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Kicking Horse? Norquay? Sunshine Village?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello:

I have a business trip planned in January to Calgary and thought I'd steal a couple of days to ski. I don't really know anything about the nearby areas other than the names of some of the resorts. I understand that Kicking Horse rips and is about 2.5 hours from Calgary. Any reason to forego KH and ski Norquay or Sunshine Village, other than the fact hat they are somewhat closer? Any other reccos.

I am looking for strong terrain, with some good bowls and steeps. Not looking for a cruiser moutnain in any way. Opinions greatfully appreciated.

Best,

Blitz
post #2 of 5

Skiing At Kh/sunshine/etc

If the snow is good...you will love Kicking Horse.
They do not make snow but the terrain is very good and will challange you.
However, KH is 3 1/2 hours away NOT 2 1/2 hours

If you do not want to drive that far I would go to Sunhine.
Norquay will bore you
post #3 of 5
Kicking Horse has great terrain, but is limited with its lifts, and can be annoying. If the snow is there, it has the better terrain of the two, although you will probably get a bit frustrated getting to it. Also, depending on weather, getting to KH can be a challenge, as the pass can get bad.

Sunshine is big, has lots of lifts, and a good variety of terrain. It may be snow challenged in January.

Don't overlook Lake Louis. It's another 30 minutes beyond Sunshine, and has some very good skiing. Its big, and has lots of lifts. The steeps are probably better there than at Sunshine.

Be sure to post here a little closer to your arrival date in Calgary. You can probably find someone to show you around wherever you decide to go (if I'm in the area at the time, I would be happy to).
post #4 of 5
If you are driving from Calagary to Kicking Horse it is a little more than 2 1/2 hours to get up to the area, depending on weather/road conditions. A fairly easy drive on the Trans-Canadian Hyw. Be advised that there is a somewhat sneaky time change issue because the time line does not follow the Provincial border. I drove over for a half day and ended up an hour late because I did not gain an hour. Even though you cross into BC the time change is just a little further west.
post #5 of 5
If Kicking Horse has the snow, you would probably find it a challenging and enjoyable hill. It is at least three hours from Calgary in the winter and requires driving on a couple of sections of the highway that are either under construction or extremely unpleasant. Try to make sure you do the Kicking Horse canyon (40 km section east of Golden) during daylight hours if you are at all nervous about mountain driving.

Sunshine and Louise should be in pretty good shape at that time of year and you would find plenty to do at those hills over a two or three day period. Sunshine is about 75 minutes west of Calgary and Lake Louise is another 15 minutes farther along the road. Effective time to the slopes is pretty much the same as you have to spend 15 minutes riding up the gondola at Sunshine to the village. Norquay is a good place to spend two or three hours in the morning riding their blue groomers (great corduroy), but they're usually scraped down to the ice by noon.

In the unlikely event that the snow is the pits at all the above resorts, you could also consider Fernie (about 3 1/2 hours south of the city). It's another big mountain that can get big powder dumps and it is in a different weather pattern than SV, LL, and KH.

If you are going to be staying in Calgary and just want to commute up for non-sequential ski days, you might want to check out the Sheraton Four Points West. I can't vouch for the rooms, but it is right on the outskirts of town, and you don't want to have to go any distance in rush hour traffic if you are trying to get to the hills (on the other hand this would lengthen your commute if you were going to meetings downtown). The 4points is located about 50 yards from one of the pickup points for the Sunshine day bus, and is right across the highway from Canada Olympic Park (if you want to spend a couple of hours night skiing within the city).

If you can spend two or three days skiing, as a block, you should look at going to Banff or Canmore for accommodation (or on the mountain at Kicking Horse). Of course if you were to extend your business trip by another week you could ski all these hills plus a couple of other gems like Castle Mtn. or Marmot.
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