We have an amazing playground here at Vagabond Lodge. This area is where heliskiing started and is still a big part of the tourism industry in our area. A lot of the terrain we ski on here at Kicking Horse used to be heliskiing terrain. The first time I heliskied was one some runs that now are part of Kicking Horse.
We have two companies that operate close by. CMH is the big one with operations scattered all through this area. Great Canadian is another one that is about a 45 minute drive away.
Regular guests from Switzerland MIscha and Andy just got back from Great Canadian and they said it was outstanding, despite not having the best snowpack this year.
They supplied this video from a few days ago and it looks pretty sweet.
If this is on your bucket list, check out both these operations or give us a call and we can set you up.
Hard to believe it took almost to the end of January for our first hike to T2 at Kicking Horse Resort. Usually at this time of the year we have been going daily for the past month. The resort opened T2 a couple days ago and along with friend Patrick we had to do it for no other reason then to find out whether or not we could still do it.
I must admit, it seemed a lot harder. But I will blame it on the condition of the hike. Since it was the first day, the trail wasn't packed down very well. It is easy to step off the path and down you go into wait-deep snow. The ski down was not that pretty as the knees were sore already. We need to do this a few more time for sure.
The weather has changed for the worse for the next few days with warm temperatures and rain. It looks like next week the temperatures are due to drop and snow, instead of rain. But it is what it is.
Despite all the story lines I have been seeing on the internet in the past month regarding lack of snow at resorts in Canada, the best skiing starts now.
That is usually the case and this is our 21st winter at Kicking Horse Resort. Sure sometimes you get a great early snowfall which is nice over Christmas but historically it seems it is combined with really cold temperatures. I normally don't get serious about skiing until now and now we have some nice snow.
Over the past couple days Kicking Horse has received about 30cm of champagne powder. And that is what it is. So light and fluffy you don't even know it's under foot.
There are still a lot of small shrubs sticking up on the lower slopes you need to pick your way around. No question Kicking Horse needs to do a better job of their summer grooming. A lot of those runs could be used by now. Hopefully this year is an eye opener for next year. There is no guarantee of a lot of early snow and this year is an indiction of that.
But still some great skiing now and looking forward to start doing some hiking up to T1 and T2 soon. Short video is from this morning at Vagabond Lodge.
Talk about extremes. A few days ago we went to Emerald Lake in Yoho National park with some friends for a nice walk around the lake and enjoy the fall. Gorgeous day.
A couple days later we got slammed with one of the larger snowfalls we have experienced this time of year in the 20 years we have been here.
We got about 30 cms of snow overnight and now it looks definitely like winter.
Already there are some who are cross country skiing at the Nordic centre which is just down the road from Vagabond. This is a little early to say it is winter and I am sure we will have some warmer weather. This morning it was about -8C and it is supposed to stay pretty cool for the next few days and then warm up. I suspect most of the snow around the lodge will disappear but it is a good for the upper part of Kicking Horse Resort as that will set up nicely for the upcoming winter.
Kicking Horse is scheduled to open on December 8 and if the conditions are good it usually opens up a week earlier for a preview weekend.
We have some strong bookings for the winter already and already full on a lot of dates. If you are interested in joining us, phone or email us directly. Video is from yesterday morning October 24th.
Our 19th summer for Vagabond is behind us. Except for some smokey days off and on, it was a good one with some great guests from around the world. We didn’t get to play as much as we would have liked to but just living here is pretty special. We know how lucky we are. We did finish off the summer with our traditional end of summer hike and picnic with friends to the top of T2 at Kicking Horse Resort. It was a perfect day to the end of summer.
Now a much needed break until we reopen for the ski season. Already our winter bookings are solid with not many dates open. If you are thinking of joining us book direct from our website or email us at email@example.com and we will try to fit you in.
The summer is winding down for Vagabond Lodge. We are open for a few more weeks with our last guests leaving September 21.
And it also is time to take advantage of some of the great weather we have been having. We have been very fortunate in our area with enough rain to not be worried about wild fires as has been the case for number of other areas in our province. Our hearts go out to those who have been effected.
One of our favourite things to do is kayaking on some of our mountain lakes.
Bow lake in Banff National Park is a pretty special spot and along with some friends we were able get out for one more paddle this summer. It was a perfect day with very little wind and clear skies.
Our area is a mountain biking mecca. The resort itself is known for the downhill biking where you take your bike up to the top of the mountain on the gondola and then you ride on a variety of trails to the bottom. Not for me but it seems popular.
And not far away there are a variety of single track trails through the woods. Some are very demanding and beyond my capability or attraction. But very popular with a certain crowd.
What appeals to me is exploring and enjoying the scenery. That is my kind of mountain biking and the trails are endless. The nordic ski trails just a few seconds away from Vagabond are awesome with over 40km of loops.
But just below us is an old rail line that was used by a logging company a long time ago. We call it the 2% because it has very little slope to it. And except for a few old bridges used by the snowmobilers it is absolutely a hidden gem.
Along with friend Patrick we went for about a 2 hour ebike ride. You can take a variety of routes to get to the trails from Vagabond. This ride is just a few of our favourites and has all sorts of side roads you can explore too. One of our many hidden gems.
We have two rivers running through the town of Golden; the Kicking Horse and the Columbia. And what an amazing treat they are, especially on a hot day.
After a bit of a break, I managed to get back on the Kicking Horse that runs right through downtown Golden and eventually flows into the Columbia. The Kicking Horse is fast flowing and has some challenges with big rocks you need to be aware of when the water level starts to go down, and a few different channels along with some minor rapids. On most days, you get wet on the Kicking Horse.
Then when you hit the Columbia it is a nice leisurely float with all sorts of things to see.
So great. The video is from a few days ago with friend Patrick. We usually see bald eagles and more recently a couple of black bears along the river bank.
It is our go-to treat on a hot day and we may even take a couple beverages and find a sand bar to stop on, and enjoy the scenery.
Despite some of the media reports, we are not burning up in BC. Yes there are some fires in the province but nothing in our area. Every so often there is a slight haze in the air. But beyond that, it has been a great summer. We have also been lucky to get some nice rain storms that have come through every week. Everything is pretty green and lush in our area.
It was a long time coming. We had about 4 or 5 days of steady rain at Vagabond. Something we haven't had for quite a while. We have had a weekly rain storm that has come through which was great. But this was more than that. The highs were about 8C and that meant at the top of the mountains, snow. In the Jasper area they had snowfall weather warnings. and some of the highways in that area were impassable with snow. When the rain finally stopped and the clouds lifted the mountains were absolutely stunning.
Also after the rain stopped I finally went to the top of the mountain for a hike to T2. It is my go-to place both winter and summer. And as you can see in the video there is some snow. Usually there is snow from the winter at this time of the year but the snow I walked through was from the recent storm pattern. But one thing that is consistent are the views in every direction.
Kicking Horse resort is now open daily for the summer with the gondola, grizzly bear refuge and mountain biking.
Ken and Lori built Vagabond Lodge in 2003 and have been operating it since. It is the centre piece of the amazing Kicking Horse Resort near Golden BC Canada