by: Clay King - 15th August 2011

  • 2
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 3All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 1Family Friendly
  • 1Nightlife
  • 1Terrain Park
  • Value
No crowds, good food, most reliable snow anywhere
Too hard to get to, no lodging nearby, slow lifts, terrible layout

Full review

Just so you know the perspective of the reviewer here: I love cruising down anything groomed (or untouched powder, none of that choppy stuff), and I will tackle a few blacks on every trip just to mix it up and challenge myself. For the most part, I don't want to work as hard as is required to ski ungroomed blacks. Wolf Creek is famous for its incredible snowfall. Well, I found out that you can actually have too much snow. My wife and I were here for three days in December 2008. The first day we had perfect weather, but since we ski mostly greens and blues, we pretty much saw all of the mountain that there is to see. Wolf Creek advertises 1600 feet of vertical, but that is only applicable if you're willing to hike to the expert terrain on the Alberta side of the mountain (there is no beginner terrain there). For mere mortals, the vertical is more like 600 to 800 feet, which is really pathetic compared to other modern options. This also means the runs are very short. During the second and third day that we were there, Wolf Creek received 27 inches of snow. This is not unusual for this place. The groomers could not keep up with it, and we did not have the equipment to ski it. We had to ski blacks just to get down the mountain, because the greens and blues were too flat to go anywhere. We sunk to our knees on every turn, and it was not like floating on fresh powder, it was like fighting through freshly poured cement. In these conditions, a weakness of Wolf Creek is amplified. The layout is such that there are multiple roads criss-crossing the mountain, and to get from one lift to another, you are inevitably going to end up on one of these. Getting to the Alberta lift and back was pure misery. The way there is a very flat road, and the way out is an even flatter road (there literally is no other way back to the main mountain without hiking to the expert terrain). Now I have to spend a moment on the worst, and dumbest, part of Wolf Creek. There is actually some incredible skiing on the Alberta side for experts and intermediates alike, but, as mentioned before, getting to it and back is horrible. Unfortunately, getting to the Alberta lift is even worse. For reasons unexplainable to me, Wolf Creek chose to construct this lift on top of a plateau with a 20-foot rise directly in front of it. Every run on this side of the mountain is funneled to this rise, and you absolutely will not have enough speed to cover it. You will have to walk up it. There was plenty of room to construct the lift in the basin directly in front of its current location, but instead, they built the lift at the highest point around!! I am completely at a loss here, and I would love for someone at the resort to explain the logic to me. So, to sum up: short runs, slow lifts, weak vertical, completely isolated, and not enough variety. Unless you are an expert, go somewhere else.
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