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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: ZDX Wrap-Up

Posted by   on March 19th, 2012 3 comments

2012 Acura ZDX

All good things must come to an end, and after 10 days and nearly 2000 kilometers travelled, our epic road tour through the Rockies came to a conclusion. I was happy to be heading home, but reluctant to hand over the ZDX back to Acura.

Performing like a sports sedan but with the toughness and utility of a crossover, it was as I expected, the perfect winter driving machine for our trip. Powering up steep climbs and navigating down curvy descents, through ice, snow, slush and rain, the ZDX was flawless. No vehicle is bulletproof in extreme road conditions, but extra measures like winter tires, adequate ground clearance and Super Handling-All Wheel Drive can be a defining advantage when you need to get out of a “snowy” situation. Still begging to be tested, the ZDX was by far the most capable vehicle I have ever taken on a road trip.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour

With one of the most luxurious and technology-packed interiors Acura has to offer, the ZDX’s spacious cabin was an absolute pleasure to ride in even after many hours on the road. The leather dash and surrounding leather trim mixed with the ambient light from the dual moon roofs to create a natural, comforting environment ideal for our long drives in the mountains. There was more than enough space for our two snowboards and luggage with the rear seats folded down, and the power tailgate was a nice touch for quick and easy loading. As an Acura, the ZDX is equipped with a ton of convenient features, all very intuitive and useful for making the trip that much more enjoyable.

2012 Acura ZDX Interior

I couldn’t keep count of all the heads that turned as they walked by the ZDX, most likely gripped by its unique and dramatic styling. One of its most noticeable characteristics, the long sloping roof line, is what really distinguishes it from the usual crossover varieties. From the front windshield, the industry-leading panoramic glass roof slowly curves over the top and towards the rear apex at the slightest angle, creating a distinctive silhouette that is elegant, but also aerodynamic and sporty. I love the sharp edge that arches over the rear wheels and along the side of the vehicle, it adds an aggressive flair to the ZDX’s bold, muscular figure. More to its “coupe-like” appearance are hidden rear door handles which at some angles, can make the ZDX seem as if it only has two doors. In a parking lot full of your typical ski resort vehicles, it was nice to have one that was different and so easy pick out.

2012 Acura ZDX

So is it a utility sedan? A super coupe? A performance crossover? I guess you could say it is all of the above. I still couldn’t accurately describe the ZDX in just a few words, but in this case, it’s definitely not a bad thing. I think the unique combination of qualities bring a mysterious allure to the ZDX, and that’s something you won’t easily find in the selection of today’s vehicles. When I look back at this trip, it won’t be hard to remember the ZDX and how it carried us through the Rockies with such style, comfort, and confidence.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour 2012:

• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: Introduction
• Day 01: Marmot Basin
• Day 02/03: Lake Louise
• Day 04: Revelstoke
• Day 05/06: Whitewater
• Day 07: Red Mountain
• Day 08/09/10: Whistler Blackcomb
• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: ZDX Wrap-Up

Filed under: Acura Reviews, ZDX
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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 08/09/10: Whistler Blackcomb

Posted by   on March 11th, 2012 1 comment
The 2012 Acura ZDX on the Sea to Sky Highway

The 2012 Acura ZDX on the Sea to Sky Highway

Day 08: Vancouver, BC
Trip Odometer Total: 1,767 kms(1,098 miles)

616 km is what separated us from Vancouver, without any doubt it was the longest leg of our trip. We had left early in the morning, hoping to avoid another night of treacherous mountain driving. The first half was an absolute pleasure, with warm weather and sunny skies we made our way through dry mountain passes and beautiful valleys. The Westward path on Crowsnest Highway brought us right along the US/Canada border at multiple points, and we had some fun trying to figure out which pieces of land where physically on the American side.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 08/09/10

Through the long drive there was definitely no shortage of audio entertainment. While we had the selection of XM radio available, I also had my iPhone connected via USB and at the same time Kevin had his smartphone synced via Bluetooth. The ELS surround sound audio system has been a great companion, blasting crisp quality sound through the ZDX’s 10-speakers. I’ve enjoyed the nice arm massage the door speaker gives me when there’s deep base, all without any rattle or distortion. In contrast, the ZDX is equipped with Active Noise Cancellation and fabric insulation, so whether we’re reminiscing about our day on the hill or arguing about which route to take, the cabin has been exceptionally quiet when needed.

It seemed the closer we got to Vancouver, the harder the rain began to hit us. As the sun slowly sank behind the clouds and fog, our ZDX rallied through the last stretch of steep, curvy, and wet mountainous roads without a hitch. We eventually linked back to the Trans-Canada Highway for some smooth cruising to the big city. I’m not sure what’s more stressing, mountain driving through a snow storm or navigating the busy streets of Vancouver on a dark rainy night.

Day 09: Blackcomb Mountain
Trip Odometer Total: 1,897 kms(1,179 miles)

It’s been a long 8 days, but the home stretch to our final destination Whistler was only 125 km away. I haven’t been up Highway 99 since it had completed its upgrades for the 2010 Winter Olympics, so it was nice to breeze through without stopping for any construction. Highway 99 is also known as the Sea to Sky highway, with the coast on one side and mountains on the other, it’s setup for some spectacular views. The scenic drive is highly recommended if you’re ever in the Vancouver area.

We arrived for an early check-in at the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort Hotel which is situated at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. It has all the services and amenities you would expect from a Fairmont hotel, but it’s also tailored specifically for the skiing and snowboarding experience. With true ski-in/ski-out convenience, it’s just a few steps away from the Blackcomb Daylodge and the Wizard Express Lift. There’s also the rental shop and handy ski valet service attached to the hotel, so you can drop off your gear after your last run and pick it up the next morning.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 08/09/10

Surprisingly there was no line at the Blackcomb base, so we quickly headed up the lifts and into the clouds. It was foggy and slushy at the lower mountain, but once you head up above the clouds on Solar Coaster you’re looking at blue skies and drier snow. 16 cm of the white stuff fell overnight, so higher up even further on the 7th Heaven we found ourselves cutting through some nice fluffy pow. With a ton of terrain still left to cover, we rode the day out until the lifts closed, then headed back to our room at the Fairmont to get ready for a night out in Whistler village.

Day 10: Whistler Mountain 

Exhausted and sore from nine days of driving and snowboarding, we’ve survived to make it to day ten. And on our last day of riding, we received a little gift from our old friend Mother Nature: 25 cm of fresh snow overnight. It was a welcomed gift considering what she made us battle through to get here.

Today we planned to hit up Whistler Mountain, so we made our way atop Blackcomb to the Peak 2 Peak loading station. Opened in 2008, the Peak 2 Peak gondola stretches across 4.4 km to connect the two massive side-by-side mountains together. It would be my first time on this record breaking gondola, so we decided to wait a few minutes for one of two special cabins that offer an extra perspective – a glass floor that lets you see 436 metres down to the ground below.

With Whistler Blackcomb’s 39 lifts and over 200 trails, there’s just too much terrain for us to completely explore in in such a short time. The snow continued to fall throughout the afternoon, but after 7 sessions of intense riding in the past 10 days, our legs just couldn’t keep up. From the village base we returned to Blackcomb Mountain where we rode to the top of Glacier Express for our last run of the trip. I took my time getting down, prolonging the final descent and making sure I enjoyed every last cut and turn through the snow.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 08/09/10

Wanting to end our Rocky Mountain Road Tour with a bang, we attended the free Fire & Ice Show in Whistler village later that evening. Surrounded by hundreds of snow seekers just like us who have made their journey to Whistler, we cheered on a group of talented skiers and riders as they put on a dazzling display of extreme skill and massive air. Combined with fire spinners, pyrotehnics and fireworks, it was a fitting finale to our epic adventure.  

For more on Whistler Blackcomb, visit SnowSeekers.ca

• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: Introduction
• Day 01: Marmot Basin
• Day 02/03: Lake Louise
• Day 04: Revelstoke
• Day 05/06: Whitewater
• Day 07: Red Mountain
• Day 08/09/10: Whistler Blackcomb
• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: ZDX Wrap-Up

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 07: Red Mountain

Posted by   on March 8th, 2012 2 comments
The 2012 Acura ZDX at Red Mountain

The 2012 Acura ZDX at Red Mountain

Rossland, BC

The trip from Whitewater to Red Mountain was the shortest leg of our journey, just a 88 km jaunt Southwest towards the town of Rossland, BC. We’re actually so far South at this point that the Canada/US border is only 10 kms away. After a quick and easy drive through some small BC towns, we arrived at our lodge located at the base of Red Mountain. I wouldn’t exactly consider it “on hill” accommodations, but with just a short walk to the nearest lift we could skip the usual early morning drive to the hill.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 07

With that little bit of extra time, I was finally able to take some quick shots to show off the vehicle’s interior. We’ve spent many hours in the ZDX’s spacious front cabin, and I still can’t get enough of its fluid design and many luxuries. The panoramic glass roof has been perfect for our mountain trip, refreshing us with natural light and an open view to the sky. The leather dash, surrounding leather trim and contrasting silver accents add to its richness and showcase the level of detail Acura has put into the ZDX. Continuing with the overall theme and feel, the steering wheel and instrument panel are stylish, but still remain intuitive and functional. I’ve loved the symmetry of the centre stack and button layout, as well as the dark brushed texture used throughout.

Behind us the rear heated leather seats can be a bit tricky to get into, but both Kevin and I agree there is adequate leg room. Even with the sloping roof line, I just manage to sit comfortably without my head touching the top.

In terms of storage and cargo space, we’ve enjoyed the ample room provided by the 60/40 rear folding seats. There are hidden storage hatches in the rear, and plenty of compartments up front. My favorite is the convenient sliding tray and storage beneath the front arm rest, it’s the perfect place for quick access to the camera.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 07

Day 07: Red Mountain Resort
Trip Odometer Total: 1232kms(765.5 miles)

I spent yesterday night studying the trail map of Red Mountain and was anxious to explore its unique “3-D” layout. There hasn’t been much snowfall in the past few days, but right off the bottom Silverlode chair I was presented with a few wide open groomed blues to start off. The ride to the top via the Motherlode Chair was long and steep, and it gave us the opportunity to scope out some of the interesting terrain beneath us. With numerous drops and chutes, it’s a paradise for expert skiers and riders.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 07

From the top we made our way around to the backside of Granite Mountain, an area with a good mix of green, blue, and black runs. Another clear day and warm temperatures lead to spring-like conditions, and by midday we were able to grip the softened snow and take in a healthy dose of vitamin D. What’s nice about Granite Mountain is that you can go choose to ride around either side and still get back to the base. The other peak, “Red Mountain” was considerably smaller but had some of the steepest and fastest cruiser runs I’ve ever seen.

A brochure I picked up claimed Red Mountain is the “last great undiscovered resort”, a statement I do find some truth in. Bring me in on a good powder day and I might just have to bump it up on my personal resort rankings. For more on Red Mountain, visit SnowSeekers.ca

• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: Introduction
• Day 01: Marmot Basin
• Day 02/03: Lake Louise
• Day 04: Revelstoke
• Day 05/06: Whitewater
• Day 07: Red Mountain
• Day 08/09/10: Whistler Blackcomb
• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: ZDX Wrap-Up

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 05/06: Whitewater

Posted by   on March 7th, 2012 2 comments
The 2012 Acura ZDX at Upper Arrow Lake

The 2012 Acura ZDX at Upper Arrow Lake

Day 05: Nelson, BC

My muscles were extra sore this morning, likely from all that heavy snow I had to dig myself out of in Revelstoke yesterday. At least the rain had tapered off and we had some blue sky for the first time during our trip. Today the destination was the city of Nelson, a new experience for both Kevin and myself. We would be making full use of the Acura’s navigation system for this stage, so with a few easy turns of the centre console dial we had our route entered and calculated.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 05/06

We headed South on Highway 23 until we reached Galena Bay, a ferry terminal for crossing Upper Arrow Lake. The ferry ride across wasn’t very long, but it gave us a moment to take in the gorgeous view surrounding the lake and inhale some of the fresh mountain air. It would of been a great opportunity for some awesome photos, but the two semi trucks parked beside the ZDX had left me with limited angles to play with.

We continued South without a single rain drop or snowflake hitting the windshield, a nice change compared to our last two stages of the trip. With dry conditions, nice winding roads and more beautiful scenery, I finally had the opportunity to really “connect” with the vehicle. The ZDX’s smooth 6-speed automatic transmission shifts crisply, and under normal acceleration you can barely feel the gear changes. Cruising at 100 km/h the engine purrs comfortably at around 1500 rpms with plenty of punch left if needed. Being in the Rockies, we’ve climbed some incredibly steep hills so far, and the 300 hp engine has always been able to conquer them with little effort.

The suspension has done well to keep the ride accommodating and comfortable, even over hard packed snow, grooves of ice and pot holes. Soft enough to negate small impacts, but stiff enough to hold a steady line through the mountain curves. US models will have the option of Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System for a stiffer suspension and performance handling. A nice feature if you’re looking for both comfort and sportiness.

Acura’s navigation system had successfully led us to Nelson, and we managed our best fuel economy rating so far: 9.2 litres/100 km or 25.6 MPG. We stayed at the famous Hume Hotel, known for its dining and nightlife as well as historic presence in Nelson. The staff was friendly and dinner was fantastic, but their trendy night club the Spiritbar was closed that night. Probably for the best since we wanted to get in an early day at Whitewater.

Day 06: Whitewater Ski Resort
Trip Odometer Total: 1,142 kms(710 miles)

There was no new snow overnight in Whitewater, but with 11 cm in 48 hours and bluebird skies there was no complaining. We started off the morning with a few warmup runs on the Silver King chair, a great face for beginners with a variety of green and blue runs. Up next was the Summit chair which offers the option to ride the “Summit Side” face, or head down the backside to the new Glory Ridge chair. We did a few laps on the Summit Side, dipping into the trees for some fresh snow and then some hard carving on the steep cruiser runs.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 05/06

Installed just recently in the 2010-2011 ski season, the new Glory Ridge Chair opens up a huge amount of accessible terrain for Whitewater. It was unfortunately closed for most of the day, but we were still able to ride out the backside thanks to the shuttle bus  which cycled every 15 mins. One thing I noticed was an unusual amount of natural hits all over the mountain, which in my case, is a good thing. We found a ton of them on the backside, and with some unique terrain it made the new “Glory Ridge Side” my favourite of the three. For more on Whitewater Ski Resort, visit SnowSeekers.ca

The ZDX wasn’t the only Acura having fun in the Rockies this week. I found 2 fourth generation SH-AWD TLs in the Whitewater parking lot today, one from Alberta and the other coming all the way from Quebec. SH-AWD: don’t leave home without it.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 05/06

• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: Introduction
• Day 01: Marmot Basin
• Day 02/03: Lake Louise
• Day 04: Revelstoke
• Day 05/06: Whitewater
• Day 07: Red Mountain
• Day 08/09/10: Whistler Blackcomb
• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: ZDX Wrap-Up

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 04: Revelstoke

Posted by   on March 5th, 2012 No comments
The 2012 Acura ZDX in Golden BC

The 2012 Acura ZDX in Golden BC

Day 04: Revelstoke, BC
Trip Odometer Total: 868kms(539.4 miles)

Everything was on schedule after we left Lake Louise late yesterday afternoon. Ahead of us was a 3.5 hour drive West on the Trans-Canada Highway to Revelstoke, British Columbia. It was another scenic route with winding two-lane roads carving right through the mountains. There was some light rain and the roads were damp, but nothing out of the ordinary… until we reached the town of Golden.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 04

We slowly made our way through to the town’s edge but were suddenly redirected off the road by BC highway workers. Road block – Highway 1 to Revelstoke was closed due to avalanche control. We followed the updates via radio and internet for about 3 hours until they finally announced the highway would reopen at 7 pm Mountain Standard Time.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 04

Our initial schedule was planned so that we wouldn’t be driving at night through the mountains, but in this case it was unavoidable. Thankfully the ZDX was equipped with standard HID headlights and fog lights to help illuminate the path. The highway started out fairly calm but we quickly found out why they had it closed in the first place. Mother Nature had struck with a new barrage of tricks for our ZDX to battle. A combination of rain, snow, slush, massive puddles and patches of fog stood in our way on the 149 km stretch of road to Revelstoke. The long train of vehicles followed closely, and it was nice to have the ZDX’s extra height to see ahead over some of the smaller sedans in front of us. Again, the SH-AWD system and winter tires came through for us. Our vehicle moved exactly the way we wanted it to, the steering and handling was uncompromised even with the mix of unpredictable road conditions.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

The  morning rain was an unpleasant sight to wake up to, but at least it cleaned off some of the mud and dirt that had accumulated on the ZDX. We were hoping the rain would equate to snow higher up at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. I’ve been to “Revy” only once a few years ago, but today I quickly noticed huge developments in terms of accommodations and retail stores at the base. Revelstoke is still fairly new as a resort, but it looks like they have plans for mega expansions in the next few years.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 04

Revelstoke Resort has the longest vertical descent in North America, so the trip to the top was expected to be a bit lengthy. We shared a gondola with a trio who were also stuck in Golden, and they asked us how our drive up to Revy was. “It wasn’t so bad, we were in an Acura ZDX” Kevin responded. The three instantly let out a groan in jealously. Apparently they drove out in a compact sedan with summer tires, a scary thought after what we experienced last night in the ZDX.

6 cm overnight is what the snow report read, but with such a slushy base we weren’t sure what to expect once we reached the summit. Folks, snap on your powder skirts and tighten those goggles, because it was another day of epic snow at Revelstoke. That 6 cm felt about the same, if not more than the 26 cm we saw at Lake Louise the day before. We stuck to the “Stoke” chair for most of the morning because we just couldn’t get away from all the good stuff up top. Riding through the trees was where we found the best thigh-high and even waist-high snow. I should have brought my powder board, because I must of dug myself out at least 6 times. Today definitely took a slot in my personal “Top 3 Powder Days” list. For more on Revelstoke Mountain Resort visit SnowSeekers.ca

Tomorrow we head out to the city of Nelson for our visit to Whitewater Ski Resort. Can our snow streak continue?

• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: Introduction
• Day 01: Marmot Basin
• Day 02/03: Lake Louise
• Day 04: Revelstoke
• Day 05/06: Whitewater
• Day 07: Red Mountain
• Day 08/09/10: Whistler Blackcomb
• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: ZDX Wrap-Up

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 02/03: Lake Louise

Posted by   on March 4th, 2012 3 comments
The 2012 Acura ZDX at Icefields Parkway

The 2012 Acura ZDX at Icefields Parkway

Day 02: Ice Fields Parkway
Trip Odometer Total: 633 kms(294 miles)

In the summer months, the stretch of road from Jasper to Lake Louise is one of the most scenic routes you can travel if you’re looking to experience the Canadian Rockies. Highway 93 also known as Icefields Parkway, parallels the Alberta/BC border for 230 km and is a popular tourist attraction. During the winter it’s quite the opposite, extreme weather is common and traffic is minimal.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 02/03

Just before we reached the Highway 93 gates, we were greeted with a road sign that read “Poor” winter travel conditions, we took heed and marched on cautiously. The roads were fair for the first 100 kms, the two lanes bordered by snow on each side. As we progressed south, the conditions became more erratic with increasing flurries and gusts of wind. Here is where our ZDX got its first true battle with winter. Near the half way point we reached the Columbia Ice Fields where I had initially planned to make a stop for some photos. Stopping however was not an option this time. The openness of the area created intense crosswinds that pounded us from the side, blowing in a complete whiteout of snow. We felt the vehicle sway a bit, but for once I think the heavier frame of the ZDX was a real benefit.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 02/03

The strong winds had pushed snow banks stretching across the road, I did my best to slowly swerve around the bigger ones, but at times there was no choice but to plow right over. This is where the ZDX’s SH-AWD, and 200 mm(7.9 in) of ground clearance was a huge asset. The ZDX performed confidently and manoeuvred as it would on dry pavement. I had solid control throughout, not once did I ever lose traction or feel any slip.

After our 3.5 hour drive we finally reached the village of Lake Louise in Banff National Park. We checked into our rooms at the Lake Louise Inn, a popular hotel resort with a ton of amenities, on-site restaurants and its own outdoor ice skating rink. The best part: it’s the closest hotel to Lake Louise Mountain, skiing and snowboarding is just a few minutes away.

Day 03: Lake Louise Mountain Resort 

We awoke to a layer of snow on the ZDX, usually a good sign when you’re hoping for good mountain conditions. After checking the snow report we confirmed our suspicions, 26 cm overnight meant a powder day at Lake Louise. We hooked up with our guide, Lake Louise veteran Mike Moynihan who brought us up a half hour before the public for some fresh tracks. I soon found out that Mike was a huge fan of the original NSX and we chatted about some of the features of the new concept.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 02/03

With 139 runs and 4200 skiable acres, there was more than enough fresh snow for everyone on a day like today. Mike took us down some of his favorite trails, most were untracked with creamy powder to our knees. We ripped our way through until about 2 pm when our legs burned fire. Who said riding pow was easy? We finished off our final run with a lap through Lake Louise’s massive terrain park. With a ton of features and multiple lines, there’s something for skiers and riders of all levels.

Visit snowseekers.ca for more on Lake Louise.

As we returned to the vehicle we noticed a man circling the ZDX, slowly analyzing its every edge and angle. He mentioned that he has never seen one before. I gave him the quick rundown on the ZDX and some of its key features as he seemed legitimately interested with his questions about model years and the type of engine. “It looks sporty, I love the huge wheels” he said.

We packed up our gear and got ready for the 231 km drive to Revelstoke.

• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: Introduction
• Day 01: Marmot Basin
• Day 02/03: Lake Louise
• Day 04: Revelstoke
• Day 05/06: Whitewater
• Day 07: Red Mountain
• Day 08/09/10: Whistler Blackcomb
• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: ZDX Wrap-Up

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 01: Marmot Basin

Posted by   on March 2nd, 2012 2 comments
2012 Acura ZDX Jasper National Park

The 2012 Acura ZDX at Jasper National Park

Day 01: Marmot Basin
Trip Odometer Total: 398 kms(247.3 miles)

We picked up our 2012 Acura ZDX loaner at West Side Acura this morning, and with a press of the push-button ignition we headed out to begin our journey.We received a freshly detailed Crystal Black Pearl ZDX with black leather interior and the Technology Package, wrapped in a set of Micheline Latitude Alpin tires for extra snow grip. Coupled with Acura’s exclusive torque vectoring SH-AWD which comes standard on all ZDXs, we couldn’t really ask for anything more in our winter driving machine.

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour Day 01

Our first destination was Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park, the closest major ski resort to Edmonton with a drive time of approximately 3.5 hours. Heading west on highway 16, driving conditions were optimal with overcast skies and dry roads. Marmot Basin has always been like a home base for me, and the 360km trek towards the Rockies was a familiar one. We stopped just inside Jasper National Park for some quick shots of the ZDX.

It was our first time inside the cabin of the ZDX, and to say we were impressed would be an understatement. The cockpit was a fusion of real leather and nicely textured plastic features. The premium leather seats with 8-way power adjustments were soft and accommodating, combined with the power adjustable steering column, finding the ideal comfort zone for my 6’1″ frame was easy. Loaded with extra features the dash and center console is laid out intuitively, Kevin and I had it all mostly figured out in about hour. Our 3 favorite features so far: USB iPod integration, trilingual voice recognition and the 10-speaker ELS surround sound audio system.

The mountain climb up to Marmot Basin was steep and slushy, but hardly a work out for the SH-AWD system. Arriving late for an afternoon of riding, we managed to get in some good runs in a short 2 hours. Marmot Basin received 10 cms of snow in the past 7 days with 1 cm overnight, which gave us a nice soft top layer of snow to carve through. With 2 new lifts for the 2011/2012 season, navigating the mountain’s 86 runs and 6.8 km² of of skiable terrain has never been faster or easier.

ZDX Rear Folding Seats

After just barely catching the last chair up, we rode straight out to parking lot number 4 and right to the ZDX. Packing up our gear, the ZDX’s 60/40 folding rear seatbacks provided plenty space and quick access for our 2 snowboards and luggage. We snapped a couple more photos then headed out for a night in the town of Jasper. Next stop, Lake Louise.

For more on Marmot Basin and Jasper, visit SnowSeekers.ca.

• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: Introduction
• Day 01: Marmot Basin
• Day 02/03: Lake Louise
• Day 04: Revelstoke
• Day 05/06: Whitewater
• Day 07: Red Mountain
• Day 08/09/10: Whistler Blackcomb
• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: ZDX Wrap-Up

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The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: Introduction

Posted by   on March 2nd, 2012 No comments

The Rocky Mountain Road Tour
This isn’t your average road trip. For me, a snowboarder for nearly 10 years, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing. A 10-day tour of the Canadian Rockies, destination: epic powder. An adventure that will take us from Alberta’s capital city Edmonton, down through the continental divide and into interior British Columbia where we’ll make our way to our final ski destination, Whistler. Along the way we’ll get a chance to experience some of the best ski resorts Western Canada has to offer: Marmot Basin, Lake Louise, Revelstoke, Whitewater, Red Mountain and Whistler Blackcomb.

Every road trip requires a vehicle, and when we’re in the midst of winter with roughly 2000 kms of potentially hazardous road to travel, the vehicle of choice will have to meet certain criteria. Reliability and all-wheel drive are absolute necessities. Some extra ground clearance and cargo space would definitely be helpful. And finally a comfortable cabin for those long grueling hours on the road.

Enter the 2012 ZDX, a unique crossover with luxury, utility, performance and Acura’s reputation for reliability. With its powerful 300-hp V-6 engine, Super Handling All-Wheel Drive and a never-ending list of features, the ZDX is the perfect candidate for our Rocky Mountain Road Tour. Follow our review as we take the ZDX for the next 10-days through scenic drives as well as harsh winter conditions on our quest for fresh snow and glorious riding.

• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: Introduction
• Day 01: Marmot Basin
• Day 02/03: Lake Louise
• Day 04: Revelstoke
• Day 05/06: Whitewater
• Day 07: Red Mountain
• Day 08/09/10: Whistler Blackcomb
• The Rocky Mountain Road Tour: ZDX Wrap-Up

For more coverage on North America’s Northwest winter destinations, head over to SnowSeekers.ca.

 

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