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Four Ways to spend an adventurous winter weekend in Golden

Posted by Jeff Bartlett on

Golden, British Columbia, has long been one of my favourite winter destinations. I call the Alberta Rockies home and every time I jump across the divide, I seem to find plenty of snow waiting in the Purcell Mountains. 

My most recent visit, in early January, gave me four days to discover new ways to spend an adventurous winter weekend in Golden.

Ski the Resort – We all know the stats. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is massive. It’s home to the 4th highest vertical drop in North America and has more than 2800 acres of terrain. It not only trademarked the promising phrase “champagne powder capital of Canada” but also regularly delivers on that promise.

Whenever I ski at Kicking Horse, I find myself surprised at the terrain. It’s all about steep fall line descents. If it’s been snowing, there is no denying that super laps provide the most skiing; walking off the gondola and skiing CPR Ridge, jumping on the chair and then diving into Fuez Bowl makes for a long run. If it hasn’t been snowing, I always opt for hiking to either Terminator 1 or Terminator 2 to get away from any potential crowds.

Fatbike the trails – Golden makes for a killer summer MTB destination. The singletrack trails in both Mountain Shadows and Moonrakers provide days worth of summer exploration, but thanks to Higher Ground Mountain Sports and a group of local cyclists, many of these trails are equally fun – and probably more challenging –throughout the winter.

We ventured out on a fatbike ride in Moonrakers and round packed trails around the Cedar Lakes were in great condition. A recent snowfall made the trails in Mountain Shadows unridable; however, they’re normally packed down and ready for some winter fat-tire fun, too.

Be warned, fatbiking is quite the workout. When climbing, I use my granny gear far more often than I’d like to admit and Strava times definitely suffer!

Cross-country skiing – I’m the first to admit that I haul fat skis to Golden in hopes of skiing pow. On this trip, I strapped on skinny skis to explore the Dawn Mountain Nordic Centre.

The nordic centre is located at the base of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and has a network of trails for classic and skate skiing. I was new to both, so opted for classic skis. It was hard work – and my downhill ski experience didn’t really help. After a few hours, I had the hang of it and could definitely explore the trails at my own pace while getting a terrific cardio workout.

Backcountry skiing - I love backcountry skiing, yet I’ve never explored the Golden Backcountry before this weekend. I joined Adrenalin Descents guide Scott Belton on a snowmobile-assisted backcountry overnight trip.

Needless to say, it was an amazing introduction to the area’s backcountry skiing potential.
Check out the details of the trip here: Behind the Scenes: Backcountry Skiing in Golden

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Jeff Bartlett's picture

Jeff Bartlett

Jeff is an adventure photographer and writer based in Jasper National Park. His biggest passions – cycling, skiing, and hiking – are synonymous with active travel, so I use my craft to tell compelling stories about mountain life and culture.

Jeff Bartlett's picture

Jeff Bartlett

Jeff is an adventure photographer and writer based in Jasper National Park. His biggest passions – cycling, skiing, and hiking – are synonymous with active travel, so I use my craft to tell compelling stories about mountain life and culture.