The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

The wait is over for anxious skiers and snowboarders in the Calgary area.

On Friday, Calgarians can make a quick trip to our neighbouring mountains to indulge in the first day of skiing this season. Lake Louise Ski Resort, Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay and Nakiska will all be starting their lifts on Nov. 9.

Here’s what you need to know to get the best downhill for your dollar this weekend.

Lake Louise Ski Resort

Opening day: Friday, Nov. 9

Admission costs: $46 - $114

Rental costs: Single day ski or snowboard package: $47.95 / Three day: $128.85

Lake Louise PicWhile trailing clouds of powder may not be in the weekend forecast for Lake Louise Ski Resort quite yet, trails are set to open for the season on Friday, Nov. 9. Photo courtesy of Chris Moseley.

You can find Lake Louise Ski Resort just two hours west of the city. The region’s biggest mountain opens Nov. 9, with lifts running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Full day lift tickets for adults start at $57. Half day tickets are also available starting at $46. The resort is offering Lake Louise Plus Cards for $114. These cards offer skiers and snowboarders three free days of skiing, $20 off lift tickets all season and access to five different ski resorts.

“The Louise Plus Card is the deal of the century right now,” says Dan Markham, communications director for Lake Louise Ski Resort. “If you’re going to come out and buy a lift ticket you might as well get a Louise Plus Card.”

In celebration of the 2018/19 winter season, the ski resort will be giving the first 100 people in line on Friday free North Face swag. In addition, the resort will be honouring all active military personnel and veterans by offering them a free day of skiing on Sunday for Remembrance Day.

Those still riding the legalization high may be interested in checking out Lake Louise Ski Resort this weekend, as they may allow cannabis consumption in designated areas. However, the resort has yet to decide on an official set of rules regarding cannabis according to StarMetro Calgary.

Mount Norquay

Opening day: Friday, Nov. 9

Admission costs: $28 - $109

Rental costs: Single day ski or snowboard package: $45 / Three day: $120

NorquayNot down for skiing? Norquay, which opens its hills on Nov. 9, also offers a snow tubing hill that is fun for the whole gang. Photo courtesy of Norquay.

Mount Norquay is a small hill in Banff where people have been skiing since 1926.

Norquay “was kind of the original backyard playground for the town of Banff and it still is,” says Andre Quenneville, general manager at the hill. We really value ourselves as a family friendly ski area and also a great access and gateway to the Rockies at a lower price.”

With the recent retirement of two dollar skiing days, Norquay is launching a new program to keep skiing an affordable group event.

“We're calling it ‘Cool2CarPool’ and we're hoping it's going to be fifty dollars per car load,” explains Quenneville.

When lone skiers make the trek to Norquay, parking often runs out. But, Norquay noticed skiers pouring in by the van and bus load and realized just how cool it is to carpool, while also trying to keep skiing an affordable group event.

“We want people to fill their cars and come out skiing,” says Quenneville. “Our goal there is to have people reduce their environmental impact by carpooling.”

When admission costs the same whether you have two or 15 people in your vehicle, why wouldn’t you pack into a clown car? And if you face plant one too many times for your liking, you can head over to the snow tubing hill that Norquay has had since 2009.

“You don't need to have equipment, you don't need to know how to ski. You could just show up and have fun outside in the winter,” says Quenneville.

Nakiska

Opening day: Friday, Nov. 9

Admission costs: $71.95 - $89.95

Rental costs: Single day ski or snowboard package: $52.95

NakiskaWEBIt’s time to break out the fluorescent snow pants — Calgary’s closest ski destination, Nakiska Ski Area, will be occupied by eager Alberta skiers once again for opening weekend from Nov. 9 to Nov. 11. Photo courtesy of Nakiska Ski Area.

Located 45 minutes west of Calgary and the closest of all major hills, Nakiska Ski Area lifts will start running Nov. 9. For now, Nakiska will only be open on weekends with the full season beginning in December.

Early season weekends during November are designated as preview weekends, with pricing for adults starting at $45, while full days during the regular season start at $89 and half days at $71.95. For a cheaper lift ticket, purchasing tickets online can allow for up to 20 per cent off.

2018/19 winter passes are $379 for children, $719 for youths, $959 for adults ($769 for students) and $769 for seniors. Family passes are going for for $2,229, while a full list of lift ticket prices can be found here.

Just like Norquay, if shreddin’ the slopes isn’t your style, Nakiska has a tubing park that opened in 2013.

Get your gear at the rental offices that open at 8:15 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.

Sunshine Village

Opening day: Friday, Nov. 9

Admission costs: $93 - $114

Rental costs: Single day ski or snowboard package: $57

Sunshine Credit Reuben KrabbelWhile the views from the top of Sunshine Village may not be completely blanketed with snow yet, the beginning of ski season means landscapes like this are on the horizon. Photo courtesy of Reuben Krabbe.

Sunshine Village Ski Resort boasts 137 runs and is located in the heart of Banff National Park and a 15 minute drive from the town of Banff.

An adult season pass at Sunshine Village cost $1,395. For a family pass, it costs $2,850. Youth get their passes for $419 and students can buy passes for $599.

Passes for seniors range from $98 to $898 and from $30 to $419 for children.

The mountain is open Saturday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays until 10 p.m.

Sunshine Village also has affordable rental rates. For children 12 and under, a full day ski package costs $36 and a half day ski package costs $31. For adults, a full day package is $57 and a half day package is $51 without a helmet, which will run you an extra $14.

Editors: Colin Macgillivray & Nathan Kunz | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.