Thinking about jetting off to Canmore/ Banff, or somewhere similar. Advice Please- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Smile Thinking about jetting off to Canmore/ Banff, or somewhere similar. Advice Please

    Hey all, I'm in Ireland at the moment and I'd like to see what Canada has to offer me for a while on a year long working visa. I've chosen the western side and narrowed it down to a few places, Canmore/ Banff, Whistler, and Kicking Horse are where I am thinking of. I would like to be in a town that is very enthusiastic about fitness and staying active, as I thrive on that! I race endurance mountain bike races, 12 and 24 hour solo. Somewhere with cross country skiing in the winter would be ideal I think.

    Without going into a full resume I think I'm pretty employable. I have worked in an outdoor retail store, a night club, along with several other small retail and catering jobs. I am a certified emergency first responder (EFR), soon to hopefully be an emergency medical technician (EMT). I am also a qualified alpine skiing instructor and sailling instructor, and I have experience teaching skiing. I know a lot about most outdoor sports, they are my main passion.

    Well it would be great if I could find out some more from some locals here to help with logistics. For example, when is the best job window in these mountain resorts if I was to try and secure a job over there? Does anyone know much about accommodation, and how easy it is to get rented accommodation at a reasonable price? I would also like to be somewhere I could use a road bike and/or mountain bike fairly easily.

    I hope to hear from people here and maybe even gain some contacts to hook up with for a ride if I arrive over there .

    Thanks for your time.
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  2. #2
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    You want to start with a look through the Immigration Canada website about temporary working permits.

    http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/index.asp

    The EMT and Paramedic training might not be completely transferable without courses and certification in Canada.

    You could expand the areas to include other BC locations like Nelson, Rossland, Vernon (Silverstar) and Squamish. Whistler is still quite expensive to live as a worker, and accommodation is still sparse.

    Banff is quite expensive, Canmore is a bit more affordable. It was looking pretty quiet when I was there mid-summer this year, so there's likely more accommodation available than there was during the peak oil money boom a few years ago.

    You're likely starting just about the right time for summer 2011 employment inquiries in most areas.
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    Ye i'm pretty sure the EMT wouldn't be completely transferable. However I was hoping to work up to doing something like mountain rescue at a ski resort, I'm not sure how I would go about that at the moment though. I would be happy with any kind of retail job to start off with. We have a temporary work programme similar to that over here for Canada, thanks.
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    Based on your list, Jasper may also be a place of interest to you. Based on your past work experience it sounds like you shouldn't have any problems finding work.
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    Except for language, you'd also fit right into the lifestyle at Mont Sainte Anne near Quebec City, Quebec has a much more ingrained bike riding culture, and that area around MSA and Beaupre seems to fully embrace outdoor life and recreation.
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  6. #6
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    Ye, my French isn't very good though.
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    Invermere BC is cheaper to live than Canmore or Whistler. There's a bike shop in town called Rob's bike shop. I'm sure if you called up Rob he could tell you the race schedule for the area. Panorama has a great bike park. Do the research it's worth it.

    If you want to live in one of the towns you mentioned I would pick Golden. Kicking Horse is about 15 km from Golden. It's the most affordable and the people there are the coolest.

    Next would be Whistler. Whistler has the biggest MTB community but bring money. Nobody comes to Whistler broke any more. I didn't notice a shortage of affordable housing like Rocky but I was just reading ads in Pique this summer not actually renting a place. Look on Craigslist.ca and Pique.com(a free village rag) for a place to stay. One more thing XC takes on new meaning in Whistler Valley. You should at least ride the valley, Pemberton and Squamish if you get to Canada.

    Canmore's good but everybody keeps the good riding spots to themselves. You can't live in Banff unless you work for the park or the town.
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    Anyone can live in Banff, you just can't buy a house unless you have a reason to be there.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by homeless junkie
    Invermere BC is cheaper to live than Canmore or Whistler. There's a bike shop in town called Rob's bike shop. I'm sure if you called up Rob he could tell you the race schedule for the area. Panorama has a great bike park. Do the research it's worth it.

    If you want to live in one of the towns you mentioned I would pick Golden. Kicking Horse is about 15 km from Golden. It's the most affordable and the people there are the coolest.

    Next would be Whistler. Whistler has the biggest MTB community but bring money. Nobody comes to Whistler broke any more. I didn't notice a shortage of affordable housing like Rocky but I was just reading ads in Pique this summer not actually renting a place. Look on Craigslist.ca and Pique.com(a free village rag) for a place to stay. One more thing XC takes on new meaning in Whistler Valley. You should at least ride the valley, Pemberton and Squamish if you get to Canada.

    Canmore's good but everybody keeps the good riding spots to themselves. You can't live in Banff unless you work for the park or the town.
    I lived in the Radium Hot Springs for 3 years - it just isn't the same as Banff, Canmore or Jasper. If I had my choice between those 4, Invermere would be the last choice. Obviously this is my own personal opinion, but there just isn't as much going on in the Windermere Valley as the other places.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lane
    Anyone can live in Banff, you just can't buy a house unless you have a reason to be there.
    actually it is the other way.

    anyone can buy, but you need to have "a need to reside" so no job = can't live. anyone can buy and rent the place out as an investment. few other loop holes for students, retirement, helping family with care, etc. the goal is to prevent 2nd, 3rd, etc home ownership, that sit un-used most of the year.


    Also banff is usually cheaper then canmore for rent. slums/cheap options in both, but canmore has a much higher top end. (see need to reside above) so the average price is less in banff
    good ski/bike deals at www.mntlion.com

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    Hi,
    I'm a Kiwi who was living in London at the start of the year. I came to Canmore for five weeks' vacation in Jan/Feb & upon returning to London quickly realised that I wanted to get back to Canmore for a year of riding & skiing.

    I was told that May & October were good times to come over as they are just before the respective summer & winter seasons. I live in Canmore as I prefer it to Banff (which is more of a touristy & party town; also Banff is in the national park so trail-building is a little more restricted, although things are improving) & it is close to good riding. I pay $420 a month for a room & utilities in a shared townhouse right in the center of town. When I was looking there were plenty of rooms to rent at reasonable prices. For the first few months I was working for a temping agency & there was plenty of work - low paid, but more than enough to feed & house me & finance bike trips & parts.

    I'm more of a recreational all-mountain rider, so I can't tell you much about the race scene. I did get a last minute call up to the annual 24hr race in town at the Nordic Center, which was good fun. The Nordic Center is great facility for summer XC racing & a world class XC skiing facility (built for the Calgary Olympics). There are four good rides of about 1-2 hours length within ten-fifteen minutes' ride from my front door, these are great for those long summer evenings after work. Down in Kananaskis Country (~15-90 minute drive) there are multitudes of epic back-country rides that I thoroughly enjoyed. My musings from May onward may give you more information of what it's been like for me moving to Canmore this year.

    Hope that helps, any more questions - don't hesitate.

    BP

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    Quote Originally Posted by gord962
    I lived in the Radium Hot Springs for 3 years - it just isn't the same as Banff, Canmore or Jasper. If I had my choice between those 4, Invermere would be the last choice. Obviously this is my own personal opinion, but there just isn't as much going on in the Windermere Valley as the other places.
    OMG it's funny you mention RHS! I stay at a friend's 2nd home in Big Horn Meadows every winter. That place is so boring. I hate making the drive to Panaroma and Kicking Horse but it's so quiet and I love doing nothing for hours in Higher Ground.

    I figured D was young and didn't have alot of coin so I was trying to think of somewhere cheap that has a decent MTB scene.... but I know what you mean.

    If money is no object I would pick Whistler. I have a place in the upper village.
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  13. #13
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    Check out Fernie too, tons of trail/xc biking - more than Canmore/Banff/Jasper/Invermere etc (lots of prominent XC racers have retired here), good sized ski hill 5 minutes from town, XC skiing is okay (not great though), awesome snowshoeing, reasonable rents if you show up in the summer and hang onto the place through winter.
    There aren't many races held here other than the Trans Rockies, but there is a large community of 24 hour racers that hit lots of events in Canada and the US that I'm sure are up for car-pooling

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpheasant
    Hi,
    I'm a Kiwi who was living in London at the start of the year. I came to Canmore for five weeks' vacation in Jan/Feb & upon returning to London quickly realised that I wanted to get back to Canmore for a year of riding & skiing.

    I was told that May & October were good times to come over as they are just before the respective summer & winter seasons. I live in Canmore as I prefer it to Banff (which is more of a touristy & party town; also Banff is in the national park so trail-building is a little more restricted, although things are improving) & it is close to good riding. I pay $420 a month for a room & utilities in a shared townhouse right in the center of town. When I was looking there were plenty of rooms to rent at reasonable prices. For the first few months I was working for a temping agency & there was plenty of work - low paid, but more than enough to feed & house me & finance bike trips & parts.

    I'm more of a recreational all-mountain rider, so I can't tell you much about the race scene. I did get a last minute call up to the annual 24hr race in town at the Nordic Center, which was good fun. The Nordic Center is great facility for summer XC racing & a world class XC skiing facility (built for the Calgary Olympics). There are four good rides of about 1-2 hours length within ten-fifteen minutes' ride from my front door, these are great for those long summer evenings after work. Down in Kananaskis Country (~15-90 minute drive) there are multitudes of epic back-country rides that I thoroughly enjoyed. My musings from May onward may give you more information of what it's been like for me moving to Canmore this year.

    Hope that helps, any more questions - don't hesitate.

    BP
    How easy did you find it to get a job when you went over there in May? Were you looking for anything specific or just any kind of work? What are your skills?

    I see you were in south Wales for a while, i know the trails there well from when i was in uni. Afan Argoed is quite fun for a play around! You need to get to the natural stuff around Builth Wells further in if you're there again though.. no Araf! signs ha ha.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinS
    Check out Fernie too, tons of trail/xc biking - more than Canmore/Banff/Jasper/Invermere etc (lots of prominent XC racers have retired here), good sized ski hill 5 minutes from town, XC skiing is okay (not great though), awesome snowshoeing, reasonable rents if you show up in the summer and hang onto the place through winter.
    There aren't many races held here other than the Trans Rockies, but there is a large community of 24 hour racers that hit lots of events in Canada and the US that I'm sure are up for car-pooling
    The Furious 3 will be another XC race added to Fernie for 2011. Unforunately it is sold out but I heard that they recently released an additional 100 spots and there may be potential to add some more. There is a waitlist which is first come/first serve.
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    True, forgot about that one - kind of entertaining when someone from out of town sets up a race in your town without first talking to the local trail builders club...
    It is of course sorted out now, but it sure caught the local community off guard.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride!
    I would like to be in a town that is very enthusiastic about fitness and staying active, as I thrive on that! I race endurance mountain bike races, 12 and 24 hour solo. Somewhere with cross country skiing in the winter would be ideal I think.
    .
    Canmore is the perfect place for you. Rental accomodation is very reasonably priced, as well. You will find every possible summer and winter activity there, including the best nordic ski facility in Canada, and access to thousands of kilometers of amazing mountain biking. Lots of employment opportunities there as well.

    Don't waste any time considering Invermere or Golden/Kicking Horse. Their both a boring waste of time.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  18. #18
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    Well i just paid for a Canada visa today, so i'm definately off there!

    I think the best plan is to go into Vancouver and branch out from there, see what luck i have.

    See all you mo fo's out on the trail..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride!
    Well i just paid for a Canada visa today, so i'm definately off there!

    I think the best plan is to go into Vancouver and branch out from there, see what luck i have.

    See all you mo fo's out on the trail..
    Make sure you bring your rain gear if you're going to Vancouver. It's like being in the U.K.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentP
    Canmore is the perfect place for you.

    Don't waste any time considering Invermere or Golden/Kicking Horse. Their both a boring waste of time.
    Really?? I saw Kicking Horse on ride guide TV and it looked really amazing. The harshness of the terrain up the top and the views from the restaurant.

    I didn't quite know where Canmore was until i looked at a map, it's miles away from Vancouver which i'll probably be flying into.

    Everyone says you need to go to Whistler, i just hope it doesn't feel too busy, overpriced and touristy like a lot of those kind of places (good to visit but not to live).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride!
    Everyone says you need to go to Whistler, i just hope it doesn't feel too busy, overpriced and touristy like a lot of those kind of places (good to visit but not to live).
    Welllll..... it is definitely a resort town so there are days where it feels like a Disney construct in the Village. And it can be crowded and busy. And it is definitely expensive. But you have to go through Squamish to get to Whistler, so that's the nearest place with the small community feel and the laid back vibe focused on outdoor recreation.

    If you wanted to tour the communities with a some riding action, you could plan a road trip through Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, Lillooet to Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Revelstoke, Golden, Banff and Canmore. Then on the way back drive south on hwy 40 through Kananaskis Country south to Hwy 22, then west on Hwy 3/95 back through Fernie, Cranbrook, Nelson & Rossland, up to Kelowna & Vernon (ferry ride across a lake on Hwy 6), west through Merritt and then you can return through Lillooet and Whistler. That hits most of the major recreation areas in southern BC.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride!
    Really?? I saw Kicking Horse on ride guide TV and it looked really amazing. The harshness of the terrain up the top and the views from the restaurant.

    I didn't quite know where Canmore was until i looked at a map, it's miles away from Vancouver which i'll probably be flying into.

    Everyone says you need to go to Whistler, i just hope it doesn't feel too busy, overpriced and touristy like a lot of those kind of places (good to visit but not to live).
    Kicking Horse is fine for a few days, but it's a "one trick pony" that's limited in its scope, and if you're coming here for a year there are far better places to put down stakes.

    Whistler is exactly what you described. It's a glitzy, manufactured, tourist Disneyland.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, based on what you said you're looking for, Canmore is the perfect place for you. World class mountain biking, with unlimited options in the region. The national championships were held at the Canmore Nordic Centre last year, and are being held there again this year (there's a reason for that... it's the best XC riding facility in the country). Beyond that, there are thousands of km's of exceptional trails surrounding the town.

    During the winter, not only do you have world class Nordic Skiing (World Cups and national championships are commonplace at the Canmore Nordic Centre) but you have exceptional alpine skiing nearby. Lake Louise is Canada's largest Rocky Mountain resort and hosts the opening men's and women's World Cup Downhill and Super-G events every season, and Sunshine Village has Canada's longest season (90% of runs are still open in late May). In the opposite direction (towards Calgary) is Nakiska, host of the alpine events of the '88 Olympic Winter Games.

    I'm surprised you don't know more about Canmore, as it (and it's sister town of Banff) is a mecca for people from the U.K., many of whom buy second homes there for visiting year round (daily direct flights to Calgary from various cities in the U.K. and a one hour drive from the airport to Canmore). Canmore is a 'real' town, not a place that was created to be a tourist destination, and, as such, has a completely different vibe to it from somewhere like Whistler. People move there permanently to take advantage of the lifestyle. Some even commute to work in Calgary (50 minutes away) which is Canada's second largest business centre (after Toronto), so your employment options are really limitless in the region. For me, it used to be the opposite for a few years; I lived in Calgary but worked for a company in Canmore.

    This promo video for a real estate project on the edge of Canmore was shot entirely around Canmore, with a few shots from Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise, and gives you an idea of the beauty and recreational opportunities there. The closing shot of the hikers on top of a peak is a popular hike/scramble (Ha Ling peak) that looks down over the town and Nordic Centre.

    <iframe title="YouTube video player" class="youtube-player" type="text/html" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/waMsP5QMH8c" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen></iframe>
    Last edited by BrentP; 01-21-2011 at 09:06 AM.
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    ...and of course, the other big shock anyone from Europe and the UK have when in Canada.... EVERYTHING is miles away from anywhere else. It's a 10 or 11 hour drive from Vancouver to Canmore if it's done by the shortest route. It's about 900km travel distance and only 580km as the crow flies. There's places where you can drive for hours and rarely see a human habitation (but lots of campers and motorhomes on the highway in the summer).
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    ...and of course, the other big shock anyone from Europe and the UK have when in Canada.... EVERYTHING is miles away from anywhere else. It's a 10 or 11 hour drive from Vancouver to Canmore if it's done by the shortest route. It's about 900km travel distance and only 580km as the crow flies. There's places where you can drive for hours and rarely see a human habitation (but lots of campers and motorhomes on the highway in the summer).
    Yeah.... but it looks really close on a map. LOLOL

    I was having lunch in Canmore with a couple of people from the U.K., once, who said they wanted to drive to Kicking Horse that day for a half-day of skiing. I laughed and told them the mountain would be closed by the time they arrived. Their comment was, "But it looks so close on the map."
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    .

    If you wanted to tour the communities with a some riding action, you could plan a road trip through Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, Lillooet to Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Revelstoke, Golden, Banff and Canmore. Then on the way back drive south on hwy 40 through Kananaskis Country south to Hwy 22, then west on Hwy 3/95 back through Fernie, Cranbrook, Nelson & Rossland, up to Kelowna & Vernon (ferry ride across a lake on Hwy 6), west through Merritt and then you can return through Lillooet and Whistler. That hits most of the major recreation areas in southern BC.
    Thanks that looks like a good route i'll have to hit up some time .
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentP
    Make sure you bring your rain gear if you're going to Vancouver. It's like being in the U.K.
    I have a feeling you have proper seasons over there though, right? Sometimes it seems to rain for the whole summer here over here, then we might have an Indian summer later on in the year.
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    Vancouver has the rainy season and a couple of months of mostly dry weather.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    Vancouver has the rainy season and a couple of months of mostly dry weather.
    I think what you really meant to say is that Vancouver has two seasons.... rain and fog.

    But all kidding aside, there actually are a couple of days where sunglasses can be used
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride!
    I have a feeling you have proper seasons over there though, right? Sometimes it seems to rain for the whole summer here over here, then we might have an Indian summer later on in the year.
    Yes, in Alberta (the Rockies) we have four distinct seasons. The summers tend to be very dry (almost a desert climate), with the exception of last year which was the wettest in the 20 years I've been here. It's all relative, though. Wet here means you get a couple of days of rain a week (usually June), and that more often than not means one or two hours of rain after which the clouds break up and the sun comes back. My least favorite is spring because it's so changeable, and every time you think you can put the cool-weather gear away for the season, mother nature smacks you on the back of the head with six inches of snow when you were in shorts and flip-flops the day before. Summers and autumn are great for riding, as it doesn't get unbearably hot, and the low humidity makes high intensity outdoor pursuits much more enjoyable (soaked with sweat one minute, dry the next).

    The stats are that the Calgary/Canmore region has the highest number of sunny days in Canada, with the sun shining on average 330 days per year (scattered cloud days included). There's actually some good info about Canmore on Wikipedia. The one thing I disagree with, though, is the blanket statement that it is difficult to find affordable housing. Rental accommodation is actually very reasonable for what you get (very high quality housing for about 25-30% less than in the city). It's not very affordable, however, if you're looking to purchase a home, although things are a bit better than what they were three years ago.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

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    Unless it's been a deluge, well kind of like right now, the weather on the Coast is generally always riding weather. Most of the trails and terrain have accomodated reasonable drainage and remain rideable.
    We may be UK-ish through the fall & winter seasons but summers are often drought like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentP
    I think what you really meant to say is that Vancouver has two seasons.... rain and fog.

    But all kidding aside, there actually are a couple of days where sunglasses can be used
    The rain and fog is myth we've created to limit invasive tourism... it works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    If you wanted to tour the communities with a some riding action, you could plan a road trip through Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, Lillooet to Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Revelstoke, Golden, Banff and Canmore. Then on the way back drive south on hwy 40 through Kananaskis Country south to Hwy 22, then west on Hwy 3/95 back through Fernie, Cranbrook, Nelson & Rossland, up to Kelowna & Vernon (ferry ride across a lake on Hwy 6), west through Merritt and then you can return through Lillooet and Whistler. That hits most of the major recreation areas in southern BC.
    That's darn near the trip of a lifetime if you managed it right, did your homework with regard to trail access and accomodations.
    You could probably contact local clubs, etc. in each locale and arrange your time around that.
    By the way, can I join you?

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    The trip of a lifetime that the BC'ers could do every summer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    The trip of a lifetime that the BC'ers could do every summer.
    I bet if you endeavoured to ride everything known to man in these areas, one summer wouldn't cut it.

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    Summer lasts a long time out here... longer than my legs/lungs would trying that. You could make that road trip loop every summer and pick one new trail in each area to ride every year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    Summer lasts a long time out here... longer than my legs/lungs would trying that. You could make that road trip loop every summer and pick one new trail in each area to ride every year.
    ..... and at the end of your lifetime you have still only scratched the surface.

    This truly is "God's country".
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    Summer lasts a long time out here...



    2 weeks if you are lucky

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    That's the advantage of that extra 900km drive to the west.
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    Limited?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrentP View Post
    Kicking Horse is fine for a few days, but it's a "one trick pony" that's limited in its scope, and if you're coming here for a year there are far better places to put down stakes.
    Perhaps, but Golden isn't just KH eh?.. We have the Moonraker XC trails, Mt 7 DH and the Mt Shadows area too, all being developed and expanded year on year by an enthusiastic local club.. If anything's limited it's your perception of an awesome place..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Board View Post
    Perhaps, but Golden isn't just KH eh?.. We have the Moonraker XC trails, Mt 7 DH and the Mt Shadows area too, all being developed and expanded year on year by an enthusiastic local club.. If anything's limited it's your perception of an awesome place..
    Ive been applying for jobs all over BC and AB now. Even kicking horse. I don't really mind where i am, as long as I'm in the mountains, or not too far away from a decent ski or bike area.

    Some resorts like Powder King look like they could be miles away from anywhere. Of course that doesn't matter too much once you develope you own life based around the ski resort and forget about the rest of the world .

    Does anyone know which city has more ski and bike areas close by, Calgary or Vancouver?
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    Well, for a start, Calgary's not 'in' the mountains.. They're an hour away on the horizon.. Lots of good riding in the Bragg Creek area though 1/2 hour out from south/west Calgary.. Calgary's WAY less of a city than Vancouver, more a big town, easy to get out of, etc.. Nearby ski areas range from Olympic Park (ha ha) - edge of town, Norquay, Sunshine (but we don't go there) to Lake Louise 1.75 hours drive.
    Van is on the edge of the North Shore range but again, not 'in' the mountains.. Don't know anything about local XC riding there. Plenty of DH on the North Shore.. Ski areas - local = Grouse Mt, Cypress, etc then Whistler an hour away and Mt Baker just across the border in the US..
    Personally, I'd do what I did and head for a small town like Golden or Nelson and get local.. Nelson and it's ski hill Whitewater are awesome - really laid back, friendly, local scenes.. the only down is that you're a long way from anywhere.. Golden is just 2.5 hours from Calgary.. It's way smaller than Nelson and pretty quiet but isn't called Canada's G-spot for nothing.. If you're into outdoor sport, it's got it all from XC skiing to skydiving.. and much of that is some of the best in the world..
    Both places have awesome alternative ski areas nearby (within an hour) and amazing back-country opportunities..
    Top tip = get over here and then look for a job. Canadians like dealing face to face.. I did the same, emailing people all over and got nowhere.. When I was here and could meet people personally I got somewhere..
    Good luck man

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    Calgary has population around 1 million these days, they reached that milestone back before the economy fell of the rails, that's a good sized town. City of Vancouver proper only has a population around 450,000, but the Lower Mainland (Metro Vancouver) is around 2.5 million from Chiliwack to Richmond.

    North Vancouver

    Thinking about jetting off to Canmore/ Banff, or somewhere similar. Advice Please-2011van-webcam-1.jpg

    Canmore from the Nordic Centre

    Thinking about jetting off to Canmore/ Banff, or somewhere similar. Advice Please-nats-049.jpg

    Vancouver isn't in the mountains, but North Vancouver clings tenaciously to the side of the north shore mountains. We have as much mountain sticking up above the ground as Canmore does, the top of the local peaks are 1300-1400m above sea level, in Canmore the base is at 1300m-1400m and the tops are up above the tree line so roughly 2500m-2700m elevation.

    There's XC on the North Shore, but it's limited in length, you have to link separate pieces together for very long rides. It makes up for distance in challenge.

    Thinking about jetting off to Canmore/ Banff, or somewhere similar. Advice Please-2011_0821new0012.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Board View Post
    Top tip = get over here and then look for a job. Canadians like dealing face to face.. I did the same, emailing people all over and got nowhere.. When I was here and could meet people personally I got somewhere..
    Good luck man
    The thing is, i won't be heading out until mid October, that's the earliest I'll have my visa by, I'm also conscious that a lot of company's will have already recruited for the 2011-12 season by then. I don't want to be travelling around like a maniac from Calgary all the way up to north BC for example looking for wok, so just trying to get an interview sorted before i head out, even just build up a few contacts to see what the story is.

    I don't mind being outside the mountains in a big city, but the community vibe is always nice in the resorts so would be easier to get to know people etc I think.
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    Good pics thanks. I really want to see the Nordic centre, and Whistler. Both miles apart though I know!
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    The North Shore has three ski hills, Cypress Mtn, Grouse Mtn and Mount Seymour, so I suppose that Metro Vancouver beats Calgary for proximity of nearby ski hills. They're about 20 minutes apart on the road.

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    Ya, Calgary is 1m but my point is that getting around is easy and quick and so it feels more like a large town compared to the Van metro sprawl..

    Note that most ski hills aren't 'resorts' like in Europe.. They're usually close to a working town where most people, visitors and staff stay/live and only have limited, if any, short-stay accommodation and private homes on the hill itself.. Whistler is an obvious exception..

    I rent rooms to people in the winter and a Kiwi dude I had last year arrived jobless in early Nov and had picked up an evening dishwashing job within days.. His girlfriend didn't get anything for a while, mainly because she was too picky, but a lot of places put her off for interviews for waitressing because they STILL hadn't thought about their winter requirements yet.. Staff are always getting homesick/injured/fired throughout the season so new openings can appear anytime.. and if you rent a room from a local they've often got contacts to help get you work..

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    Note that most ski hills aren't 'resorts' like in Europe.. They're usually close to a working town where most people, visitors and staff stay/live and only have limited, if any, short-stay accommodation and private homes on the hill itself.. Whistler is an obvious exception
    So are there many other places that are built up like a resort? Ive only ever been skiing in european resorts, which it sounds like you're familiar with?

    Hopefully i won't have a lot of trouble getting accommodation that i can use a turbo trainer in. I guess shared rooms are out of the question then .
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    No, not to the same extent as Whistler, France, Switzerland, etc.. A lot of the small hills now have a small development of accommodation but nothing major.. Think Chamonix - a town down in the valley and a ski area above.. Yup, I'm English but living in Golden and Calgary now.. For example, there's a picture of the base at KHMR on helloBC website under Glacier Lodge in accommodation.. (can't post links yet for some dumb reason) There's one more similar sized lodge, 2 bars, one restaurant and everything else is private homes.. Private home owners stay in their homes and the 'resort' is pretty much dead by 7 or 8.

    I wouldn't imagine that being a problem. I've not heard of anyone sharing but rent is pretty cheap anyway.. I charge $550 a month for a room for one, all in inc use of a hot tub..

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    Maybe Pila in Italy is a good comparison then? The ski resort is about a 15 minute Gondola ride up the mountains, where a few people stay.. not much of a town though, a few restaurants, ski hire shop, some hotels and blocks of flats. Most people stay down in Aosta, nice lived in town, feels like a ski resort in the evenings if you go to one of bars all the other ski instructors hang out in.
    I'd like somewhere with a bit of action, but i don't really want to be in an area full of piss-heads either, (not that theres much chance of that in Canada I think).

    I'd like to have the option of going to a lively bar after eight though and not being somewhere totally dead.
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    Not been but sounds similar.. though most hills are a drive away.. KH is 18k's from Golden, Whitewater similar from Nelson, etc..

    Well you prob wanna be somewhere livelier than Golden then.. pretty quiet most weekday nights.. Sounds like Nelson/Whitewater would be right up your street.. Canmore is a super-fit town but a way from Sunshine and Lake Louise neither of which are particularly great hills, Whistler and Banff are party towns = full of piss-heads..

    Whitewater is a small but AWESOME hill and Nelson is as close to an English town as I've found in BC..

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    Don't forget to check out Fernie, ski hill is very close to town (under 10 minutes), lots of snow (avg 29 feet), only 2 1/2 hrs from Calgary...

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    Ya Fernie's ok.. but you forgot to mention that it often rains at the base of the ski hill.

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    "Often" is relative, there has been entire seasons without any rain until spring, usually it only happens 4 or 5 times and when it does go up to the top (even higher with the new chair this year). Some years it can be wet, others not so bad. I've been rained out twice in Nelson and only been there 3 times, been rained on at Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, Marmot, Powder King and Whistler too. It's one of the risks of being in the mountains.

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    Man, you've been unlucky!.. Ya it happens all over occasionally but come on, Fernie is known for it.. as is Whistler.. Often IS relative - compared to other BC resorts it OFTEN rains at base.. I've been to Fernie twice & Whistler 'thrice', rained on once at each and it had rained to the TOP recently at Fernie one time so there was a sheet of ice under the fresh pow we got.. Been to Whitewater 3 times and been puked on every time.. As for KH, I've ridden 2 full seasons and a winter and been rained on twice..
    Last edited by Chip Board; 08-23-2011 at 05:11 AM.

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    I have been boarding for 26 years, and a good 10 of those were 60+ day years, and skiing for 10 years before that. Not that unlucky.

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