Revelstoke Lifts & Terrain

Ski Revelstoke BC
The Revelation Gondola
Sub-alpine terrain at Revelstoke ski resort
The views from the ski resort are dramatic
Revelstoke Powder Skiing
The Big Woody run is sometimes a little harrowing!
It's often cloudy or foggy at Revelstoke Mountain
Revelstoke skiing and snowboarding
The Kill the Banker run has lots of interesting features
The chair lifts are fast
Fun little trees to dodge on Jalapeño
The gondola is fast too so undertake a pre-season fitness regime!
Revelstoke Skiing, BC Canada
The groomed runs seem to go on forever!
Visibility in the alpine areas is sometimes limited
Ski Revelstoke Mountain Canada
The groomed runs are great for strong intermediate riders
Tree skiing Revelstoke
Powder skiing amongst the trees
The very small "terrain park"

Revelstoke Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
  • Vertical (m)
    512 – 2,225 (1,713)
  • Average Snow Fall
    9 - 14  metres
  • Lifts (5)
    1 Gondola
    2 High-Speed Quads
    2 Magic Carpets
  • Ski Hours
    8:30am to 3:00pm
    Early Dec to mid Apr
  • Terrain Summary
    Ski Area - 1,263 hectares
    Runs – 69
    Longest run – 15.2 km
    Advanced - 47.5%
    Intermediate - 45.5%
    Beginner - 7%
  • Lift Prices (1 Day - 17/18)
    Adult - CA$99
    Child - CA$39

Revelstoke Skiing and Snowboarding Terrain

Ski Revelstoke for long runs, steeps, glades, and lots of snow. Revelstoke Mountain Resort is a big steep mountain that is most ideally suited to strong intermediates and advanced riders. The many steep groomers that go on forever are fantastic, although your thighs might not agree! You are unlikely to need to wear thermals at Revelstoke because you’ll work up a sweat racking up kilometres of vertical, and with super fast lifts you’ll have minimal time to cool off.

The North Bowl and the Sub Peak provide some open alpine terrain, but the majority of the resort is below the tree line and recent years have seen some glading undertaken in the upper parts of the resort.

The huge vertical of the lift serviced terrain (1,713 metres / 5,620 feet) can be divided into three parts.

Zone 1: The lowest part below the gondola mid-station provides 270 metres of vertical and is good for beginners, but the snow conditions here are incredibly variable.

Zone 2: From the mid station the gondola goes up a further 881 metres of vertical to the top. The piste runs are predominantly blue and black groomers, and there’s a little tree skiing.

Zone 3: Above the gondola, the chair lift serviced terrain (562 metres of vertical) is much broader. Getting across the mountain can result in a lot of traversing and there are some reasonably flat trails. Skiers’ left is The Stoke chair and the south facing terrain. Skiers right is the North Bowl with The Ripper chair a little further down which offers tree skiing and a couple of groomers. Powder fiends will potentially spend most of their time on this upper third of the mountain.

Zone 4: The Sub Peak above the Stoke chair provides another 115 vertical metres of hike-to terrain. A bootpack provides more challenging entries into North Bowl or the alpine terrain of the Upper Southside.

Crowds

Revelstoke BC is sort of in the middle of nowhere, away from any major cities. The upside of this is that Revelstoke doesn’t attract the same crowds seen at some other North American ski resorts. In the first few years of Revy opening, the ski resort was practically deserted and it was really easy to get fresh tracks. Now that the secret of Revelstoke is out there, there are many more powder hounds competing for freshies.

On a powder day there can be queues for the gondola right out to the car park. The bottleneck disappears pretty quickly and the crowds disperse, but the mainstream powder gets tracked out with a couple of hours. On a non-powder day there are no lift lines and the mountain is really uncrowded. You can even have the gondola to yourself on every ride if you like!

Lifts

The lift infrastructure at Revelstoke is very impressive. There are only five lifts; the Revelation Gondola, two high speed quad chairs (The Stoke and The Ripper) and two magic carpets. The three main lifts are super fast, super long and super comfortable. The chair lifts are so fast that you can feel the wind in your face even though it’s not windy. The only minor shortcoming is that the gondola is no longer one continuous lift. It’s been separated into two parts so you have to get out at the mid station and re-load onto another gondola.

Lift Tickets Revelstoke Ski Resort

The lift ticket rates for adults (19-64) are average for a western Canadian ski resort. However lift passes for children (6-12) are much cheaper than the average, probably in an effort to attract more families. And as is typical, kids 5 and under ski free.

Revelstoke is accessible off the Mountain Collective pass, which provides savings to ski Revelstoke as well as many resorts in California, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and Valle Nevado Chile and Thredbo Australia.

Revelstoke Snow & Weather

There’s plenty of media hype that Revelstoke gets plenty of snow, but it’s too early to get good historical data regarding the average snowfall. High up in the Revelstoke heli skiing terrain the average is 12-18 metres per season. During the 2008-09 season only 6m fell at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, yet subsequent seasons have fared much better to provide an average of 9-14 metres.

The marketing team may be able to boast about the snowfall but definitely not the number of sunny days (unlike Colorado and California!) because Revelstoke tends to have lots of foggy weather.

As to be expected for a ski resort with 1,713 metres of vertical, the snow quality can vary significantly between the top and bottom. It sometimes rains at the base (Zone 1) and snow cover can be patchy, although some snowmaking has significantly improved the experience for beginners using this area.

Further up the mountain the snow generally has moderate moisture content. The powder isn’t as wet as Whistler snow, but it’s not as good as other parts of the BC Interior. The North Bowl snow is often very lovely due to the aspect and because lots of powder blows in there.

The resort requires a significant base for all areas to open. As examples, “Kill The Banker’’ and the gladed ‘Critical Path’ (both in Zone 2) may be closed unless there is plenty of snow cover.

Ski Revelstoke BC - for the Beginner

Revelstoke only has a small amount of terrain for beginners’ (7%) and some of the trails are only good for super fit beginners because they are so long. In an effort to attract first and second timers, Revelstoke Mountain Resort provides very inexpensive beginner packages that include a lesson, lift ticket and equipment rental.

Novices are reasonably well catered for at Turtle Creek at the base and at the gondola mid-station. Both areas have a magic carpet and a very gentle slope that’s appropriately short. Beginners using the Zone 2 area are advised to download on the gondola.

The next progression is a big leap in endurance; the very long Last Spike run in Zone 2 that weaves its way down the mountain or the slightly shorter Sunshine. Beginners would also have to be game to tackle this stretch because it frequently crosses more challenging runs and it can be daunting on low visibility days.

Revelstoke Skiing - Intermediates

Revelstoke ski resort has lots of terrain for intermediates in the form of very long runs, so sometimes the experience can feel a little repetitive, particularly in Zone 2.

Mellow blue runs can be found below the gondola mid-station (Zone 1). ‘The Last Spike’ off the top of ‘The Stoke” chair is also a gentle blue run, but it’s really more of an access track and sometimes has some very flat spots.

Moderately difficult are the couple of blue trails off the Ripper Chair. Elsewhere on the mountain there are plenty of long, long steep groomers, so generally Revelstoke is better suited to high end confident intermediates than timid intermediate riders.

Revelstoke Terrain Park

Revelstoke doesn’t really have a terrain park, just a rail line. At Turtle Creek (at the base) is a tiny little area serviced by the magic carpet with a box and a rail. This area is sometimes open for night skiing.

Advanced Snowboarding and Skiing Revelstoke

Revelstoke is absolutely perfect for advanced riders considering the variety of terrain: steep groomers, alpine bowls, moguls, tree skiing and glades.

Ski Revelstoke if you have a need for speed and to get stoked! A winch cat groomer manicures some of the black runs such as Pitch Black, Critical Path, Snow Rodeo and Devil’s Club. With negligible annoying “slow signs” or beginners to get in the way, strong intermediate and advanced riders can fly down these runs until they hit Mach 1!

Revelstoke ski resort does not differentiate between single black diamond runs and double blacks, which can make it tricky for advanced riders who only want to do single blacks. As a general rule, runs off The Stoke closest to the chair are easy single blacks, whilst those further out such as Vertigo and Jalapeno are a little more challenging (closer to double black diamonds). A super sweet but challenging run when the powder is fluffy is Clyde’s Secret Glades into Iron Glaiden.

Easy single black diamond slopes can also be found below The Stoke (Zone 2) on the piste (ie the cut runs) and the wide Aspen Glades. The Gnarnia Glades are a little trickier (often due to a lack of snow cover).

The resort has undertaken significant glading around the Ripper Chair. Powder Monkey Glades can easily be tackled by advanced riders, as can the top of the glades to the skiers’ left of the Ripper chair. A little further down it becomes more like tree skiing (ie the trees are a little tighter) and there are some small rock features and little cliffs (that aren’t necessarily marked) to negotiate or launch off, so this is area is more for the experts.

Ski Revelstoke’s North Bowl

The North Bowl has both single black and double black terrain. The major differentiation is generally the entrance into the bowl, and there are also some challenging cliffs and features on the periphery of the bowl that definitely fall into the expert category.

The North Bowl is the piece de resistance of Revelstoke but it’s also its major shortcoming. It’s awesome on one hand and a complete pain in the arse on the other! The snow is the best on the hill and there are usually lots of fresh tracks to be found, probably because lots of people can’t be bothered with the time and effort required to get in and out of the bowl.

The bowl can be accessed in a variety of ways via a traverse, a short hike, or a decent boot pack, and the more energy you put in the more reward you get (both in terms of challenging terrain and freshies). And if you make the effort to get around to Greely Bowl, then the likelihood of scoring freshies is super high.

Once in the huge bowl there are options galore and on good visibility days it’s easy to scope a line that’s appropriate for your ability. One downside is that the best runs all funnel into the one area so it gets painfully repetitive, and the egress is very clunky.

The first exit option out of North Bowl is to stay right and skim the right hand boundary line all the way down to the bottom of the Ripper chair. This Big Woody run is a complete bitch particularly when the tight gully becomes a bumps run. It feels like pinball quadzilla and it ruins any memory of the nice powder in the bowl.

The second alternative is not to ski so far right and end up on an old cat track, parts of which require a hike up or herringbone. This track eventually hits the Chopper run off the Ripper chair.

The least taxing option (but the shortest and least rewarding) is to stay left and traverse moderately high for a long way until you hit the Downtowner run.

Even though the North Bowl is avalanche controlled, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to carry backcountry safety equipment and take a buddy, because ski patrol is chronically understaffed!

Expert Revelstoke Skiing

There is a bit of expert terrain at Revelstoke ski resort, but there are much better ski resorts in North America for expert and extreme riders. Experts will be challenged by the short gnarly pitches in North Bowl and Greely Bowl, and a few patches of tight trees (they’ve possibly over-gladed some areas).

When snow cover is good, show ponies may want to head down the Kill the Banker run under the gondola. This run is littered with rocks, boulders and little cliffs so there are lots of features to play amongst.

Backcountry

Revelstoke has some amazing backcountry terrain. The resort provides a guiding service for day touring to help you explore some of it.