Don't listen to someone who says KH snow reports are false, that's bull. Why? Because... Most hills have a staff member write a snowreport in the morning based on their measurements, and are often inflated (see Sunshine Village). Kicking Horse automatically computer updates the report directly from the weather station, no inflated numbers here. They get pounded HARD... twice as much snow as Sunshine/Louise is the norm.
This year they (and whistler) have broken all snowfall records for Nov and Dec. The storm that just ended today dumped over 110cm! Usually early season (pre-christmas) means grass and slush on the lower half, and decent snow up top. This year is awesome snow everywhere.... waist-chest deep turns in the alpine... boot deep at the bottom. It's all downhill at Kicking Horse, no lame flat spots to get stuck in. A black run at most ski resorts will equal a blue run here, so be prepared.
The vertical is huge, 20 minute runs are standard. Since it's such a new hill (5-6 years old) they are still working on infruastructure and it will really come alive when they get some more lifts installed in the next few years. If you're looking for powder... mid december is usually decent (this year epic)... mid feb to mid march is usually good too. Other than that the lower half can get in rough shape. This is by far the best ski resort in the country..... when Whistler gets 100cm it's heavy and wet and settles, not to mention gets tracked fast by the bc hordes. When the Horse gets 100cm it's light and fluffy and you have untracked turns all day (or for multiple days).
Basically the story is:
- can have poor lower mountain conditions outside of powderseason
- powder season dumps are among the best in the country
- STEEP, DEEP, soft, and untamed..... you don't have to follow many trails, you can hit wide open alpine pow turns or take some epic tree lines.
The backcountry is easily accessable for great lines when it hasnt' snowed in a few days, via an easy hike off the top ridge, as long as you have the gear. You can hike to heli-skiiing drop terrain within 40 minutes. One picture (fallen in the snow) is last powder season. Other pictures (skiier and hikers) are from the last couple days... dec.14-15, 2006..