Opening day: New Stellar Chair adds beginner-friendly runs at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

New Stellar Chair zone adds six beginner-friendly runs high up the mountain at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

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Snowboarders unload at the top of the new Stellar Chair on opening day 2019. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

Revelstoke Mountain Resort newest chair lift is creating a new playground perfect for beginner skiers and those working up to skiing the resort’s more challenging terrain.

The lineup on opening day 2019-20. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magzine

The Stellar Chair, a new fixed grip quad, opened for the 2019/2020 season on Nov. 30, opening day for the Revelstoke Mountain Resort 2019-20 season.

The chair opens up new beginner and intermediate terrain accessible from the top of the Revelation Gondola. Stellar gives access to six new runs, three blue and three green, with a mellow grade and 130 metres of vertical. The chair includes an upload capacity of 1,800 people per hour and a travel time of just over three minutes.

Declan Saville DJs for the crowd from the trunk of the Red Bull car. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magzine

Peter Nielsen, RMR vice president of operations, said the Stellar Chair will change the way people ski the resort.

First in line! Mike Graves, Dave Pearson and Kelvin Skoretz camped out for first tracks. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magzine

“Not only does this lift provide the perfect teaching zone for beginner skiers, but it also provides much easier access to the Ripper Chair. Guests will now have the option of choosing to make their first tracks in the Ripper glades, or heading straight to the alpine off the Stoke Chair,” Nielsen said.

The view towards Mt. Begbie. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magzine

Although there are beginner-friendly spaces at the base of the mountain and near the Revelation Lodge, the snow conditions are often not as good as higher up Mount Mackenzie. The new lift allows beginners to ride to the top of the gondola and ski nearby. They can also upload and download from the area, avoiding the network of CAT tracks that beginners can find intimidating when they’re crowded.

RMR’s Peter Nielsen and Revelstoke Mayor Gary Sulz just before the ribbon cutting. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magzine

Snow School Manger J.M. Atkinson is also thrilled about the new chair, calling the Stellar zone a game changer for the Snow School. He said the terrain is ideal for promoting skier progression, and the upper mountain location means better snow quality and an enhanced teaching environment.

Phil Gallant of Leitner-Poma, Canada West Ski Areas Association president Chris Nicolson, Carolyn Gibson and city councillor Steven Cross cut the ribbon. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magzine

In addition to the Stellar chair, RMR’s existing infrastructure will also see significant upgrades. The Revelation Gondola and The Stoke Chair will be running at full capacity with the addition of 21 new chairs and 22 cabins. The Ripper upload capacity has also increased 22 per cent with the addition of 20 new chairs.

The new runs created new views to the north on the mountain. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magzine

Opening day conditions

RMR is reporting a base depth of 86 centimetres, which is low for this time of year. More precipitation is forecast in the next few days. The groomers are fine, but watch out for early season conditions and hidden hazards off piste. Runs below the Stoke Chair are still closed.