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Archive for the ‘ski holidays’ Category

Win a FREE 3-day Banff Norquay – Lake Louise – Sunshine Ski Pass

05 Nov

If you are on Twitter be sure to enter the following Twitter promotion – all you have to do is follow @HolidaysCanada and RT the tweet below. Competition closes this Friday, November 9 2012 at 10am Pacific Time – Good Luck!!!

 

Banff National Park Ski Resorts Open Early for 2012-2013 Ski Season

24 Oct

After many days of snowfall in the Canadian Rockies over the past week, the ski resorts in Banff National Park are opening early. Nakiska ski resort, which is located outside of Banff National Park, announced yesterday that they were opening this weekend. Just a few hours ago, Banff Mt. Norquay announced that they are opening tomorrow (Thursday, October 25 2012) at noon, just a couple of days before Nakiska’s scheduled early opening (and thus stealing Nakiska’s thunder) – way to go Banff Mount Norquay! This is the earliest ski resort opening in Canada’s history (to our knowledge).

The Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village are currently scheduled to open on November 9th 2012 for the 2012-2013 winter ski season.

Cheap lift passes are available through the U.K. website SkiHolidaysCanada.co.uk but you have to contact them direct for rates. Their early-bird deadline is December 15 2012 so you’d better get your skates, or should I say, skis on!!!

Have a great season and feel free to post comments – we love to hear from you!

 

New Year’s Eve 2011 in Banff

29 Dec

Banff National Park is an excellent place to see in the New Year and there is certainly no shortage of things to do and places to go!  As always, Banff Avenue at midnight is the place to be to see the fireworks!

Lake Louise Torchlight Dinner & Ski

Start with après refreshments and live music mid-mountain, followed by first tracks on a freshly groomed run, and then finish off with dinner and entertainment in the Sitzmark Lounge. Book in advance.
4:00 PM | Lake Louise Ski Area | $65 | Lake Louise Torchlight Dinner & Ski Details

NYE 2011
Bubbles flowing, campfire roaring, taste buds exploding: it must be NYE at The Bison!
5PM ($85) & 6:30PM ($125) Seatings | Bison Restaurant & Terrace, 211 Bear St.

New Years Eve 2011 with Cronic
Dinner buffet with live entertainment, two seatings.
6:30 PM | St. James Gate Olde Irish Pub | $75

New Year’s Gala
Enjoy a four course meal while Barry Shaw and The Fairmont Banff Springs Orchestra play in the back- ground.
7:00 PM | Fairmont Banff Springs, Van Horne Ballroom | $295

Torchlight Parade
Join us to ring in the New Year with our Torchlight Parade down North American Chair, which can be seen from the town of Banff.
7:00 PM | Banff Mt. Norquay

The Rocky Mountain New Year’s Eve Experience
Live DJ, all party favours and champagne included.
8:00 PM | Dancing Sasquatch | $99

Masquerade Ball
Banff’s best party with DJ Strength
9:00 PM | HooDoo Lounge | $69.99

Banff New Year’s Party, Greek Style
Enjoy a fantastic 3 course Greek feast, Banff’s only live dinner show (belly dancing, Greek dancing & plate smashing), party favours and a glass of champagne to ring in the New Year! Reservations required.
9:30 PM | Balkan Restaurant, 120 Banff Ave. | $75

Masquerade Ball New Year’s Party
Featuring the music stylings of Project Mayhem, enjoy the ball with or without dinner.
10 PM | Rose & Crown | $110 Dinner & Ball, $60 Ball

Banff’s Biggest & Best New Year’s Party
Amazing light show, 3 drinks and delicious appetizer.
10:00 PM | Aurora Night Club | $99

Matt Beatty and the Second String Cowboys
Enjoy live country music, balloon drop, champagne toast, party favours and a late night appetizer buffet.
10:00 PM | Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon | $40

ONGOING EVENTS

Christmas Social Printings & Drawings
With works by John Snow, Margaret Shelton, George Weber, D. Helen Mackie, Dwayne Harty, Peter von Tiesen- hausen, Jean Sheppard, James Agrell Smith, Harry Wohlfarth, Illingworth Kerr, Kenojuak Ashevak, Chris Stoffel Overvoorde, Kananginak Pootoogook, Tom Willock, Napachie Pootoogook, John Topelko and others.
December 1—30 | Open daily 10 AM—6 PM | Willock & Sax Gallery, 211 Bear St.

Christmas at the Castle
Join the parade of Christmas characters as they wind their way through the grand hallways of the hotel, led by San- ta. The majestic mountains beckon all to experience a Christmas holiday filled with laughter and lasting memories. Throughout the holiday season we blend new and old world traditions together with activities designed to intrigue, spoil and inspire you.
December 19—January 2 | The Fairmont Banff Springs | Reservations – 1-866-540-4406

Current exhibits at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, 111 Bear Street Bow Valley Fibrearts
Whether revealed through fabric, yarn or other materials, the artistic ambitions of the Bow Valley are explored in this exhibition. A selection of quilting, knitted soft sculpture and painting on silk are just some of the examples fea- tured in this informal survey.

Small Treasures Art Show & Sale
Good things come in small packages! A favourite tradition of locals and visitors, the Museum hosts its annual holi- day season Art Show and Sale. Choose from individual works of art or handcrafted artisan-made gift items.

Women of Fibre & Bow Valley Fibrearts
Whether revealed through fabric, yarn or other materials, the artistic ambitions of the Bow Valley are explored in this exhibition. A selection of quilting, knitted soft sculpture and painting on silk are just some of the examples fea- tured in this informal survey.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SnowDays | January 14—February 12, 2012
New events such as the Mountain Adventure Weekend and “Take it to the Street” hockey tournament on Banff Ave, combined with the ever popular Ice Magic Festival, now two weekends of fun, will add to the excitement of the season. Throw in a new outdoor skating rink decked out with lights, festive atmosphere and new programming by Parks Canada and Banff Heritage Tourism, we’ll all have something to celebrate and share. Full details coming soon…

Watermedia in the Rockies | January 21 through March 20, 2012 | Whyte Museum Watermedia has been a traditional medium for artists in the Rocky Mountains. Keeping with tradition this show will feature the work of watermedia artists who have portrayed their love and respect for the Rocky Mountains and areas nearby.

 

6 of the Best – Banff Bars

18 Aug

I’d like to introduce our guest blogger, Nick Coates. He wrote the following article for us based on his bar experiences in Banff. Here are his top six Banff bars:

Melissa’s
Home of the infamous $2.75 high ball, Mel’s is a lively bar with a great atmosphere. A firm favourite with both Banff locals and visitors alike due to its chameleon nature; Mel’s is a sports bar, steak house, and party bar all rolled into one!
The ground floor restaurant serves up huge slabs of meat, chargrilled to perfection, while the 2nd Floor bar caters for all your sport watching and party needs. It’s also a great spot to pick up breakfast if you’re feeling a little fragile the next day!
Quick tip: don’t forget to tip the barman if you want to get served quickly and never ask to change the channel from Ice Hockey!

The Storm Cellar
Situated on the ground floor of the Banff Alpine Lodge at Tunnel Mountain, this lively bar is a firm favourite with young travellers and locals alike. Offering some of the most reasonably priced drinks in town along with regular open mic and karaoke nights, this lively little bar is the perfect place to start a night out in Banff. There’s also a darts board, table football, big screen TV, and an Ice Climbing wall outside. So if you’re feeling adventurous why not see if you can scale this icy behemoth… just leave the beers for afterwards!

Trapper’s
This lively mountain bar can be found at the top of the Sunshine Village high speed gondola. Trapper’s boasts some of the finest food available on mountain; serving up huge plates of Nachos, delicious pulled pork sandwiches, as well as all the usual Canadian favourites. It’s also perfect for sunny days on the hill thanks to its extensive outdoor seating area and sun terrace.
There’s really no better place to grab a cold one after a hard day’s riding with your buddies!

Wild Bill’s Saloon
One of Banff’s more lively venues, Wild Bill’s hosts regular live music nights with both local and international acts passing through on a regular basis. As the name suggests there’s a bit of a western vibe going on here, where else can you cattle roping in the mountains?! So if you fancy playing cowboy/cowgirl for a night or just want to check out some awesome live bands head on down to Wild Bill’s! They also throw a mean Superbowl party…

The Dancing Sasquatch
Not only is this nightclub the number one contender for our “Best named club in the world. Ever” award, it’s also a great place for a night out. With local and international DJ’s gracing the decks playing the very best in Dubstep, Hip-hop, Techno and everything in between coupled with unbeatable drinks deals the Dancing Sasquatch is definitely the place to party after hours in Banff!

Aurora Nightclub
The other of Banff’s nightclubs, with a relaxed atmosphere and some of Canada’s finest DJs passing through Aurora is a great place to party. Complete with pool tables and its own take-away pizza stand Aurora ticks all the boxes for a great night out! It also throws a killer Australia Day party for all you Aussies out there!

The author, Nick Coates, recommends SnowSkool for snowboard instructor courses

.

 

Snowfall warning still in effect – Banff National Park

02 Apr

It seems we just keep getting these snowfall warnings this year! Environment Canada once again posted a snowfall warning for Banff National Park and surrounding area with good reason. The snow has been coming down heavily all day today with no end in sight! It’s April 2nd 2011 – where is the spring??! With temperature highs of below zero degrees centigrade today, this new snowfall is not going anyway and as a result, the ski resorts are in incredible shape.

Sunshine Village ski resort, in Banff National Park received 12cm in past 24 hours. That’s 47cm in the past 72 hours and the snow has been coming down hard all day. Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s report!

The highway cameras in Alberta give you a good idea of the current driving conditions in Banff National Park – if you must drive, please drive safe or take one of the ski shuttles instead. The locals who drive these buses know the roads better than anyone!

Here is the current weather conditions for Banff:

SNOWFALL WARNING IN EFFECT, Banff

Posted: April 2nd, 2011 05:46 PM

Persons in or near this area should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions. Issued: 3:46 PM MDT Saturday 02 April 2011


Current Conditions: -2.7°C

Posted: April 2nd, 2011 06:00 PM

Observed at: Banff 4:00 PM MDT Saturday 02 April 2011
Temperature: -2.7°C
Pressure / Tendency: 100.8 kPa rising
Humidity: 82 %
Wind Chill: -7
Dewpoint: -5.4°C
Wind: E 9 km/h
Air Quality Health Index: N/A


Saturday night: Snow. Low minus 4.

Posted: April 2nd, 2011 06:00 PM

Snow ending this evening then cloudy. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Low minus 4. Forecast issued 4:00 PM MDT Saturday 02 April 2011

Banff Current Weather Source: Rocky Mountain Holidays


Thanks for reading and be sure to share your experiences in Banff National Park with us below. When this storm blows through, the ski conditions will be incredible tomorrow.

Will spring ever arrive in Banff National Park?!

 

Banff Norquay to extend opening – 2011

31 Mar

2011 has so far continued to bring us plenty of snow here in the Canadian Rockies with low temperatures keeping the ski conditions perfect.  Mother Nature is making sure we don’t get to see spring just yet (although we are officially almost 2 weeks into spring!).

The ski resorts in Banff National Park received another good dosing of the white stuff today:

  • Sunshine Village, Banff – 20cm in past 24 hrs. High of just -3°C (26.6°F) reached today.
  • Banff Norquay received 7cm in the past 48 hours.
  • Lake Louise received 9cm of fresh snow over the past 24 hours.

 

Sunshine Village still intends to open through to late May and Lake Louise intends to close May 1st. Banff Norquay just announced that they intend to extend their opening through to April 24th 2011. It seems that there is plenty of the white stuff for Easter – not only will we be skiing with the Easter bunny, you might want to look out for bears on skis too!

Happy spring to you all!

 

Incredible Snow Conditions in Banff National Park 2011

15 Jan

Firstly, a belated Happy New Year to you all!

We are off to a fantastic start here in the Canadian Rockies. The snowfall so far has just been incredible.  So much powder, in fact, the Kicking Horse Powder Express from Banff has been cancelled the last couple of days due to it not being able to get through!

This is the snow POWDER report from today:

  • Lake Louise [Banff National Park] – 19cm received in past 24 hours (40cm in the past 2 days)
  • Sunshine Village [Banff National Park] – 21cm received in the past 24 hours (42cm in the past 2 days)
  • Banff Norquay [Banff National Park] – 35+cm in the past 24 hours. Their NORTH AMERICAN chair (BIG CHAIR) opened today!
  • Nearby Nakiska – 28cm in the past 24 hours, 38cm in the past 48 hours, 63cm in the past 7 days.
  • Nearby Kicking Horse Mountain Resort – 32 cm in the past 24 hours, 61cm in the past 48 hours (84cm in the past week). Incredible.

Have any of you managed to get up recently? If you have, we would love to hear about it!

Drive safe and enjoy this magnificent powder!

 

Ski Holidays Canada

02 Dec

Thinking of a ski holiday in Canada? Considering visiting any of the following ski resorts: Banff Norquay, Fernie, Jasper Marmot Basin, Kicking Horse, Kimberley, Lake Louise, Nakiska, Panorama, Sunshine Village, Whistler Blackcomb? Then read on!

Things to consider before deciding where to go on a ski holiday in Canada. The following is based on statistics gathered direct from the ski hills by rocky-peak Ski Holidays.

? Price

We all have a budget to stick to, well, most of us anyway!

Best value ski resort: Jasper Marmot Basin

Most Expensive ski resort: Whistler Blackcomb

? Terrain (Based on % of resort)

Mostly beginner: Jasper Marmot Basin

Mostly intermediate: Nakiska

Mostly advanced: Whistler Blackcomb (Kicking Horse is close second)

Mostly Expert: Panorama

? Time of year

Earliest opening: Sunshine Village, Banff

Latest Closing: Whistler Blackcomb

Be aware that the coldest months are January and February. Some of the best rates of the season are in January and as long as you have plenty of warm clothes just in case, it is definately worth taking advantage of these rates.

? Duration

Longest season: Whistler Blackcomb (Sunshine Village, Banff close second)

Whistler Blackcomb opens November and closes in early June – how great is that?! Blackcomb Mountain also has a glacier which can be skiied on in the summer.

Sunshine Village, Banff closes end of May. If you are wanting to stay a season then go for the resorts with the longest season. If you are coming out for just week, it is best stick with just one resort, that way you will get to know the runs well. For two week ski holidays think about spending one week in one resort, and the other week in another.

If you don’t want to do the split resort ski holiday, Banff, for example, has access to Banff Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village and if you are prepared to travel a couple of hours, Kicking Horse onboard the popular Kicking Horse Express Ski Bus. Lake Louise also has easy access to all these resorts too.

? Snow Quantity

Greatest average snowfall: Whistler Blackcomb (Fernie is close second)

This might be why Fernie was rated number 5 best ski resort in North America in Skiing Magazine’s “Top 25 Resorts in North America”. Whistler Blackcomb was number one again!

If you are after deep powder, then increase your chances by visiting the resorts with the highest average snowfall. One thing to remember though is that you can have a powder day in most resorts if your timing is right (and you are lucky!), however, skiing while that snow is coming down is not that much fun as you can not see too much so don’t pray for too much snow at once!

? Snow Quality

Best quality: Sunshine Village, Banff

Quality not quantity comes to mind. Head to the higher resorts for the best quality snow. If the temperatures rise a bit, you still know you will be getting good quality snow, not that horrible slushy stuff. The higher the resorts, the lower the temperatures are going to be so that is something to bear in mind.

In my opinion, Sunshine Village, Banff has the best quality snow. It is ideally located on the Continental Divide and is a high resort and so Sunshine Village, Banff often receives snow when the other ski resorts aren’t.

? Best Powder

Kicking Horse without a doubt! Kicking Horse has it’s famous "champagne powder" that you can just cruise through. The air is so dry, you will find it is almost impossible to make snowballs out of this light fluffy powder. If it looks like the snow is going to hit Kicking Horse Mountain Resort while you are out here, be sure to hop on the Powder Express Bus to Kicking Horse.

? Racing

Do you like to Race?

The best for racing are Lake Louise and Nakiska. With their groomed runs you fly!

? Greatest Vertical

Do you like long runs?!

Whistler Blackcomb has the greatest vertical in North America (closely followed by Vail) and Kicking Horse has the greatest vertical in the Canadian Rockies. You will find your ankles will burn if you try to do the run from top to bottom in one go. It is certainly a buzz when you do a great last long run from top to bottom to finish your day.

? Skiable Terrain

Whistler Blackcomb comes first to no surprise. Lake Louise has the greatest skiable terrain in the Canadian Rockies. Both these resorts have enough runs for you to be finding new runs year after year!

? Family friendly resorts

All the resorts cater to families, some more so than others. Sunshine Village, Banff, Banff Norquay, Lake Louise, Jasper Marmot Basin and Whistler Blackcomb are all excellent for families of mixed ages and abilities.

? Accommodation preferences

You may want to decide what sort of ski accommodation you would like before you choose the ski resort as not all accommodation types are available at every resort. Larger resort homes are available in Whistler Blackcomb and Fernie unlike Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper which have just mostly hotel rooms. Ski-in, ski-out properties can only be found at Kicking Horse, Fernie, Kimberley, Panorama, Whistler Blackcomb, and Sunshine Village .

I hope I have been able to give you a few things to think about when planning your ski holiday in Canada. For more information and expert advice, be sure to contact rocky-peak Ski Holidays for your ski holiday in Canada.

 
 
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