12 ways to delay your arrival
There’s nothing quite like your home mountain; I was beyond excited to score great conditions at my home hill along the trip. I could write pages of epicness about this North Idaho gem but I’ll leave it at this. Come take some laps on the Lakeview triple and see what got me through my angsty teenage years and birthed my ski career. Grab a beer at the Outback, rip a top to bottom groomer from the Idyl Hour T Bar, and enjoy some true ski town shenanigans in the village. Most importantly, amazingly short and quick lift lines so you can ski yourself out before the terrain gets skied out.
Had a hoot of a time at Red Mountain for Powder Week. Red Mountain is an absolute blast to ski notably its playful terrain and long descents. Do your squats and make sure you’re well rested beforehand; there some serious leg burners to be had off the Motherlode chair. It’s too hard to stop skiing here because it’s just too much fun. Don’t miss the Interior BC Après Ski scene at Rafters, the bar at the base of the hill, no better place to put a few back after a full day of exploring the terrain. You’re going to need it!
Whistler Blackcomb has a special place in my heart. I lived there for many years and cut my teeth in the local backcountry. The resort speaks for itself with some of the best and most varied terrain in North America. Crowds can be a factor so try and spend your mid-weekdays on the resort and your touring days in the surrounding backcountry. And the FOOD! Hands down the best ski town food I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. No Whistler trip is complete without a quick bite at the locals favorite, Samurai Sushi and a casual dinner at Pasta Lupino
After a freak snowstorm, we headed north on the Island to a magical little town called Tofino. A place truly unique to itself, this is hands down one of my favorite surf destinations in the world. Nothing screams Canadian surfing more than Tofino. Multiple beaches, legendary food, and some of the nicest locals I’ve come across, this is a place that is always tough to leave. Book yourself a room at the Wickaninnish Inn and get lost in the Tofino way of life. Situated in the rain forest and directly next to the beach, the Wick Inn is a place where you can truly escape to an almost dream like reality. Don’t miss some delicious local eats at Wolf in the Fog and let the Pacific Surf Co handle all your surf rental needs.
$10 lift tickets, three T bars, and some of the most welcoming locals yet on the trip… it doesn’t get much more authentic than Badger Mountain. Risen from the plains of Eastern Washington this is the epitome of a local ski gem. The double take multiple times while driving by, “Is that a ski hill?”… turns out it is… and it’s definitely worth the stop. If you have the fortune of swinging by, make sure to get the Deluxe Randy Burger Combo at the “lodge” and buckle up for the time machine that is Badger Mountain.
Hands down my favorite surf destination of any West Coast road trip. Nothing compares to the adventures and coastal environs of Pacific City. Towering sandstone cliffs, endless dunes, a beautiful beach, and fun surf in all seasons make this a very worthy spot to delay your arrival. Be sure to stay at the Headlands Coastal Lodge where you can recharge or check the surf, with your coffee, from the hot tub… it doesn’t get any better than that. Finish off the day with a beer from Pelican Brewing on the beach and delicious meal at the Meridian Restaurant and Bar.
You can feel the history of this Olympic legend as you’re approaching from Lake Tahoe. Squaw Valley has had a huge impact on skiing over the years… and on this trip I was able to figure out why. From the ridiculous terrain so easily accessible from the lift to the general stoke of the entire population on the hill, you can feel it. This place is skiing. We explored everywhere and continued to find new terrain better than previous. Oh ya, and if you get overwhelmed and need to experience some creature comforts, there’s a ski up Starbucks at mid mountain.
My childhood dream hill, I spent many a ski race in my earlier years hoping for a big enough snow to cancel the race. That mountain is insane, and I couldn’t get enough of free skiing it. I hadn’t been in years, so there was no better final destination. The weather aligned and after six weeks on the road I was able to cap off the trip with one of my favorite days. We awoke to perfect sunshine paired with 6” of snow overnight and one of the most well-rounded shred days to date ensued. Pow laps from the peak in the morning, soft snow, natural feature hit laps over lunch time, and late afternoon hot laps in the legendary Unbound Park. I couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect day of resort skiing. Legendary food, super comfy accommodations at the Sierra Nevada Resort, and a quick trip to the hot spring wrapped things up in style. It’s not a West Coast road trip without a Mammoth stop.