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Untracked Line: Island Lake Lodge, BC

Just like its neighbor, Fernie, only not at all.
posted: 07/29/2009
Island Lake Lodge action

Max Elevation: 7,000 feet
Max Vertical Drop: 3,700 feet
Average Vertical Logged per Day: 10—15,000 feet
Prices: Range from C$1,668 for a low-season three-day trip to C$3,400 for a high-season four-day trip
Getting There: Island Lake is a few miles from Fernie, B.C. The closest airports are Cranbrook, B.C. (1.5 hours west); Kalispell, Montana (2.5 hours south); and Calgary International Airport (3.5 hours northeast). Info: 888-422-8754; islandlakelodge.com

Terrain highlights
With a perfect, 1,700-foot fall line and trees thoughtfully thinned, Little Woody is a don't-miss glade shot. Beg to be led up the 10-minute bootpack to Thirstquencher, a 3,000-foot line from open bowl to rolling knoll to tight trees.

The Lodges
With slate floors, 14-foot ceilings, and a workout room, the Cedar has the biggest (and most expensive) rooms. To be close to the action, request a small double in the Bear, where cooks concoct, guides meet, and guests slouch in leather couches by the fireplace just a few feet from the bar.

The Chow
Duck cranberry sausage and banana pancakes for breakfast. Sandwiches on lodge-baked bread for lunch. Free-range chicken in pickled pear ginger emulsion for dinner. People talk about the epic cappuccino cheesecake in Bailey's anglaise almost as much as they talk about face shots.

Must-Know
The reservation book fills up more than a year in advance. Take a chance on the less-popular early and late seasons (Dec. 14—Jan. 1 and Mar. 25—Apr. 8), when rates are lower.

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