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skiing

Cross-Country Skiing the Goat Creek Trail: Great For Beginners & Families

Feb. 12, 2016
By Morgan Kwan

Winter always seems to pass by faster when you’re busy with activities. Don’t let the season get you down; there are plenty of winter activities to warm up to in the Canadian Rockies. Cross-country skiing is a great low impact sport that the whole family can do. If you’re looking for something a little different, I highly recommend the Goat Creek Trail that runs from Canmore to Banff through the Spray Valley.

Goat-Creek-3

A popular summer mountain biking trail, Goat Creek also makes a fantastic cross-country ski trail, even for beginners. Track set for the full 18 km, you pop out at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel where you can take advantage of the scrumptious Sunday brunch or go for a dip at the nearby Banff Upper Hot Springs before heading back to Canmore. (See my note about transportation at the end of this article). (more…)

Insider Tips: Canadian Rockies Ski Resorts

Jan. 7, 2016
By Where Staff

For Banff National Park ski resorts, read our previous feature.

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Alberta’s Olympic Mountain: Nakiska Ski Area

Between Banff and Calgary, south of Hwy 1 via Hwy 40, this resort was built to host the 1988 Olympics. Beautiful Kananaskis Valley views abound, and Kananaskis Village is only minutes away.

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Insider Tips: Banff National Park Ski Resorts

Enhance Your Experience

Dec. 23, 2015
By Where Writers

Our Canadian Rockies paradise has beckoned those who crave incredible skiing for nearly a century. We boast an enviable combination of deep dry snow, tree-lined and open bowl terrain, high-speed lifts and on-hill amenities. Peaks outnumber people, and the ski season is the longest in the country.

Canada’s Mountain Parks (UNESCO World Heritage sites Banff and Jasper national parks, plus Kananaskis Country) are home to five Alberta ski areas. Read on for our insider insights.

Banff National Park
Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise are Banff’s ‘Big 3’. Tri-area multi-day lift passes with ski bus and optional lessons can be purchased at the Banff Ski Hub.

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Big Mountain Adventure

Local pros suggest exhilarating winter excursions

Dec. 7, 2015
By Afton Aikens

Eisenhower Tower on Castle Mountain, John Price, Travel Alberta

Eisenhower Tower on Castle Mountain, John Price, Travel Alberta

Massive. Rugged. Incredible. Whatever your interpretation, there’s no denying that the Canadian Rockies leave an impression.

In winter, peaks and valleys draped in snow and ice create a magical outdoor playground that entices adventurers into its wilderness.

For professional climber, paraglider and kayaker Will Gadd, growing up here shaped his identity and sparked a lifetime of legendary exploits.

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Ski Area Fun: No Skis Necessary

By Where Staff

Canadian Rockies’ ski resorts have been drawing crowds for nearly a century. If skiing or boarding isn’t for you, or if you just want to try something different, there’s still plenty of fun to be had on and off the slopes.

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Tube Park Fun

The whole family can delight in speeding down the slopes on an inflatable tube. Groomed lanes ensure safe, smooth sliding. At Lake Louise Sunny Tube Park, slide for $22 (yth $20, ch $15, -5 free). Norquay’s Tube Town (night-lit Fri/Sat) has six chutes, two lifts and a play zone with a small sliding area ($35, yth/sr $25, ch $20). Nakiska Tube Park ($19, ch $15) has an additional lane this year.

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Old-Fashioned Mountain Activities: Part 4

By Afton Aikens

The final part of this four-week post series will introduce you to cross-country skiing, brought to Canada at the turn of the 20th century by Scandinavian immigrants. At first, skeptical locals thought snowshoeing to be a more practical means of winter transportation. But with the advent of ski lodges, things began to change.

Photo: Travel Alberta

Photo: Travel Alberta

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Discover Winter Activities in Calgary

By RACHAEL FREY

Family winter activities Calgary

Take the kids and head to the nearby ski hills! Photo courtesy WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park

Calgary is known as the gateway to the Rockies, but there’s no need to leave the city to find outdoor activities in the winter. World-class Olympic sports facilities and a keen sense of seasonal nostalgia combine to create a variety of family-friendly cold weather fun.

OLD-FASHIONED ICE
Ice-skating is an integral part of Canadian cold-weather life, and while indoor rinks may be practical, nothing beats gliding across outdoor ice under the vast Prairie sky. (more…)

7 Father’s Day Gift Ideas For Calgary Dads

 

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Hanson’s Fishing Outfitters is the shopping destination for dads who love the outdoors. Photo: Adele Brunnhofer.

Dads are notoriously difficult to shop for, but these seven papa-approved local shops offer something more than the standard “zany” necktie or drab coffee mug.

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Three Days at Banff’s “Big Three” Ski Resorts

By PAMELA MACNAUGHTAN

Lake Louise ski resort (Photo: Drew Douglas)

Spring may be around the corner, but the ski season in the Canadian Rockies lasts until May, so you’ve got plenty of time to hit the slopes! (more…)

Staff Picks: 10 Shops for Skiers and Boarders

Photo by Skistar Trysil

Whether you ski downhill or cross-country, or if you prefer to slide the slopes on a single plank, these ski and board shops will outfit you with the equipment, outerwear and accessories you need for a day of dashing through the snow.

Bikes & Boards
When you want to carve up a snowy mountainside and look good doing it, this Sporting Life-branded store is the place to gear up. Find snowboards, boots and bindings, as well as stylish jackets and goggles from brands like Burton, Volcom and Salomon. 2454 Yonge St., 416-485-4440.

Boardsports
Thanks to a staff that’s knowledgeable and passionate about all sports involving a board of some kind, you’re sure to find the right snowboard to suit your riding style and skill level. Arbor, Drake and Flow are just a few of the cool brands kept in stock. 2010 Yonge St., 416-485-9463.

Hogtown Extreme Sports
Everything you need to snowboard—aside from the slanted, snow-swept plot of land—is available at this store. Naturally, there are snowboards aplenty, as well as a fine selection of boots, jackets, pants, helmets and board bags. Waxing and sharpening services are also offered. 401 King St. W., 416-598-4192.

Kenmark Snowsports
The jaunt north to Richmond Hill is worth it to reach this 6,000-square-foot repository for skis, snowboards and more. Since 1980 is winter-loving staff have been recommending all the right equipment for your slippery escapades, from brands like Dakine, Spyder, Rossignol and Marmot. 10720 Yonge St., 905-883-5586.

Mountain Equipment Co-Op
Recreational and expert cross-country skiers alike head to this venerable outdoor store to find all the equipment they need for a day in the snow—from skis and poles to jackets and backpacks, and even sleeping bags if you’re planning a longer backcountry journey. If you’re wary of commitment, MEC offers ski and snowshoe rentals, too. 400 King St. W., 416-340-2667.

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15 Extreme Canadian Winter Activities

By Meghan Wilson-Smith

It doesn’t take long for Canadians to feel the doldrums of winter start to take hold. But, being the clever Canucks that we are, we’ve figured out exciting ways to make winter full of exploration and adventure. From cave exploration to kite boarding (on ice) to dog sledding, winter can be a time when your best vacation memories are made. Let’s stop hibernating! It’s time to appreciate Canada for the winter wonderland it is. (more…)

2011 Opening Dates at Canada’s Top Ski Resorts

Photo by Patrick Hiu

Last weekend’s East Coast storm was a shocker for some, but winter-sports enthusiasts it meant an early start to the most wonderful time of the year: ski season.

Many resorts are opening early, and in fact, at least one is already open.

Here’s a rundown of ski-season openings for 2011, in order by opening date: (more…)