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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
by Evelyn Spence

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;

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.

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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