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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Discover Winter Activities in Calgary


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.

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…)

Hot Entertainment: Summer Skiing

Can't wait for winter? Ski the Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain. Photo by Mike Crane courtesy Tourism Whistler

Can’t wait for winter? Ski the Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain. Photo by Mike Crane courtesy Tourism Whistler

Bypass the golf course and leave mountain biking behind. Instead, carve and slalom your way down Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain during the summer skiing season (Jun. 22 to Jul. 28). The impatient-for-winter and adventurous alike converge on the glacier for blue-sky days and soft snow. End the day with a patio après-ski for the best of both seasons. But don’t forget your sunscreen.—Jill Von Sprecken

7 Father’s Day Gift Ideas For Calgary Dads



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.


Family Fun at Whistler

Photo by Amy McDermid

This mountain playground has something in store for kids young and old

By Louise Phillips

Eek! The kids are hopping up and down because you’re all going to Whistler—but you don’t want to worry about watching them while you’re regaining your own ski legs, and you could really enjoy some quality time with your other half. Your skiwear no longer fits, and the kids want snowboards. (more…)

Hot Entertainment: Adventure Seekers Try Heli-Skiing in Whistler

Once the chopper pulls away, you’re left to ski down the hill. Talk about an adrenaline rush! Photo by Neil Brown

Crowded lift line-ups, screaming children, clumsy beginners holding up the advanced runs—who needs it? Hop on a helicopter and escape to the serenity of untracked powder and endless terrain with Whistler Heli-Skiing. Intermediate to expert skiers have more than 175,000 hectares (432,000 acres) of possibilities in the mountains and glaciers surrounding Whistler, and a day of heli-skiing involves around 10 runs varying from 400 to 1,500 vertical metres (1,400 to 5,000 vertical feet). It’s a wilderness adventure, but with the advantage of a return to civilization immediately after.—Sheri Radford

The best heli-skiing is in Feb. and Mar., and the season ends Apr. 21. Call 1-888-435-4754 or visit www.whistlerheliskiing.com for more info.

Whistler By the Numbers

However you do the math, Whistler adds up to one unforgettable experience

By Sheri Radford

Skiing photo by Chad Chomlack courtesy Tourism Whistler

We’re number one! Whistler Blackcomb is consistently named the best ski resort in North America by publications such as Skiing Magazine and Freeskier.

For 11 minutes, you can enjoy the world’s most breathtaking view as the Peak 2 Peak Gondola whisks passengers on a 4.4-km (2.73-mi) ride between the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

Whistler Mountain’s ski season runs from Nov. 22, 2012 to Apr. 21, 2013, which equals 151 days of great skiing.  Blackcomb Mountain stays open into the summer months, depending on weather conditions.

Snow bunnies can’t resist the 1,192 cm (39 ft) of snow that Whistler Blackcomb averages each year.

Blackcomb’s peak elevation of 2,284 m (7,494 ft) is a bit taller than Whistler Mountain’s 2,182 m (7,160 ft).

With 3,307 hectares (8,171 acres) of ski terrain, Whistler Blackcomb has something for every skier and snowboarder.