Pros: Deep consistent fall lines over 45 Degrees & dropping +2,000 feet. 3,592 acres of real skiing. Great non-resort atomsphere. Stupendous Views.
Cons: Wind. Old lifts. Weekend Crowds (occassionally). Very limited beginner & intermediate terrain.
This mountain, located on the Rockies' continental divide, offers it all. Moguls, steeps, cliff bands, powder, silky runs and pretty much anything else your heart desires. One thing it does not offer is a resort experience. This mountain is for skiers not party animals (although there is opportunity for that too). It has very limited facilities including a day lodge, modest hotel, a pub and ski shop & that is about it.
I live in the Canadian Rockies and Castle is about an hour from my home. I've skied many many places in the Canadian and US Rockies and have yet to find a place that compares. Certainly Banff, Lake Louise and Sunshine cannot hold a candle to this place. In my view Castle is the closest one can get to heliskiing without paying for a helicopter.
The place is not for beginners or novices. However, they recently opened Haig Ridge which offers really good skiing for the green and blue crowd. All the same, this is a true expert's mountain. The lines are +2,000 feet deep, are up to 55 degrees and are everywhere. One has to be careful of the cliff bands which can be avoided but require an intelligent descent. There is free guiding on the mountain and they take you down the real runs, not just the insurance company approved routes.
Just last year - 2009 - they added a Lift/Cat ski service to an open, but not lift-serviced, bowl - you take the lift 1/2 way up to the top of Haig Ridge & then a cat up into a rather large & challenging bowl. The nice thing is you don't get babysat on the cat portion - you do your own thing & then take the next cat up. It's kind of like a bus service but maybe, perhaps too expensive for what one gets.
The wind can be furious. This is good thing in that the "wind sift" covers tracks in a matter of seconds and leaves the snow pool-table smooth. On the other hand, it can rip your heart out when going up the ancient lifts. More than once while riding the upper lift (the Red Chair) I have been pelted by scree (the broken flat rock flakes that geology is slowly bringing down the mountain). Another problem with the wind is that it can strip the snow off parts of the mountain leaving just a thin sheet that hides the scree below but with a little bit of surveying, it is easy enough to avoid these areas. On the other hand that snow ends up somewhere else so it is possible to powder ski even when it hasn't snowed for weeks. It's not always windy but it is a good idea to check it out before going.
If there is a terrain park I am not aware of it but the mountain itself is a park so it would be rather redundant if one were to exist. (I've been told there is a Park but I've never seen it.)
Trust me. You have to know how to ski well before tackling this mountain but if you have the skill (or the guts), you will probably have the best skiing experience of your life short of heliskiing.
Since I don't know how to "officially" add a link to the hill, here it is: http://www.skicastle.ca