Retallack prides itself on ‘being in the right place. Our operating area is approximately 40 square kms (10,000 acres) on three main mountain peaks called Reco, Wishful and Texas. These peaks and their long alpine ridge lines (Reco is 7 km long!) form perfect snowcat access drop off points at elevations between 7000′ and 8500′. Our lowest pick-up in the valley floor is at 3000′. Our runs are as long as 4200′, so we certainly rival helicopter skiing operations. The average run length is 1800′ (600m). The runs are consistent fall line skiing.
A simple description of this extremely varied, complicated, compact set of mountains is not possible. But, suffice to say that the two main north facing U-shaped cirques (Stenson and Robb creek drainages) provide runs on all aspects, with the majority of terrain on eastern and western exposures. This allows for the Retallack claim of powder snow until very late in the season.
Overall, the terrain at Retallack is steep!
About 20% is moderate/gentle, another 45% is the very FUN steep (between 20 and 35 degrees) and the other 35% is VERY steep (beyond 35 degrees). Because of the phenomenal snow and consistent fall line, this is fantastic terrain to learn good technique and gain confidence in your powder skiing.
Retallack has approximately 25% open slopes in the form of alpine ridge lines, open bowls, avalanche chutes and large, natural openings in the trees. These features tend to be moderately to extremely steep. The rest of the terrain is treed. We make the distinction in degree by calling it gladed or tree skiing.
The gladed terrain makes for skiing dreams: the snow is protected from the wind and the sun, there is enough elbow room to relax and turn and take spectacular photography. As you descend down the mountain, the trees change from spruce or fir on the upper slopes, to cedar and hemlock old growth forests in the valley bottoms.
You’ll think you stepped into an epic ski or snowboard movie. Your friendly guides will give you tips and tricks for skiing efficiently and safely in the land of giants: Retallack trees!The discussion of climate is relevant to the snow quality and amount. Due to its sudden sheerness, elevation and geographical location, the Selkirk Mountain Range receives moisture laden clouds from the Pacific on a very regular basis that dump dry snow in large amounts. Retallack can receive as much as 100 cm (3.5 ft.) of snow in one storm cycle.
Annually, Retallack receives between 7 and 13 metres (25 – 40 ft), which leaves us with an average base of 3 to 4 metres (10 – 12 ft). The temperatures are more moderate than the Rockies to the east with night time lows seldom below -25 deg C, and colder than the Coast with daytime highs staying below freezing, even on northern aspects late into the spring. This allows us to almost guarantee continual powder skiing. Toward the end of March, we can find good powder skiing in the morning and nice spring skiing in the afternoon. It’s called the BC Interior… world-renowned snow quality. In combination with the protected slopes that it falls on at Retallack, you can expect VERY GOOD (or better) skiing 100% of the time, and EXCELLENT (to outstanding) skiing 70% of the season.
Average Snowpack and Temperatures
(at 6.000 ft)
(at 6,000 ft)
|December||250 – 300 cm||150 cm (5 ft)||-5 C° (23 F°)||-20 C° (-2 F°)|
|January||150 – 200 cm||200 cm (6.5 ft)||-8 C° (18 F°)||-20 C° (-2 F°)|
|February||250 – 400 cm||250 – 300 cm (10 ft)||-2 C° (28 F°)||-15 C° (5 F°)|
|March||200 – 400 cm||350 cm (11.5 ft)||0 C° (32 F°)||-10 C° (14 F°)|