Untracked Line: Island Lake Lodge, BC - Ski Mag

Untracked Line: Island Lake Lodge, BC

Just like its neighbor, Fernie, only not at all.
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Island Lake Lodge action

Max Elevation: 7,000 feet
Max Vertical Drop: 3,700 feet
Average Vertical Logged per Day: 10—15,000 feet
Prices: Range from C$1,668 for a low-season three-day trip to C$3,400 for a high-season four-day trip
Getting There: Island Lake is a few miles from Fernie, B.C. The closest airports are Cranbrook, B.C. (1.5 hours west); Kalispell, Montana (2.5 hours south); and Calgary International Airport (3.5 hours northeast). Info: 888-422-8754; islandlakelodge.com

Terrain highlights
With a perfect, 1,700-foot fall line and trees thoughtfully thinned, Little Woody is a don't-miss glade shot. Beg to be led up the 10-minute bootpack to Thirstquencher, a 3,000-foot line from open bowl to rolling knoll to tight trees.

The Lodges
With slate floors, 14-foot ceilings, and a workout room, the Cedar has the biggest (and most expensive) rooms. To be close to the action, request a small double in the Bear, where cooks concoct, guides meet, and guests slouch in leather couches by the fireplace just a few feet from the bar.

The Chow
Duck cranberry sausage and banana pancakes for breakfast. Sandwiches on lodge-baked bread for lunch. Free-range chicken in pickled pear ginger emulsion for dinner. People talk about the epic cappuccino cheesecake in Bailey's anglaise almost as much as they talk about face shots.

Must-Know
The reservation book fills up more than a year in advance. Take a chance on the less-popular early and late seasons (Dec. 14—Jan. 1 and Mar. 25—Apr. 8), when rates are lower.

Related

Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C.

Inside Line: Blackcomb, BC

With the 2010 Winter Olympics around the corner, all eyes are on Whistler Blackcomb. The masses will descend on Whistler Mountain, where the official events will take place. Which means Blackcomb will be the place to ski. Locals know that Blackcomb outperforms its better-known neighbor when it comes to off-piste terrain and jibbing. Plus, Blackcomb’s lift lines are shorter, its park and pipe bigger, and its backcountry steeper. And with the new Peak-to-Peak gondola—a record-setting 2.73-mile-long feat of engineering—now connecting the two mountains, you can easily zip over to the big W. But with Blackcomb’s terrain, why bother?

Hit hard with a strong Pacific front, Revelstoke Mountain Resort has been hammered with nearly 15 inches of snow in the past 48 hours. Recent southerly winds have left North Bowl and Greely Bowl feeling like they have even more fresh powder than that.

Inside Line: Revelstoke, BC

Following Revelstoke’s grand opening last winter, first-time visitors identified a series of problems that the resort’s developers had failed to anticipate when they created a ski destination integrating 500,000 acres of cat- and heli-skiing with North America’s longest lift-served vertical. Among the quibbles: (1) The runs are “too long.” (2) There’s “too much powder.” (3) The absence of lift lines “prevents skiers from resting between runs.” This may sound like a joke, but these are actual complaints logged by management—and they underscore the stunning enormity of Revelstoke’s terrain. Our advice: If you aren’t prepared to go huge, don’t go at all.