A Field Guide to Finding the Best Ski Spots on Castle Mountain and Beyond
Contributed by Expedia.ca, helping you celebrate the snow this winter
The snow is firmly packed on the mountains of Alberta, sending out a siren song to expert skiers and aspiring Olympic snowboarders the world round. Claim your place on one of the region's epic runs before it's too late! Whether you want to stay close to Southwest Alberta or venture farther north, you can shred some powder with the best of them this winter. Even if you're a newbie, there is no better time to hit the slopes at an AB ski resort than right now. If you make Castle Mountain your home base for an extended vacation, there are plenty of other mountains to escape to for some new trails during a weekend tour.
Here are some of the best places in the region to hit the ski lifts.
Start your ski tour at Lake Louise, where advanced skiers will feel right at home, and newcomers are more than welcome to hone their skills. The Showtime Terrain Park is filled with everything from rails and boxes to something called the “Bag Jump,” which was designed by professional stuntmen. Take on this apparatus, and after you sail over a jump and perform your new favourite trick, you’ll come to rest on an inflatable landing pad. Other attractions at Lake Louise include a tubing park and beginners fun zone.
Hit the slopes at Norquay, just a 5-minute drive from Banff, for an experience that’s just your speed (whether that’s lightning fast or leisurely). If you’re starting out or want to hone some new skills, the resort has an on-site ski school. If you’re ready to hop on one of the six lifts and get to shredding, dozens of trails await. The mountain also has a terrain park with boxes, rails, and more. With an hourly rate policy, Norquay is considered one of the more affordable winter playgrounds in the area.
At Sunshine Village, you have three different mountains to choose from when you get a hankering for some of the best snow in Canada. With more than 3,000 acres of snow at your disposal, there is nothing to do but click your boots into a board and head down your first run (and then your second, and third…). With a dozen lifts and a high-speed gondola, you won’t even have to waste time in between each pass down the mountain.
A few hours’ drive south of Sunshine Village will lead you to Pass Powderkeg, a 1,200 foot vertical space for snowmobiling, skiing, and snowboarding. Adventurers of all skill levels are welcome to check out the trails and terrain park. The mountain also offers night skiing and lessons for skiers of all ages. Looking for something more than another trip down the powder? Grind some metal on the wide rails, boxes, rainbows, and more at the impressive rail garden.
Castle Mountain in Southwest Alberta makes an excellent home base or final stop on any extended ski tour. It’s the piece de resistance of Alberta skiing for more than one reason, not the least of which is its 3,500 acres of skiable terrain. While the resort is known for its steep and deep trails, you will encounter plenty of opportunities for solitude and serenity here. Castle Mountain caters to all skill levels, and the Rawhide Terrain Park was designed by snowboarders. Sign up for unlimited lessons, and you have a season pass for the snow school. Among the resort’s other bragging rights are: two mountains, 79 trails, seven lifts, and eight bowls. Alberta skiing beckons! The chutes will get your heart racing, while tube runs and snowshoeing trails invite you to reconnect with the great outdoors. From the summit of Castle Mountain, you can even see into British Columbia!