new skiers of all ages. Photo: John Antoniuk/Revelstoke Mountain Resort
The resort has worked to develop its offering for everyone, including skiers of all ages and abilities. They operate extensive programming for new skiers of all ages. Photo: John Antoniuk/Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Revelstoke Mountain Resort is known as a big mountain powder destination, with lots to offer in the sidecountry. The resort has added new sidecountry offerings this year, including augmented avalanche training programs, guided ski programs, CAT skiing and more. New this year, you can book to ski with Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s pro team members. The team is Chris Rubens, Dane Tudor, Sean Cochrane, Izzy Lynch, Leah Evans, Seb Grondin, Greg Hill, Jake Teuton, Zoya Lynch, and Bruno Long. The format is open — ask them to show you some secret stashes, or maybe some pointers on your skiing or snowboarding.

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The new terrain park was revealed on opening day. Here is a photo from a small test park that was open near the end of last season. Photo: Ian Houghton/Revelstoke Mountain Resort

RMR is expanding its social offering at the mid-mountain Revelation Lodge, bringing in bands and other performers for afternoon shows — be sure to stop in for a pint.
With a low U.S. dollar and lots of early season snow, Nielsen anticipates this is going to be a great year, attracting more and more destination skiers from the States and Europe. “A little more of the world shows up each year,” Nielsen said.

For more information, visit Revelstoke Mountain Resort

We’re still buzzing from Opening Day 2015! Are you? We’d love for you to share your Opening Day Stoke!

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