Ski season preview: Lake Louise open for business

Having great ski resorts in your backyard is one of the coolest perks of living in Calgary. With the ski season finally kicking off, Lake Louise is among the first to launch a five-month season of skiing and snowboarding. The hill was buzzing with excitement for opening weekend on Nov. 8, 2013. With three runs currently open, Lake Louise is looking to expand as the snow continues to accumulate.

“Lake Louise is great for skiing because of all the trees,” said Blaine Standing, who has been skiing at Lake Louise for 10 years. “I can’t wait until we can get into the glades when all the lifts are open.”

Lake Louise is also Standing’s favourite place for powder, which really collects in the back bowls and chutes. This is especially true of the Summit Poma, which gives access to some of the steeper bowls. As well as these wide back bowls and sheer chutes, Lake Louise offers a huge variety of terrain that gives opportunity to everyone from beginners to experienced skiers.

Lake Louise is also well known for having one of the largest terrain parks in Western Canada. The terrain park is loaded with big jumps and rails, but also has many progression features for those looking to improve. Lake Louise also hosts the highest profile alpine ski race in Canada, the Lake Louise World Cup. Part of the World Cup alpine ski circuit, the event will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 8, and is sure to attract big crowds from around the world to watch the first in the international series of World Cup races.

Another popular event held each year at Lake Louise is the Christmas and New Year’s torchlight descent. After drinks and dancing with friends half way up the mountain, revelers are led by a guide down a torchlit run to the base where great food and entertainment awaits. You need to be staying overnight to take advantage of this party, but there is an affordable hostel nearby with shuttle service.

Lake Louise has many great deals when it comes to buying lift passes. If you are planning on skiing more than seven days this winter you should seriously consider purchasing a Lake Louise Plus Card. The card gives you deals on lift tickets and offers many other discounts — not just at Lake Louise, but at other quality mountain resorts such as Revelstoke, Castle Mountain and Panorama. For $100 skiers and snowboarders get three day-passes, plus up to $30 off other ski days — perfect for budget conscious students who can’t afford to commit to a full season’s pass.

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