Early snowfalls across the Canadian Rockies of Alberta has boosted spirit and energy in Banff-Lake Louise and Jasper, as the resorts prepare to be the first to open in Canada for the up-coming Winter Olympic season.
Mt. Norquay in Banff National Park is planning to kick off the season on October 31 with a Halloween party. The early opening will be for weekends only, with midweek opening scheduled for December 5.
Lake Louise Ski Area is scheduled to open on November 6 with preparations well underway to host the first, and Canada’s only, stop on the World Cup circuit. The Men’s races will take place on November 28 to 29, and the Women’s races on December 4 to 6.
Making up the tri-area of Banff-Lake Louise is Sunshine Village, which is planning to open on November 11, with the newly-renovated Sunshine Mountain Lodge opening 30 new eco-luxurious rooms shortly after.
Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine is Canada’s largest ski destination. Visitors can conveniently ski this area on one tri-area lift ticket which includes bus transfers to and from each mountain. The three Rocky Mountain resorts offer almost 8,000 acres of skiable terrain and one of the longest ski seasons in North America, from mid November to late May, all in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Banff National Park.
Further north in Alberta is Jasper National Park home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, waterfalls and lakes frozen in time, plus the serene beauty of the snow capped peaks that carry on as far as the eye can see.
One of these peaks is home to the 1,675 acres of superb slopes that make up Marmot Basin ski area, only 20 minutes from the town of Jasper. Marmot Basin offers 3,000 vertical feet of skiing and riding with 86 marked trails. This season Marmot Basin will launch its all new Canadian Rockies Express chairlift, the longest high speed detachable quad in the Canadian Rockies. The new high speed chair will be 2.3km in length, and will whisk skiers and boarders up almost 2,000 vertical feet in 7.5 minutes. Marmot Basin is scheduled to open on November 11.
Banff-Lake Louise and Jasper are accessed by Calgary International Airport. Jasper can also be accessed by Edmonton International Airport, and the Via Rail overnight Snowtrain from Vancouver to Jasper.
Value Tours has early bird packages to Ski Banff-Lake Louise from $1224 per person including seven nights twin share accommodation at the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, a five day tri area lift pass and a five day tri area bus pass. The early bird pricing finishes on November 15. The package is valid for Travel between 3 and 31 January 2010.
Packages to ski Marmot Basin at Jasper start from $971 per person staying in the rustic cabins of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. The package includes seven nights twin share accommodation and a six day lift pass. The early bird pricing finishes on November 15, and travel is valid for 16-31 January 2010.
For general information on visiting Alberta Canada see travelalberta.com