Red Mountain Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

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

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
Red Mountain Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
  • 1,185 – 2,075 (890)
  • Average Snow Fall
  • 7.5 metres
  • Lifts (7)
  • 2 Quads
    2 Triples
    1 Double
  • Ski Hours
  • 9:00am to 4:00pm
    Early Dec to Early April
  • Terrain Summary
  • 1,158 Hectares
    Runs – 110
    Longest run – 7 km
    Beginner - 18%
    Intermediate - 31%
    Advanced - 23%
    Expert - 28%

Red Mountain Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Red Mountain Resort terrain is spread across three mountains (plus the Mt Kirkup peak for cat skiing). The smaller hill is Red Mountain which can be skied about 270 degrees around the peak, and has a few blue runs and black to double black diamond slopes. The larger main mountain at Red Resort is Granite, which is skiable around the full 360 degrees, and can be loosely divided into three faces. The front face has terrain for all ability levels, whilst the Paradise side has lots of green runs, blue cruisers and some black tree runs. The north side is glorious expert territory. Grey Mountain was added to Red Mountain Resort in 2013, which added various intermediate and advanced runs.

To aid in orientation to the Red Resort ski terrain, it may be helpful to partake in a complimentary tour. The mountain hosts can orient you to the lifts and landscape and tell you the interesting history of the mountain. Unlike hosts at most ski resorts, you won’t just be relegated to the groomers.

Red Resort provides a good spread of terrain for all ability levels, however the highlight is the amazing fall line tree skiing that is powder hound bliss on a powder day. It’s easy to see why Red is an award-winner when it comes to the tree skiing. The terrain features an infinite number of lines through trees that are ideal for advanced and expert skiers, and the tree spacing varies significantly.

Lifts

Red Mountain Resort is not a place where you can clock up maximum vertical quickly. The thighs will get plenty of rest on the painfully slow chairlifts. Even the new Grey Mountain and Topping (from 19/20) chairs are fixed grip. Surprisingly the locals don’t seem to care about the lifts as they just fit in with the general laid back culture of Rossland – why rush? The slow lifts are one of the possible reasons that the crowds stay away, but this is of huge benefit to powder hounds who aren’t in a hurry.

The other downside to the lifts is the associated ugly powerlines that scar the otherwise beautiful landscape.

On powder days there are typically long lift queues at the Silverlode for the initial ascent, and also up at the slow Motherlode chair which services a lot of terrain. Corrals are not used and the towies just let the chaos sort itself out.

Red Resort Snow

Red Mountain doesn’t receive the same bountiful snow that Whitewater receives, only an hour away, and the elevation is relatively low at 2,075 metres at the summit and 1,185 metres at the base. Red still receives a respectable average of 7.5 metres (300 inches) of snow annually, but there are large standard deviations in this statistic. Some years they receive huge amounts of snow, and other seasons it’s a shocker. It comes down to a case of powder hound luck.

Red Resort has a large range of aspects, so as to be expected the snow quality around the ski area varies significantly. The smaller Red Mountain tends to have good snow, and ditto for the expert zones off Granite Mountain, whilst the beginners and intermediates get to enjoy relatively sunny slopes. The main lines off Grey Mountain and Kirkup also sit in the sun, so the snow can go rancid very quickly.

Beginner Skiing Red Resort

The magic carpet terrain near the base could be the first step. To further work on the basics, Corky’s off the Silverlode chair would be the next step. Skiers shouldn’t take the Motherlode chair to get to the Paradise area until Stem-Christies are mastered. The trails back to the base are very long, and it would be absolutely exhausting for anyone to hold a snow-plow for that distance!

Beginners can explore much of Granite Mountain and parts of Grey Mountain, but one of the disadvantages of Red Resort is that many of the green runs are access tracks that everyone else uses, so it’s difficult for beginners to find a spot where they can learn in isolated peace.

Red Resort Skiing & Snowboarding - Intermediates

Red Mountain Resort has a good amount of terrain for intermediates, which is further enhanced by the new terrain off the Topping chair lift (from 19/20). The best playground is the area serviced by the Paradise chair where there are wide cruisers, and riders can practise their off-piste skills amongst some of the well spaced trees. A great racing run is the groomed run off the top of the Motherlode chair down Buffalo Ridge into the dark blue/black Main Run. Just don’t speed down too fast, otherwise the slow ride up on the antiquated lift will feel all the more protracted.

Grey Mountain is also great for intermediates, with a good variety of tree lined trails.

Terrain Park

The small terrain park is located near the base area and includes various rails, boxes and tabletop jumps for riders of various ability levels.

In addition to the park, the natural terrain provides plenty of park type features, and there are lots of boulders on Granite Mountain off which to huck.

Advanced Ski and Snowboard Terrain

On Red Mountain, the popular Red Towers run under the chairlift is great for confident mogul riders who are happy to perform to an audience. Similarly the black runs under the Motherlode chair also form bumps very quickly, and are not for the shy skier or snowboarder. For a bit more privacy, the Powder Fields in amongst the trees are a fantastic place to play. The tightness of the trees varies significantly, and it can be a little difficult to ascertain whether you’re about to hit an advanced or expert line, and don’t expect rocky outcrops to have an impending warning sign.

For more great tree skiing, the War Eagle trees on Red Mountain are rated as double black but are very manageable. There is an abundance of potential lines, many of which follow the fall line, and you can drop down anywhere into Sally’s Alley or Dale’s Trail.

Grey Mountain also offers some nice advanced piste and off-piste terrain when the snow’s good.

Expert Skiing and Snowboarding

Red Mountain Resort has lots of fantastic expert ski and snowboard terrain. Either side of the Motherlode Chairlift are popular spots. On the skiers’ right are a series of runs such as Pale Face, with steep pitch, tight trees and lots of drop-offs. On the other side of the lift are various lines through the trees, as well as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd slide runs which are more open considering they are avalanche paths. Not surprisingly, these mogul up rather quickly.

There is some expert terrain on actual Red Mountain, but the main treasure is to be found on the north side of Granite when there’s plenty of snow, on runs such as Coolers. Most of this area is bliss for experts with steeps, chutes and tight trees. It has a backcountry feel and the terrain is gnarly, so take a buddy.

Red Mountain Snowcat Skiing

Red Resort offers about half a dozen snowcat shuttles per day from the top of Grey Mountain. The snowcat shuttles attract a small fee per run to access 200 acres of terrain in the Mt Kirkup area. The terrain is a mix of off-piste open slopes and wide trees that are suitable for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The area is patrolled and controlled, and it offers a good chance of riding fresh lines, although the lower parts are typically tracked because it’s possible for others just to traverse there.

Don’t have your heart set on the Red Mountain cat skiing, because capacity is limited and it’s first come first served. Also, it opens fairly late in the season because it requires a lot of snow cover.

For the Powderhound

Essentially you can “strike gold” at Red Mountain on a powder day, but the snow quality typically disappears quickly, and advanced and expert skiers may become a little bored with the terrain.

In addition to the in-bounds terrain, there are also stacks of easily accessed backcountry runs on different peaks. Mt Roberts is a popular choice, or you can ski off the back of Red Mountain down to the road and get someone to drive you back up. As with any backcountry skiing, only experienced tourers with appropriate safety equipment should venture out of bounds.

Further afield, Kootenay Pass is a highly renowned backcountry touring spot.