Snowmaking at Mt. Norquay on October 28. (photo: Mt. Norquay Banff)

Western Canada Enters Ski Season This Week

Banff (AB), Canada – Both Mt. Norquay and Lake Louise will open for skiing this week, kicking off the ski season in western Canada.

Mt. Norquay will open first with its Cascade lift on Thursday. Skiers and riders looking to make their first turns of the 2015-16 season can do so alongside two-time Olympian Ken Read as he attends the ski hills opening day in celebration of its 90th anniversary. With the Canadian Rockies’ oldest ski resort turning 90, Mt. Norquay is celebrating with an updated trail map, new ski runs, Tube Town expansion, and the launch of a celebratory 90th anniversary craft brewed beer.

Snowmaking at Mt. Norquay on October 28. (photo: Mt. Norquay Banff)
Snowmaking at Mt. Norquay on October 28. (photo: Mt. Norquay Banff)

“Mt. Norquay is the birthplace of skiing in the Canadian Rockies,” says GM Andre Quenneville. “We are about to reach this significant milestone and are exceptionally proud to have been providing family fun for 90 years.”

Boasting Banff National Park’s newest ski run, Mt. Norquay’s extensive trail work during summer 2015 will provide skiers and riders with the Bow Valley’s newest skiable terrain. The brand new blue run Wiegele’s (50) is accessible from Mystic Chair and named after heli-ski pioneer Mike Wiegele.

RELATED STORY:  2023-24 Ski Season Analysis as of May 17, 2024

Lake Louise will follow Mt. Norquay and open for the season on Friday.  The Glacier Express Chair will start turning at 9 a.m. and three runs will be open: Bald Eagle, Wiwaxy and Easy Street. Four new Prinoth snowcats will be prowling the slopes of Lake Louise this season, ensuring pristine surfaces at the beginning of each ski day.

Lake Louise snowmakers were busy on Monday getting ready for Friday's season opening. (photo: Lake Louise Ski Resort)
Lake Louise snowmakers were busy on Monday getting ready for Friday’s season opening. (photo: Lake Louise Ski Resort)

This season, Lake Louise has attracted executive chef Scott Green from Las Vegas, and in addition to revamped menus throughout the resort featuring menus featuring Ahi tuna, Alberta raised wild boar, bison short ribs, pan-seared pheasant and seafood risottos, Green is adding a brand new sushi bar in what used to be Lake Louise’s Great Bear Room, and a new smokehouse in Kokanee Kabin.

The third Banff-area ski resort, Sunshine Village, is planning on a mid-November opening.

The title for first to open in Canada this year, however, goes to Mont-Saint-Sauveur in Québec, which opened a single run on October 19th.  That resort has subsequently re-closed while awaiting a return to colder weather.

RELATED STORY:  2023-24 Ski Season Progress Report as of March 16, 2024

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