Kicking Horse Ski Resort

10 am Sunday. We load up the Rav4 to drive from Edmonton to Golden, BC to ski at Kicking Horse Ski Resort planning to arrive in the Lake Louise area about mid-afternoon, hopefully after the forecasted heavy snow fall has ceased and the road crews have graded the highway. We hit it almost perfectly. The highway is clear of the massive amounts of snow and the pavement is wet, not icy.

We arrive west of Golden, at the Il Nido Country Inn, at about 7 pm after stopping in Golden for supper at the Ledgendz Diner. Mid 1950’s décor with bright red upholstery, black and white checkered floor, booths, tables and a counter. Murray manages to consume a monte cristo sandwich, a bowl of mushroom soup and a chocolate milkshake, the size of which I have not seen in awhile.  I enjoy a “Just a Burger” hamburger and fries. YUM!

The Il Nido is tucked away above the main highway out of Golden. It is a large log cabin building with 2 small kitchenette suites and 2 bedrooms in the main area of the building. We are in the Eagle Suite and it is cozy and warm. The view from the window where I sit is generally north and the mountains are covered in a dusting of snow from the last few days.

Kelly, the huge teenage Chesapeake Bay Retriever, came to greet us as we arrived and is as big as me, so naturally he made me just a little bit nervous. Hate to end up on the wet snowy ground being licked silly by a big brown goofball.

Vie from the Golden Eagle Express Gondola

View from the Golden Eagle Express Gondola

10 am Monday. We are standing atop the mountain at Eagle’s Eye at Kicking Horse Ski Resort. It has snowed 22 cm in the last 12 hours. My first try at powder. We start our ski down on a groomed run and then Murray takes us to a run with deep powder. He says “Just ski like you normally do. You’ll do fine.”

Two turns, I am sitting back, PHOOMP! Down I go. Swim in the snow, get up. Three turns, weight is all wrong, AHHH!, PHOOMP! Down I go. This time my skis are uphill from my body. Swim in the snow, get up. Five turns, SHIT! PHOOMP! Down I go. Four turns. PHOOMP! Down I go.…..This is going well.

We manage to get me all the way down the hill to the base of the gondola. I am sweating profusely (not good) and extremely tired (also not good) after just one run. We agree I need a rest, so Murray rides the gondola by himself for a solo run and I sit in the sun at a picnic table.

When he returns we ride the Catamount Chair and ski green runs down to the base. MUCH BETTER! The snow isn’t as deep and I can maneuver through it. No wipeouts.

Kicking Horse Ski Resort

View down the valley

The views from the gondola and ski hill are of the valley that stretches east and west. It is a bowl shaped valley created by a receding glacier. The clouds are hanging about mid mountain this morning and it was cool to ride the gondola through the clouds and out the top.

Lunch is a welcome break and we then we ride up the gondola to Eagle Nest again. WOW, this time, skiing through pretty much the same terrain I do not wipe out once. WHO HOO! Progress!! By the bottom, my knee is talking to me so I sit at the picnic table again while Mur has another run by himself. I watch other skiers ski down the last pitch and some are good and some are not. I wonder how I actually look compared to others.  Murray skies down and I marvel at how smooth he looks. (I do have to keep telling myself that he has skied for 45 years and I have skied for what? 4.5 months!)

Kicking Horse Ski Resort

Waiting for Murray at the bottom of the hill

We toddle off to the vehicle and our ski day is done. PHEW!

Supper at Whitetooth Bistro. Dark red walls, black tables and chairs. Local artist’s photography and paintings adorn the walls. Murray samples the gnocchi with creamy pesto and red peppers. I try the miso salmon with rice and broccolini. Both are flavorful.  Total bill about $50. Would recommend it.

10 am Tuesday. We are riding up the Catamount Chair to ski green runs. Groomed runs are the plan for today so I can work on technique, plus overnight the nice powder will have set up to form icy ridges and a bumpy ride. Murray has his telemark skis for today.

I have a good day skiing, lots of green runs and a handful of blue runs from one trip to the mountain top. We discover that Kicking Horse is well suited for real beginner and advanced skiers, but it does lack terrain for a real intermediate skier. Many of the intermediate (blue) runs are leaning towards advanced more than intermediate.

We eat lunch both days at the lodge at the bottom of the hill. A slice of pizza, burger (no bun), fries and 2 drinks cost about $25. The other choice for food is the Eagle Eye Restaurant at the top of the mountain but a quick check shows that lunch for 2 would be about $50. Too pricey for us for lunch.

A good two days skiing at Kicking Horse. Powder. Groomed runs.  Too many wipeouts. Sunny skies. Warm temperatures. Lots of turns.

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