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  1. #1
    Nic
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    Mountain Bike Towns In Western Canada

    My friend and I are probably going to move out west at the end of the summer (probably around September). We are trying to decide on a town and we don't want to go to the States. And advice would be appreciated. My friend is pretty keen on going to Canmore, but we could up anywhere. Things to consider are:

    Alcohol laws:
    What are the drinking ages in Alberat and B.C. (My friend is only 18)? Can you get beer at corner stores and grocery stores like in Quebec or do you have to go to a beer store or LCBO/SAQ type place?

    Climate:
    If we move in September, are we only going to get a few weeks of riding in the northern towns or are we going to get a good two-three months of riding in towns like Pentiction?

    Mountains:
    We want to be close to big mountains!

    Skiing:
    Is skiing good in the winter? We both do cross-country and tellemark skiing.

    Riding:
    The most important thing is good riding, both mountain and road. Most of our riding is cross-country.

    Distance:
    How far do you have to drive to ride or ski? Apparently in towns like Canmore, you can ride from your front door.

    Rent:
    We need it to be cheap!

    If you guys have any other things that may be important that I didn't mention, let me know. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    You are the only province to drink at 18 you lucky guys. But it isn't too enforced in Alberta as they are the land of the rednecks (they all secretly wanna be from Texas)

    In BC there are many places to ride year round. Squamish is a good example of the best place to live for everything. Rock Climbing, hiking and biking with MAYBE 2 weeks of stopage. Squamish is about 1 hour from whistler or the shore. Also fairly cheap living and constant shuttle to whistler for workers.

    Whislter, Blackcomb, Pemberton, Fromme....I could go on. You can't beat this area there are about 0 rideable mountains (only 1 is shuttle though)

  3. #3
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Whislter has top class xc...and of course world class dh. But past that short statement...I have no clue. I don't ski.

    Definately think about Squamish then. Long flowy single track. Whistler has xc but it is not very long generally and you have to link 4 or 5 trails together to go for longer than 3 hours. (unless you hit comfortably numb, Flank (BORING) or kill me thrill me (Wohooo)

    Lots of ski towns in the area. And most have pretty vllages to be right near the mountains. But again I don't ski

    Squamish is cheapish. But the further north you go (towards alberta and away from the rest of population) the cheaper it gets. Panorama, Golden etc...all offer similar things to this area but cheaper. I just can't live that far from a city. Living in a resort town makes you want to leave often

    Good luck

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    Alberta is 18 as well, and you can buy booze just about anywhere. Personally I'd go with Banff, rent there is actually cheaper then Canmore. Banff has rent control for residents, catch being that to be a resident you have to WORK in Banff. There are trails within riding distance, or a short car trip away. Road riding would of course also be great. Plus you sound like the young party type, Banff is definately a party town. You only live once, go for it!

  5. #5
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    But you have to drive North to get there on the highway ...I know where it is...was giving directions UP the highway

    Hahaha...the last line is perfect...but they also pay my bills

  6. #6
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisA
    Alberta is 18 as well, and you can buy booze just about anywhere. Personally I'd go with Banff, rent there is actually cheaper then Canmore. Banff has rent control for residents, catch being that to be a resident you have to WORK in Banff. There are trails within riding distance, or a short car trip away. Road riding would of course also be great. Plus you sound like the young party type, Banff is definately a party town. You only live once, go for it!
    Isn't that white mountain or whatever. I heard the skiing there sucks?

    You guys drink at 18...damn you are like texans ...I really have to get to that side of the mountain. You guys have such sweet trails over there. Whistler sucks for long flowy single track.

  7. #7
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigwheel
    True, rent is cheaper in Banff than it is in Canmore...now that Canmore has become the fancy place that it is.
    You don't need to work in Banff to live there...you only need to work there to own a house. There was talk about removing that law...what a mess the place would be if they ever did that.
    Thats a strange law...wowsers...

  8. #8
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    What about Jasper? I found it to be more of a town, less of a tourist trap then Banff. I've also heard there is great XC biking in the Jasper area.

  9. #9
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigwheel
    The ski hill in Golden used to be called "Whitetooth" until it got bought out and turned into a resort...now it's called "Kicking Horse Resort". The skiing can and does suck most of the time, they don't get much snow in that area...but there are some good days.
    True that most Albertans want to be Texans....you should see the madness going on now with the Stampede this week...everyone's wearing cowboy hats...even the straight guys.

    There are some long trails with fast, flowing singletrack. Good times.

    The "need to reside" rule to buy a house is weird, but necessary for Banff to at least look like it's pretending to be a National Park.
    I meant the mountain in Banff. I have some friends that live there and the mountain is called big white maybe? I forget but I know one of the more popular resort for skiing actually has crappy conditions

    I have been considering moving to kick horse. Supposed to be some of the best technical dh around

    I had some friends go to the stampede. Definately a odd site to see (at least in the pics) I have never been myself. Horses and cowboys don't do much for me.

    Banff national park...thats kind of funny. Wonder why they did that. Maybe to stop it from becoming whistler.

  10. #10
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Ooops..then it was kelowna (I always mix up my resort mountains...so many to choose haha)

    Thats the course I have heard about...deadly ...Whistler is so groomed in comparison (although with Garbonzo and Creekside (3 years) we are getting steeper and more technical )

  11. #11
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Ummm where are you located if you don't mind me asking?

  12. #12
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Cool...not to many of us west coast guys on here

  13. #13
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    If you're looking for excellent singletrack and plenty of xc riding you might want to consider Revelstoke, B.C. and it's close enough to Golden for those days when you'd rather do the serious dh riding. Unfortunately, the only dh skiing in the area is Golden but I think the xc skiing would be okay. Revy is known more for the helicopter skiing. Granted Revy isn't a party town but it's cheap to live there.

    Another option is Nelson, B.C. There's lots of excellent xc and dh riding in the summer and Whitewater is the local ski hill. Their average base is 250 - 320 cm of snow throughout the ski season so they get a fair amount of snow.

    You might also want to consider Rossland, B.C. Another mecca for both mountain biking and skiing. Rossland and Nelson are within an hour of each other and there is a vast rural area inbetween both towns where the cost of living is cheap.

    Of course, the only drawback (and one can usually find a way around this in this area) is the drinking age in BC is 19.
    [

  14. #14
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Rocky you got all the best spots named. I totally forgot Nelson BC (how can I forget there) and Oasis in Rossland is a MUST ride for anyone.

    Never thought of revelstoke though...mhmmm

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    Just remembered another one on the ride home. You have to check out Fernie, B.C. The place is pretty much run by mountain bikers in the summer and back country enthusiasts in the winter.

    http://www.fernie.com/activities_intro/trail_map.html

    (note the 85 dots on the map are trails!!!)
    Last edited by rockymtn_girl; 07-16-04 at 09:05 PM.
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