Back in the snow zone
Old Man Winter took a bit of a break in late December and early January, but recently there’s been a nice turnaround in snow conditions at most mountain resorts. Last week, steady snowfalls of 20 to 40 cm were recorded at Marmot Basin, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Castle Mountain and Fernie. As for the local hills, the recent rainfall had hill staff scrambling day and night. Let’s hope we’re in line for a massive snowfall soon to ensure a lengthy season of boarding and skiing.
The Canadian dollar is hovering around US $0.70 right now, which doens’t make travelling across the border for some winter fun look very appealing right now. Only gas prices are somewhat similar, converting to about CAN $0.66 per litre. Lift tickets at Big Mountain in Montana and Schweitzer Mountain in Idaho are approximately CAN $102 per day. That’s hefty considering snow conditions are quite similar to our Rocky Mountain Resorts. There are some package deals available, but you’re going to have to sift through them to find something that’s suitable for your time and availability. Either way, it’s still going to cost a premium. I was just in Spokane for a week, and the exchange really catches up to you when you have a peek at your credit card statement. (Thankfully happy hour is still a sizeable discount in the US.) I did talk to several people who are frequenting our Canadian ski resorts as a result of the exchange, though, and the US dollar is going a long way for them. They can hit the slopes with great conditions at Whitewater for about US $50 per day.
Family Day is coming to Marmot Basin. If you’re thinking about heading there for the Family Day long weekend, Marmot is offering junior and youth two-day and three-day lift tickets at 50 percent off. That’s a pretty sweet deal, especially if you have a couple of teens going with you. Combine that with the free breakfast special until the end of April at the Sawridge Inn and the deal is as good or better than Jasper In January.
If you’re heading down south to Fernie this weekend, be aware of “bicicles” in and around the resort. On February 6 and February 7, two-wheelers with fat tires will be gathering for the Kodiak Lounge Winter Bicicle Shred Fest. There are several races and with only a $10 entry fee, the entertainment is pretty cheap.