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  1. #1
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    Panorama vs. Whitewater, others?

    Spring break is coming, and I'm going resort skiing with my family. My wife is a first year skier, and just moving from groomed greens to groomed and ungroomed blues. Thanks to some travel points and other stuff, we can get two nights and two days of skiing at Panorama for pretty much no cash outlay.

    Some good powder/etc. would be nice for me, but I suspect that I'll be hand-holding my wife (to the consternation of my daughter who will be whining about not skiing fast/steep runs) and spending most of our time on moderate runs and looking for something kinda quiet.

    We are looking at moving to Castlegar (job interviews there in April) and wouldn't mind scoping out some houses, so heading there for spring break is also an option. Whitewater has some very affordable stay/ski packages, but again, I don't know much about the hill. It's reputation is for better snow than many places. It means we have to shell out cash, so the skiing needs to be much better than Panorama to justify the extra expense.

    Any opinions on these two options, or others?

  2. #2
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    If i were you white water would be a way better option. Better snow and a better small town feel at the moutain. If your looking for glossy amenities then panorama would be your thing. Whitewater definitely gets way more snwo and they do have easy runs to ski for the whole family. They just got 35cm overnight as well.

  3. #3
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    if you want to ski groomers then pano is great. Whitewater seriously pisses all over it. its lots smaller, with 2 rickety old lifts, lots of steep trees & it does actually snow there. not so many easier runs so it may or may not be what you're looking for.
    Last edited by jamesp; 03-15-2009 at 06:45 PM.

  4. #4
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    it's late in the year and the mtns. surrounding Nelson are low in elevation. It could turn to rain in the blink of an eye.

    Panorama is great for the fam. and chances of rain are slim, however chances of precip. are just as bad. The old Panorama doughnut. If you like sun then this the place to go! The views are amazing and the skiing isn't half bad if you are able to get away from the wife for a bit. Lots of stashes last for weeks as not really that many people able to ski the place out to fast. Stick with Panorama save your cash and look online for houses in Castlgar.

  5. #5
    nomensteven Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by teamdirt View Post
    it's late in the year and the mtns. surrounding Nelson are low in elevation. It could turn to rain in the blink of an eye.

    Panorama is great for the fam. and chances of rain are slim, however chances of precip. are just as bad. The old Panorama doughnut. If you like sun then this the place to go! The views are amazing and the skiing isn't half bad if you are able to get away from the wife for a bit. Lots of stashes last for weeks as not really that many people able to ski the place out to fast. Stick with Panorama save your cash and look online for houses in Castlgar.
    Whitewaters base is at 5400 feet and panorama is at 3800 feet?

  6. #6
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    base elevation? who cares- top elevation-WW 6700ft-might not cut it sitting so far south by mid March. there is a reason they close early April...

  7. #7
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    I've been rained out at Panorama and skied pow at Whitewater. That said, I would steer towards Panorama. Whitewater is a great hill for most people on this site, but I don't know about a family vacation with beginners skiers. Probably too small, not enough to do there.

    Don't get me wrong, Whitewater rocks and Nelson is a cool town, just not what I would say is a great family ski destination.

  8. #8
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    I think Whitewater may be the coolest small ski area I've ever been to.

  9. #9
    nomensteven Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by teamdirt View Post
    base elevation? who cares- top elevation-WW 6700ft-might not cut it sitting so far south by mid March. there is a reason they close early April...
    They close early April due to lack of skier visits, not due to ski conditions.
    April 26th last year at wh20:

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomensteven View Post
    They close early April due to lack of skier visits, not due to ski conditions.
    April 26th last year at wh20:
    Where at Whitewater is that?

  11. #11
    nomensteven Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by johngenx View Post
    Where at Whitewater is that?
    West Ymir Bowl

  12. #12
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    most people on this site want WW, but sounds like you want pano, Taiton bowl is fun for a few laps on the backside, lots of grooming for the rest of the family

    save WW for a trip where you are skiing more


  13. #13
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    Free is always good. You have Kimberley out of Castlegar too, boring for most but intermediates and beginners love the place. Then you do have to drive by Fernie but with warming temps it's 50/50 for rain or snow.

  14. #14
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    obviously need nekkid pics of wife to properly advise you.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdirt View Post
    base elevation? who cares- top elevation-WW 6700ft-might not cut it sitting so far south by mid March. there is a reason they close early April...
    Ditto to what Nomemsteven said, Whitewater doesn't close because of lack of snow. It closes because the only people still skiing are mostly season pass holders, who they don't make money off of. In fact back when it was a society, it was open weekends until May.

  16. #16
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    Kimberly is not 'out of Castlegar'.

    At WW we aren't known for grooming, and if it's snowing a lot there might only be a 2-4 groomers with pow on top. Our vert is pretty short. Panorama would be better for your wife unless she really wants to learn pow and you have the skis for her. Our runs tend to be on the steep side. Fernie might be a better option if you are open to other places, bigger mtn and more variety. Or try Red, since it's closer to Cgar than WW is and they have a few more groomers and more inbounds terrain.

    When is your spring break? We are getting lots of snow this week looks like, but the freezing level is creeping up towards the end of the week. Also if you are flying in Cgar, you might land somewhere else...

  17. #17
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    If you plan on staying onhill at Panorama then it is a way better choice for this trip. Your wife will be able to ski as much or as little as she wants, then hang out at the condo, hit the hot pools, or go for coffee in the village, etc. Then the rest of you can keep skiing.

    Save WW for a future trip.
    "Good girls go to heaven. Bad ones go to hell. And girls on fast bikes go anywhere they want." Elena

  18. #18
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    Panorama is a big resort with high speed lifts condos/hotels and restaurants. The skiing is what you would expect from a "resort". The family will enjoy it. It's mostly northern exposures, so what little powder they get (that isn't groomed) is well preserved, so you may even get some worthwhile skiing in too. Plus the no-cash-outlay is hard to beat.

    Whitewater is a small bowl with two old school chairs, very little in the way of amenities, but fantastic access to backcountry. And it snows. A lot. Whitewater consistently gets the best snow of the southern BC mountains. The closest town is Nelson - which is the coolest town in BC - but driving from Castlegar is doable.

    Kimberly is a long drive from Castlegar, and it sucks.

    If you're going to be in Castlegar, you could do a day at Red too (it's the closest hill). It has a mix of terrain that the whole family could enjoy, and the best lift served tree skiing in BC.

    If I had a job in Castlegar, I'd live in Rossland.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisteoff View Post
    Kimberly is a long drive from Castlegar, and it sucks.

    If you're going to be in Castlegar, you could do a day at Red too (it's the closest hill). It has a mix of terrain that the whole family could enjoy, and the best lift served tree skiing in BC.

    If I had a job in Castlegar, I'd live in Rossland.
    I'd second Red as where you should be thinking about.

  20. #20
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    I'd love to nab some out of bounds powder, but my wife has a pretty limited alpine set-up (short 153, skinny 76uf skis, no touring bindings, etc) and no avy hazard training or gear. I'd be willing to solo ski depending on the terrain. I'll probably toss my skins, probe and shovel in my pack and wear my beacon in case I find someone else slipping past the boundary if I head out there to look.

    The Nelson/Castlegar/Trail/Rossland etc. corridor is awesome. We'd pick to live in Castlegar thanks to it having the best housing values by far. We can buy a house comparable to ours now and pocket ~$200K. Rossland's real estate is pricier and most for sale need a ton of work on top of the fairly high price (especially compared to Castlegar). Castlegar also has rock climbing literally in town, can access Red and WW and backcountry in the Valhallas and Kokanee Glacier, alpine climbing in Valhalla, and on and on. As much as I love climbing and skiing the Rockies, the Slocan and areas surrounding are my dream.

    I'm not sure how I'll cope living there though, work-wise. I love my job (junior high math teacher) but with so much, so close, I might be calling a sub everyday. The school board would eventually catch on that I'm not really sick that much...

    As for spring break (the week of March 29th) I think Panorama might be it. We can get two nights on the hill and two full days skiing for the family for the grand total of ZERO cash outlay. Sure we have to eat and gas the car, but it seems too good to pass up. I have to say though, the backcountry access of both Red and WW look inviting. Without a ski partner though, might be out of the question....

  21. #21
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    Im not sure what your into but FWIW-

    Wh2o is one of my happiest places on the planet. Nelson is second to none, Ainsworth hotsprings http://www.hotnaturally.com/ , Kootney lake- home of the worlds largest Rainbow Trout. The Dancing Bear inn (HI Hostel) is super fun.

    The slackcountry is amazing, the resort is pretty fun. I really like steep untracked pow so I might be a little biased.

    Ive never been to Pano and grew up only a few hours away sooo....
    Hello darkness my old friend

  22. #22
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    Dude, do Panoramya then hop in the car and blast over to the West Kootenay for a day at Red then Whitewater. We're just starting to get some decent snow after an abysmal start to the year. It's true we could get rain anytime but we usually close while the snowpack is still growing. If you've got a mountain bike there is great riding in the area. Drop me a note before you head over for the job interview. Chances are I'll still be touring cause I think the bike trails will still be under a few feet of snow.
    You are what you eat.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    There's no such thing as bad snow, just shitty skiers.

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