A new ride-share program that caters to skiers and snowboarders just launched for resorts across the Canadian Rockies.
The website, HitchWhistler seeks to help skiers reduce their carbon footprint by offering rides to several Alberta and inland British Columbia ski resorts.
Florent Devellennes commuted to Whistler for two weeks shortly after he moved to Vancouver in October 2010. Picking up hitchhikers en route in his car, the 24-year-old web designer and developer hatched HitchWhistler with the intent of providing a more environmentally conscious way of getting skiers and snowboarders to Whistler Blackcomb.
"After the success of HitchWhistler last year and closing the season with 1,500 members on the website, it felt that extending the network over to the interior was the next natural step,” said Devellennes.
HitchWhistler zoomed into connecting hitchers and drivers to Whistler Blackcomb last winter. Photo by Paul Morrison. Courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb.
Within two months at the beginning of last winter’s ski season, HitchWhistler attracted more than 500 members and offered more than 250 proposed trips. As of early December this winter, HitchWhistler has ballooned to more than 2,000 members.
Devellennes is hoping that Canadian Rockies skiers and snowboarders will share an equal passion for sharing transportation and combating emissions. This winter, he has branched out to develop the HitchRockies website.
“With more ski resorts in Alberta than anywhere else in Canada and seasonal fresh champagne powder five months a year, the region is a massive attraction for locals and tourists who need to get between towns, cities, and resorts,” Devellennes said. “HitchRockies is hoping to facilitate transport and connect like-minded snow lovers to organize trips up to their favorite hills."
HitchRockies can get you to the slopes at Lake Louise while reducing your carbon footprint. Photo by Andrew Schwarz. Courtesy of Lake Louise Ski Area.
So where can you go with HitchRockies? Alberta ski resorts currently on the list as destinations include Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Marmot Basin, Nakiska, and Castle Mountain. You can hook up ride-share opportunities for inland B.C. resorts such as Fernie, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Revelstoke, Red Mountain, Sun Peaks, Silver Star, and Big White. HitchRockies also works to arrange travel between the ski resorts in addition to traveling from cities or towns in the menu.
HitchRockies includes several cities of origin or destination in its menu. Currently, those include Banff, Calgary, Jasper, Edmonton, Canmore, and Red Deer in Alberta. Kelowna and Enderby in B.C. can also serve as starting points or destinations.
Like HitchWhistler, membership to HitchRockies is free. The site provides the first communication link between members, who register as hitchers or drivers. The drivers can charge for spare seats in the vehicle. Hitchers can also leave feedback on drivers with recommendations.