Playground Earth

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I held fascinations as a child with the mountains, curious and whirling my mind constructed a playground to which only the meticulously trained and undeniably free could embrace. I imagined sharp peaks, inverted skies, and ghosted trees all the while finding untracked snow that flowed beneath your feet to the valley below. I also wondered about the people who would embrace such a place and I could imagine their smiles, I could hear their voice recalling harrowing tales that can only be shared over cold beers and between good friends. I was in search of a farfetched world, a place where time seems to stop and begin again with every turn and all that remains are the subtle feelings of pure ecstasy. I know now, I was in search of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

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In Revelstoke, your day starts surrounded by friends and a hot coffee on deep, comfy leather couches at La Baguette (at the mountain). Overwhelmed by butterflies, your stomach sinks not at the fact that the mountain above your head is technical and accessible, rather, your stomach fly’s away at the fact that last night saw 30cm of fresh snow on the mountain and it’s currently blue skies above your head. A definition of ‘powder day’.

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You guzzle your coffee, rush out the door of La Baguette and hop on the first gondola up at 8:30am. On the trip up the mountain, people laugh, eyes widen, and childlike grins can be seen through everyone’s balaclava. By the time you reach the first chairlift, a group of glass-eyed children gawk at the untouched playground all around them.

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Stepping off the Stoke Chair puts you at the base of a perfect boot pack up to the summit of Sub Peak, below Mt. Mackenzie, and with a short hike you find yourself atop  a sea of first tracks. Time seems to freeze as you become engulfed in the white abyss of clouds and surrounded by the eerie existence of snow ghosts. No words need be shared as you strap in, each person contemplating their journey  into an ocean of white. Once you drop in, each and every turn cuts deep into the mountain as a spray of champagne snow cascades around you. Like walking on water in an ocean of snow, the feeling is indescribable, but the rewards of earning each turn leave you with no questions, just satisfaction.

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The treeline approaches and the glades begin to unfold around you. It’s time to stop a minute, mostly to fight the leg burn, but more importantly to look back up at the peak you just descended, and now a sea of trees which lay ahead of you. It’s time to take on an entirely new attitude as it is no longer wide open turns through knee deep snow, it’s time for the glades and a more aggressive approach. The snow is just as deep, yet the turns are a little bit quicker, but still effortless. Now, instead of a white world mitigated by miniature frozen trees, it’s time to feel like a swift ninja jumping through 50ft trees and thigh deep snow.

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David Jackson Photo (9 of 16)

Whether a 4ft snow pillow on top of a big boulder below a mysterious drop appeals to you, or effortless  turns through wide open trees seems more appropriate, the options are endless and readily available on either side of the groomed runs. That’s what makes Revelstoke such a special mountain. The unpredictability of the big mountain terrain where between the trees and cliffs anything can happen, yet is safely accessed and descended by chairlifts and cat tracks. It’s truly a destination for adventurists and professionals alike, a mountain best felt with friends and loved ones.

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Though the mountain alone inspires awe, it is the people who call Revelstoke home that make the entire trip a true mountain experience. Riding down you might hear a story about a local guy who just hid in the trees with a sign that reads “Will you marry me?”, waiting on the girl he loves. At the bottom of the hill you see the now happily engaged couple ride in, champagne in hand, smiles beaming. Their friends wait for them at Rockford Wok | Bar | Grill for a drink and a celebratory toast. A heartfelt moment that only Revelstoke can deliver. Friendly hellos and wide eyed grins are the norm and you’ll always have someone to share a drink and a story with. Staying on the mountain at The Sutton Place Hotel with their ride in and ride out ease in the heart of the village connects you instantly. The stay is world class in a mecca of world-class riding- it’s the best place to stay to maximize your time on the on the  slopes.

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I’ve grown a little bit since my days spent dreaming of a beautiful mountain, yet I still feel the same as when I was young. The truth is, I am still young. Revelstoke Mountain Resort is a place where anyone can be eager and energetic because anyone can find exactly what they are looking for, even if it is ethereal things like a snow cased tree or a ride through the clouds. For myself, I have always looked for a way to satisfy the intangibles to which I desire. What I found in Revelstoke was far from a ski resort in British Columbia, I found a place to deliver the satisfying moments to which I have always dreamed.

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Written and photographed by David Jackson. David is a freelance photojournalist covering stories across Canada. His background is in Journalism and his heart is firmly rooted in adventure. To view more of his work, please visit his pages: BlogWebsiteInstagramFacebook.

Vote for Revelstoke Mountain Resort in the Ski Town Throwdown

ski_and_ski_2013“Skiing is a dance, and the mountain always leads.”

Revelstoke Mountain Resort boasts North America’s greatest vertical at 1,713 metres (5,620 ft). The resort offers 3,121 acres of fall line skiing, high alpine bowls, renowned gladed terrain, and endless groomers. It is also the only resort world-wide to offer lift, cat, heli, and backcountry skiing from one village base.

As Revelstoke Mountain Resort heads into its 7th season of operations, the resort will open at the end of November (tentatively set to open on November 30, 2013).

SPH_Revelstoke_ExteriorIn mid-winter 2012, The Sutton Place Hotel was introduced to what was previously known as the Nelsen Lodge. The third phase of the luxury condo-hotel was completed in February 2012, almost doubling the occupancy with an additional 107 condo-hotel rooms (total 222). With the new phase, a brand new outdoor, year-round pool, and hot tubs opened to hotel guests as well as a spacious, fully-equipped fitness studio while expanded services to the hotel included a wine & cheese guest reception, dedicated concierge, après-ski yoga sessions, and child care.

Revelstoke Mountain ResortUpon completion, the Resort will offer more than 20 lifts and over 100 ski and snowboard runs, transforming the area into a world-class destination. The four-season resort will include over 5,000 new housing units (1,500 resort condominiums, 2,000 hotel suites, 850 townhomes, and 550 single-family lots), as well as more than 500,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, plus a resort-style golf course.

On-mountain, the Turtle Creek Beginner Area and Tube Park opened for the first time in January 2012 and was well received by guests of all ages. The Kids’ Revelstoke Outdoors Centre, activity centre and snow school also in its inaugural year, was a great success and made good use of the new base area beginner slope. Introductory snowmaking on the lower mountain made a significant difference in the quality of the snow base and its longevity, enhancing the ski experience on lower mountain trails and the new Turtle Creek Beginner Area & Tube Park.

To enhance the Revelstoke Mountain Resort experience, the following additional features will be available for the 2013/2014 winter season:

  • Improved Ninja Traverse – The Ninja Traverse has been Sumo Sized! They’ve widened and groomed this trail to provide an easy and smooth return to the base of the Stoke Chair.
  • 007 Upgrade – 007 has been remodeled with a cut-through run to improve access to Mid-Mountain Lodge.
  • Snowmaking – Upgraded to improve lower mountain skiing and Village access.
  • Better Beginner Terrain – Greenhorn and The Last Spike have been widened and realigned from top to bottom for improved skiing. In addition, a widened access trail provides more green skiing options on Lower Mountain.
  • Faster Opening – New bomb tram installed at the Sweet Spot entrance to North Bowl to provide faster opening times on powder days.
  • Run Additions – Two new runs are being developed off the Stoke Chair.
  • Glades Galore! – Tasty Glades and Rollercoaster area (now Tally-Ho Glades) have been aggressively gladed for similar spacing to The Ripper glades. The Stoke base has improved visibility and access.
  • Mid-Mountain Lodge is now “Revelation Lodge” – New management has brought new menu options to Revelation Lodge.
  • Wino Renamed “The Village Tavern” – Reimagined for 2013 / 2014, enjoy a new après experience at the Resort Village Base.
  • Snowshoe Tours – Available daily from the top of the Gondola!
  • Calgary Shuttle – Dedicated shuttle bus operations all winter from Calgary International Airport (YYC).
  • FREE Family Fun – Free tubing all winter for Season Pass holders. They’re also continuing the Tot/Chaperone program which provides parents with a complimentary lift ticket when skiing with children aged 5 and under.

RMR1In November’s issue of Powder Magazine, they ranked the top 64 places to ski powder in North America based on Powder Per Person (or P3), which took into account things like vertical, snowfall, and skiable acreage. These rankings were used as a way to seed each of the 16 ski areas per region in a 64-team March Madness-style bracket, called Ski Town Throwdown.

The initial evaluation was done by Powder Magazine, using the P3 rating, and Revelstoke Mountain Resort easily made it past the first round. But now your help is needed to beat Whitewater in Nelsen, BC – they won the final competition last year and it’s going to be close to beat them in the next round of voting! Round 2 voting happens for 24 hours only and is on Halloween – October 31.

To vote, go to Facebook.com/PowderMag on October 31 and vote for Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Mark your calendars!

Revelstoke: An Extreme-ly Attractive Summer Getaway

Imagine a place nestled between two vast mountain ranges, resting near the banks of a rushing river, and sitting next to the icy landscape of a glacier park, and you’ll probably envision a fabled wonderland straight out of the latest blockbuster action/adventure flick.

Though it may sound like a scene from an epic movie, this land actually exists – and it’s right in BC’s own backyard. That’s right, Revelstoke is a supernatural region on the banks of the Columbia River, surrounded by the awe-inspiring Selkirk and Monashee Mountain ranges and the Glacier National Park.

Though many regard it as a go-to destination for skiing, snowboarding, and exciting winter sports, it is also flush with endless summer attractions and activities – most of which let you experience the tremendous variety of nature in the area.

Visitors, for example, can find outdoor pursuits like golf, fishing, hiking, relaxing hot springs and spas. Yet, for those seeking an adrenaline rush, there are limitless extreme adventures in Revelstoke too.

Take, for example, an over 22 km rafting journey down the rushing Illecillewaet River. This excursion is a perfect blend of calm, scenic stretches, but it also features short stretches of class 2 to 3+ rapids – just enough to get your heart racing. You’ll get wet and have fun, all while keeping your feet and legs above the water.

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You can find fun in the air as well with one of the most famous zipline parks in the world: the Sky Trek Adventure Park. Located just 15 minutes from Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Skytrek features three exciting adventure courses built for all ages and abilities. A popular pick is their High Ropes Challenge Course, where you can climb from tree to tree on ladders, scramble up nets, rush over suspended bridges or swinging logs, slide from tree to tree on skateboards and, of course, fly down ziplines at breathtaking speeds.

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Nature lovers can get their thrill fill too. Considering the abundance of rugged mountain landscape, you’ll never find a shortage of wildlife in Revelstoke. Whether it’s a rambling black bear looking for some summer supper, or a giant grizzly ambling down the mountain, the animals never cease to excite. Popular parks include: Blanket Creek Provincial Park Martha Creek Provincial Park, Shelter Bay Provincial Park and perhaps the most famed of the group, Glacier National Park. With over 400 natural glaciers, ghost hotels, railways, and the famed Rogers Pass, this place is full of historic sights and sounds that attract tourists from all over the world.

Finally, if a little speed is what you need, then mountain biking is the way to go. Fast becoming the most popular sport of choice for the summer season in the city, there are a number of bike rental companies, tour companies and hotels (like ours) that rent out bikes to those seeking some two-wheel fun. Routes range from the straight and narrow (literally), to vertical challenges that tempt the best world-class bikers from all around. Our very own Revelstoke Mountain has some excellent paths too, whether you’re looking for something leisurely and fun or something intense and out of this world.

Extreme vacationing can be great, but after a long day there comes the time when you’ll want to sit back, unwind and recuperate. That’s where we come in. After all, we’re extreme too…extremely comfortable.


Click here for more information on The Sutton Place Revelstoke Mountain Resort and our great summer packages.