Banff re­sort just one of many Rock­ies sites to pack the fes­tive sea­son with ac­tiv­i­ties,

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS - writes Danny Austin.


There’s a lot to cel­e­brate around Lake Louise this hol­i­day sea­son, and the folks at the Ban ff Na­tional Park re­sort are em­brac­ing the fes­tiv­i­ties. On Dec. 16, they’re cel­e­brat­ing the Tem­ple Lodge’s 40th birth­day with cake and sto­ries of days gone by at the back­side-of-the-moun­tain lodge. A few days later, Santa Claus will be bring­ing some Christ­mas cheer to the re­sort as he skis around the vast moun­tain play­ground on Dec. 22 and 23. The con­di­tions are worth cel­e­brat­ing, too, as the 18 cen­time­tres of new snow that fell on the moun­tain in the past week brought the sea­son to­tal to 178 cm at mid-moun­tain. www.skilo­uise.com @skilo­uise


Once the sea­son kicked off at Sun­shine, it felt like there were events sched­uled for al­most ev­ery sin­gle week­end. It’s def­i­nitely not slow­ing down for the hol­i­day sea­son, ei­ther. There will be vis­its from Santa Claus on both of the next two week­end and there are torch­light pa­rades sched­uled for Dec. 24 and New Year’s Eve for guests at the Sun­shine Moun­tain Lodge. With its high el­e­va­tion, Sun­shine al­ready feels like it’s the mid­dle of win­ter, and the 21 cm of fresh pow­der that blan­keted the Banff re­sort’s slopes over the past seven days brought the sea­son to­tal to 183 cm. www.skibanff.com @Sun­shineVil­lage


Mount Norquay has of­fered some of the best sav­ings in the Rock­ies over the past cou­ple years, and their Toonie Tues­days have been one of the real high­lights. This year, it’s worth cir­cling your cal­en­dar for their Hello Cool2Car­pool Days, which take place once a month a sea­son and en­cour­age guests to ride-share on their way to the hill. The deal al­lows guests to split the $50-per-car­load price be­tween how­ever many pas­sen­gers are legally seated in a ve­hi­cle, and the first big day goes Dec. 19. With 2 cm of snow hit­ting Norquay in the last week, the sea­son to­tal now sits at 54 cm. www.banffnorquay.com @MtNorquay


There’s no other way of say­ing this: The next cou­ple of weeks are go­ing to be in­cred­i­bly busy — in the best pos­si­ble way — around Canada’s Olympic Park. How busy? Well, Santa Claus is go­ing to be at the Cal­gary Hill on Dec. 15 and 16, the park will be host­ing a Para Sport World Cup of Bob­sleigh com­pe­ti­tion from Dec. 18 to 22, and the Ju­nior Luge World Cup goes Fri­day and Satur­day. WinS­port also is of­fer­ing a tonne of deals for win­ter sports en­thu­si­asts dur­ing its 12 Days of Christ­mas event and the tube park of­fi­cially opens Dec. 20. www.wins­port.ca


Kick­ing Horse fi­nally revved up its lifts and opened to the pub­lic last week­end, and there’s a whole lot to get ex­cited about at the Golden, B.C., re­sort. This year Kick­ing Horse has Canada’s big­gest ex­pan­sion of ski­able ter­rain hap­pen­ing, as the open­ing up of the Ozone South face and Mid­dle Range will giver skiers and snow­board­ers ac­cess to 660 acres of new moun­tain to rip down — on top of the acres upon acres of big moun­tain ter­rain that’s made the re­sort a des­ti­na­tion for skiers and snow­board­ers from around the world. Kick­ing Horse has been blessed by great early-sea­son con­di­tions so far this sea­son, as the 25 cm of fluffy white stuff that fell on the moun­tain this week brought the sea­son to­tal to 230 cm. www.kick­inghorsere­sort.com @Kick­ingHorseMtn


Fi­nally, the day has ar­rived. On Fri­day, Cas­tle Moun­tain of­fi­cially will be kick­ing off its sea­son with a busy week­end that in­cludes a food drive and party with skiscene le­gends Shred Kelly. Once the sea­son gets go­ing, it never re­ally slows down, and who­ever makes the drive down south for Christ­mas can ski with Santa Claus on Dec. 25; night ski­ing gets go­ing on Dec. 29. The moun­tain got hit with 20 cm overnight go­ing into Wednes­day, and so far this win­ter has brought 187 cm of to­tal snow­fall. www.ski­cas­tle.ca @Ski­Cas­tle


No joke: the hol­i­day sea­son sched­ule at Panorama is ab­so­lutely bonkers. The In­ver­mere, B.C. re­sort is go­ing big this year, with a packed sched­ule of events for skiers, snow­board­ers and peo­ple who might not en­joy alpine sports quite so much. From Dec. 23 to 26, Panorama has every­thing from pho­tos with Santa Claus to Christ­mas or­na­ment dec­o­rat­ing to camp­fires and s’mores. Solid early sea­son con­di­tions also mean that all 10 lifts are open at the re­sort, as well as 96 of Panorama’s 133 trails. www.panora­mare­sort.com @panora­mare­sort


Like so many re­sorts across West­ern Canada, Fernie is go­ing all-out this hol­i­day sea­son and mak­ing sure that fam­i­lies who ven­ture down to the B.C. re­sort are able to get right into the spirit of the sea­son. There are op­por­tu­ni­ties to ski and take pho­tos with Santa Claus on Dec. 23 and 24, and then on New Year’s Eve the folks at Fernie are ring­ing in 2019 in style with a big din­ner and party at Cirque restau­rant. There’s tonnes of snow, too, as Fernie has been rev­el­ling in 35 cm of fresh pow­der in the past week and 220 cm so far this sea­son. www.skifer­nie.com @SkiFer­nie


Any­one who has ever made the trip up for a week­end — or week­day — at Mar­mot Basin knows that Jasper is a spe­cial town, but now we’ve got proof. This week, USA To­day dubbed Jasper Na­tional Park the “best ski town in North Amer­ica” in a Reader’s Choice sur­vey. Mother Na­ture sure seems to agree, as she’s de­liv­ered eight cm of snow in the past 48 hours alone, bring­ing the sea­son to­tal to 129 cm. www.ski­mar­mot.com @Mar­motBasin


They were is­su­ing pow­der alerts around Kim­ber­ley this week, as the 16 cm the fell in on Tues­day evening brought the sea­son to­tal to 107 cm at the B.C. re­sort. Skiers and snow­board­ers who are ea­ger to do a lit­tle ex­plor­ing this year should check out the RCR Rock­ies card, where they can get their first, fourth and sev­enth ski days free, as well as big dis­counts on all other vis­its. The card goes for only $109.95 and can be used at Nakiska, Kick­ing Horse, Fernie and Kim­ber­ley. www.skikim­ber­ley.com @SkiKim­ber­ley


To the sur­prise of ab­so­lutely no­body, there’s a lot of snow at Revel­stoke. Like, so much snow. The past week saw 49 cm of new pow­der fall on the B.C. re­sort’s sweet slopes and that brought the sea­son to­tal to an as­tound­ing 401 cm. With that much snow, no­body should need any more rea­sons to make the trip, but they’ve got a busy hol­i­day sea­son sched­ule this year, in­clud­ing nightly bon­fires on Dec. 21 and 22. www.rev­el­stoke­moun­tain­re­sort.com @rev­el­stokemtn [email protected]­media.com www.twit­ter.com/Dan­nyAustin_9


Ski­ing and board­ing is un­der­way at Lake Louise — but near-Christ­mas vis­i­tors should watch out for Santa Claus, who hits the slopes on Dec. 22 and 23.


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