Most Extreme BC Ski Resorts: Hit all of BC’s gnarliest lines, chutes, and cornices in one trip

A legendary 2 week powder hunt

The Powder Highway. The Coffin. Stairway to Heaven. Kill the Banker. Spanky’s Ladder.

If you’ve never been done a ski trip in BC before, you may be wondering what the heck all of these words mean.

These are some of BC’s finest, most extreme, most powder-filled runs! If you’re an advanced skier looking to ski at the most extreme BC ski resorts, we’ve got you covered.

This one way trip from Vancouver to Calgary will take you to BC’s four finest advanced ski spots

Whistler Blackcomb

No BC extreme ski trip would be complete without a stop at Whistler Blackcomb. The world’s greatest ski resort boasts some of the craziest in-bounds lines you’ll ever see.

We highly recommend flying into Vancouver on a Sunday evening and heading up to Whistler for a Monday ski day. Whistler’s immense popularity means very long weekend lift lines, when locals and tourists are hitting the slopes at the same time. We recommend planning your trip so you’re at Whistler Blackcomb during the week.

Here are a few can’t-miss extreme runs on Whistler Blackcomb:

  • North Side of 7th Heaven: 7th Heaven is our favourite lift on Blackcomb. Most skiers will turn right at the chairlift and head down a variety of blue runs, but for extreme skiing, turn left. Awaiting you is the Saudan Couloir, the steepest marked inbounds run in Canada. Further down is a variety of double blacks in the Secret Bowl area, including Pakalolo and the Cougar Chutes.
  • Flute Bowl: The Flute Bowl boasts some of Whistler’s gnarliest lines and untouched powder. You’ll have to earn your lines here, as it takes about 20 minutes to bootpack up to the top of Flute Bowl from the Symphony Chair. Once you’re in, you’ll be welcomed with all kinds of crazy cornice drops and cliff jumps, all of which descend into a powder paradise below.
  • Diamond Bowl: The Spanky’s Ladder area of Blackcomb is loaded with double black runs, and Diamond Bowl is our favourite. After navigating a couple of chutes, you’ll be treated to the steepest bowl skiing in the resort.
  • The Coffin: An unmarked run under Whistler’s Peak Chair, the Coffin is one of the world’s most intimidating, and quite frankly dangerous chutes. Once you drop, there’s nowhere to turn in the chute, and you’ll hit the exit, which often has a jump or rocks poking out, with serious speed. The snow tends to stay soft below given the run’s difficulty, but don’t venture down this run if you aren’t a very strong, triple black+ type of skier.

If you’re looking for extreme fun in Whistler outside of skiing, the Village will have it. Whistler’s nightlife is as legendary as its’ skiing. Whenever you ski out to Whistler Village, you’ll be greeted by Longhorn Saloon’s outdoor DJ every afternoon. All sorts of après spots in the village will be open well into the early morning. Check out our Après blog to learn more. If you’re looking to save energy for the slopes, there’s plenty of comfortable hotels with hot tubs to unwind and hit the sack after a crazy day on the mountain.


Skiing at Revelstoke

After a few days at Whistler, we recommend taking a day off to do the six-hour drive from Whistler to Revelstoke. This drive will feature some of the most scenic views you’ll have all trip, so it’s a great call to take a day to rest your legs and enjoy the sites. We recommend stopping in Pemberton for breakfast, and sampling some wine from Kamloops wineries in the late afternoon (drive responsibly!).

Revelstoke has been going after Whistler in ski ranking lists, taking the #1 spot in Canada in 2021 on many lists. It boasts the most skiable vertical of any mountain in North America, and has an endless number of expert lines.

Here are the best spots:

  • Sub Peak: There’s several hike accessed routes on Revelstoke, and Sub Peak is the most noteworthy. It’s a longer hike from the top of “The Stoke” chairlift, but you’ll be rewarded with the softest and gnarliest turns you’ll see all day. Check out this video for more information on Sub Peak
  • North Bowl: Below Sub Peak, there are several runs you can access on the backside of the mountain without the hike up to the top of Sub Peak. You’ll probably find yourself spending the majority of your time in this area of the mountain
  • Kill the Banker: This run goes directly under the main gondola, boasting almost almost a kilometer of vertical drop. You’ll have steep cliffs, crazy trees, and on good days, pillows of powder the whole way down

Kicking Horse

Kicking Horse

After a few days at Revelstoke, you’ll venture deeper into the Powder Highway to Kicking Horse Resort. This two hour drive will take you by some of the most stunning spots in the Canadian Rockies, including Glacier and Yoho National Park.

Kicking Horse is often seen as the king of all extreme ski resorts. There’s more than 85 marked chutes descending into five alpine bowls. It hosts the Freeride World Tour every year, so you know you’re going to find some good extreme skiing here.

Many of the runs are off the Golden Express Eagle Gondola, about 4,000 feet up from the base. Most of the runs go all the way back to Kicking Horse’s base. After picking your line to drop in, you’ll have a variety of bowls and glades to ski down, before turning onto groomers, and skiing down to the base.

Here are our favourite areas in Kicking Horse

  • Ozone Peak: This is the peak that Freeride World Tour skiers shred annually. It’s an incredible chance to follow the ski tracks of some of the world’s greatest free skiers. Maybe hold off on the backflips though!
  • The Dutch Wallet. This run is so insane, it’s hard to explain. Watch @Rise&Alpine’s video on it to get an idea of what you’d be getting your self into:
  • Stairway to Heaven: Take this lift up, and then climb the literal “staircase” to access the steep and fluffy snow in Whitewall and Feuz Bowl

After you finish up at Kicking Horse, we recommend driving an hour south and spending a night at Radium Hot Springs. The naturally heated water will be a great way to give your legs a break before the last leg of the trip.

Fernie Alpine

Skiing Fernie Alpine

Skiing in Banff and Whistler gets all the hype, but exploring underrated ski resorts like Fernie is an amazing way to cap off your trip. Fernie is a funky mountain town about 3 hours west of Calgary, your final destination.

Fernie is comprised of five big open bowls. All of them are enjoyable and worth spending some time in. Our favourites for extreme skiing are Cedar Bowl and Polar Peak.

Here are the best runs

  • Snake Ridge. Cedar Bowl is the best powder on the mountain. When exiting The Bear Express Quad, you’ll turn right into the bowl and traverse along the ridge. The farther right you traverse, the gnarlier the runs are going to get. You’ll have your choice of chutes, glades, and powder.
  • Polar Peak: Fernie’s peak is open on and off due to avalanche risk, but you’ll want to head straight over to once it opens. The top part of the peak is very steep and wide open. It’ll probably remind you of some of Whistler Peak’s runs, but don’t tell Fernie locals that! You can lap the peak a few times before continuing down into Currie Bowls glades – they’re some of the best, and most challenging runs on the mountain.

Fernie’s a great town with a few lively après spots. If you’re looking to mix it up, we highly recommend the Himalayan Spice Bistro. This south asian restaurant is legitimately one of the best places our team has ever eaten at.

Once you’ve finished up at Fernie, you’ll drive three hours to Calgary International Airport. Our team will meet you there to take the vehicle from you, concluding your unmatched one-way ski trip through the most extreme BC ski resorts.

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