If you ski or snowboard and you’re on social media then chances are your feed is filled with Revelstoke in British Columbia, Canada.
An incessant barrage of powder images hashtagged #revelstoked #revy #wontstopcantstop and #needigoon. Those that are there are loving it, those who are not, well, not so much.
Revelstoke is already so hot right now (in a good way) but add a record season of over 6.4 metres of snowfall already (it’s only mid January) and you can see why it seems like every person you know is there.
The resort is having a renaissance, which is hilarious to say given it only launched in its current resort form in 2007. But it is. There was a moment where it launched, then hiccuped, then got its breathe back and now in 2020 it’s shining bright again with those spectacular Columbia river views and an historic town ten minutes down the road.
Joining the Ikon Pass has helped put the resort on the mainstream map and a steady stream of dollars going into new chair lifts and then new bars and restaurants downtown, plus a progressive tourism board that knows how to market the stoke has added to the buzz.
It’s safe to say go now, before the resort hits that tipping point of other ski towns before it. Though the five hour winter drive to Calgary may keep most at bay, for now. The town thankfully still retains its old school down to earth charm thanks to a solid mining and train industry history that sees much of the town still employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway today.
The locals are friendly and super nice in that Canadian can-I-take-you-home-to-meet-mum kind of way. You could be sharing a chairlift with a train driver who has a few hours before he takes the wheel, a tech wannabe entrepreneur who co-shares downtown, a plethora of “sponsored” ski pros or even our favourite snow comedian, Katie Burrell, of The Dream Job.
Yes, it’s as big as they say, 3121 acres of skiable terrain (that’s before all the side country) and 1700 metres of vertical, though sometimes snow making at the bottom helps. Not this season, though, the sky is one giant machine of snow dumping down to the town. Let’s not go there, unless you are there.
I know, right? An Australian applauding coffee in a Tim Hortons obsessed Canada. Anyone who knows an antipodean knows we have very high coffee standards, we’re like the world’s most annoying coffee snobs. So get yourself to Dose downtown and tell the Aussie crew we sent you, oh and take a Canadian to convert them.
The food, oh the food. To be precise, the food at Explorer’s Society, this doyenne to stylish boutique hotel charm more suited to Montreal than a remote ski town. But, hell, we’ll take it and not just for the rooftop sauna, either.
The Quartermaster Eatery in the hotel street level is worth every penny (especially if it’s someone else’s credit card picking up the bill so order up) of the local, organic, sustainable menu filled with the best produce of British Columbia.
Yes, yes, there’s more good food than just Quartermaster. Try La Baguette for lunch, Kawakubo for Japanese, Old School Eatery for breakfast and The Village Idiot because everyone does.
There’s a lot of spirit in these parts of BC. Get ye to Monashee Spirits and pull up a seat at the bar for cocktails that will kick your butt, soothe your soul or make you feel like Barry White on Saturday night. The choice is yours.
Try the Duck Fat Sazerac, no joke. Sazerac Rye washed in organic duck fat, frozen, separated then blend with balsamic honey reduction, brown sugar, Peychauds Bitters and then lit on fire with Chartreuse and Absinthe. Not sure whether to roll in it, arrest it or drink it. Might just do all three.
While you’re there in Revy, try Mt Begbie Brewing Co for flights of beer tasting with a view, Rumpus Beer Co and Jones Distilling.
Revelstoke is heli ski heaven and home to Eagle Pass, Mica, Selkirk Tangiers and CMH Heli skiing experiences so you can choose from a day to a week or more.
You won’t regret it. Not. One. Bit.
The added extras
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Hike to Halfway Hot Springs and don’t tell anyone we sent you or we may not make it through to next year.
This local gem is found across Upper Arrow Lake via ferry then down a logging road off Highway 23 so you’ll need a friend with a snow mobile and who knows where to go. You’ll know when you’ve got there because you’ll find a hot spring with a cedar shack deep in the woods.
Other must try experiences include Peak Axe Throwing, one of the most fun legal things you can do with a sharp object and beer, The Revelstoke Trading Post for swag with style and The Revelstoke Sugar Shack for ice cream.