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Calgary skiing?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have to go to Calgary in mid-January.  If I take a few extra days, what resorts would be within easy driving range? 

post #2 of 15

Nakiska, Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise are the closest, with the last 3 clustered within about 30 minutes of each other near Banff as the best option.

post #3 of 15

raspritz - I also sent this reply in my thread about Denver :) and I also just sent you a message with my contact details. I'd be happy to show you around sunshine or louise if you're coming up. Where to ski here really depends on what you like to ski:

 

- for closeness, variety, and decent snow go for sunshine (1.5 hours from calgary)

- for excellent steeps and moguls go to lake louise (2 hours from calgary)

- for extreme terrain go to kicking horse (3.5 hours from calgary)

- for powder, bowls and trees go to fernie (3.5 hours from calgary)

post #4 of 15

- for race style fall-line groomers close to the city go to Nakiska (1 hour from Calgary)

- for more fall-line groomers on a bigger mountain, with on-mountain accommodation (rare around here), go to Panorama (3 hours from Calgary)

 

Web Links

Sunshine Village

Lake Louise

Kicking Horse

Fernie

Nakiska

Panorama

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Sounds like I'm a Kicking Horse/Fernie kind of guy.  Powder, steeps, etc.  Thanks, all.

 

Rich

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post

Sounds like I'm a Kicking Horse/Fernie kind of guy.  Powder, steeps, etc.  Thanks, all.

 

Rich

If you're looking for steeps and extreme terrain a lot closer to Calgary, Sunshine Village is the place to go.  It has some of the best extreme terrain in Canada, and it's easily accessible from the lifts.

 

See this link.

http://www.skibanff.com/the_mountain/extreme_terrain.php
 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Exracer, I see your point. That looks very good. Thanks for the beta; that is probably where I'll go.

 

Rich

post #8 of 15

I like Sunshine (in fact it's one of my two season passes), but some of the best extreme terrain may not be open as early as mid-January. I think you'll get better terrain in early January in Kicking Horse. Of course if you can spring for two days in a row, I'd suggest ski Sunshine day one, then drive to Golden for a cheap motel and ski kicking horse on the second day. If you have a third day in a row stay the second night in Golden and ski whatever hill you like best on the way home (Calgary). If you have a fourth day, Ski Sunshine (sleep Golden), ski Kicking Horse (sleep Revelstoke), ski Revelstoke (sleep Golden), Ski KH, Sunshine, or Louise on the way home.

 

The four day option gives you the opportunity to ski four big mountains with difficult terrain. The only drawback is that you'll have a few mountain passes to go through (I'm writing this in the Revy Super 8, having just driven through snow storms, slush and ice in the Kicking Horse Pass and Canyon, as well as the Rogers Pass, so I know just how big a drawback that can be). On the other hand, I regularly ski in Revy on my way back from the Okanogan, and drive the 4.5 hours back to Calgary in a single stretch.

 

And of course the key factor is just where La Nina decides to drop her bounty in early January....

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Oh boy, decisions, decisions.  I guess I'll be checking snow conditions in Canada!

post #10 of 15

Easiest drive is COP wink.gif,but if you don't mind a bit more time on the highway, Nakiska & Banff are great fun. 

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post

Oh boy, decisions, decisions.  I guess I'll be checking snow conditions in Canada!


The good thing is you don't need to decide until you get here.  All you need is a car, a map, and the most recent snow reports when you arrive.  Accommodation will be easy to find, so don't stress over the need to make an early decision and pre-book.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post

Easiest drive is COP wink.gif,

 

roflmao.gifGood one!

post #12 of 15

I willbe skiing Castle Mountain Alberta, skicastle.ca Jan 20-25

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post

Sounds like I'm a Kicking Horse/Fernie kind of guy.  Powder, steeps, etc.  Thanks, all.

 

Rich

If you're looking for steeps and extreme terrain a lot closer to Calgary, Sunshine Village is the place to go.  It has some of the best extreme terrain in Canada, and it's easily accessible from the lifts.

 

See this link.

http://www.skibanff.com/the_mountain/extreme_terrain.php
 


 


Whoa whoa not so fast. The way the snowpack is setting up, there is a chance that they might not have the freeride zones open then. IF Delerium, Wildwest ect are not open, then go to Kicking Horse. Without the freeride zones there is no real steep terrain aside from South side chutes on Goats Eye, which could possibly ski poorly if there hasn't been recent snow fall.

 

If you want a sure thing then head to KH, if the freeride zones are open Sunshine. For Sunshine, you need a beacon, probe, shovel and partner to get access to the freeride zones. These zones are also very subject to closures due to poor visibility, or avy conditions, or just lack of snow if they keep sliding out under control work such was the case the year before last and the one previous to that. KH and SSV are also in 2 different snowpacks / climates, choose whatever one is better when you get here.
 

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by time2clmb View Post

Whoa whoa not so fast. The way the snowpack is setting up, there is a chance that they might not have the freeride zones open then. IF Delerium, Wildwest ect are not open, then go to Kicking Horse. Without the freeride zones there is no real steep terrain aside from South side chutes on Goats Eye, which could possibly ski poorly if there hasn't been recent snow fall.
 


Yeah, I should have added a proviso.  Because the snow here is so dry, it doesn't stick to the rock like it does in places where the humidity is higher and the snow is heavier, and sometimes the freeride zones at Sunshine don't get open until later in the season.  Since the O.P. is daytripping, he can check on the current status when he gets here and make his decision then as to how far he wants to drive.

post #15 of 15

I recommend Fernie/Castle for January.  Delirium is not often open that early.  Furthermore Sunshine and Lake Louise are slightly below average in snow so far, while Fernie/Castle are considerably above average. 

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