Marmot Basin opening date set
If everything went according to plan, Marmot Basin opened on November 23. Last weekend, temperatures had finally dropped enough to allow for round-the-clock snowmaking on the lower runs and upper areas typically lacking in early snow. As well, mother-nature kicked in a few centimeters here and there.
The heavy snowfall back in late October appeared to be the foundation of a great snowpack, but that was not to be. Warmer weather moved in and stayed for several weeks. The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a cold and snowy winter here in Alberta. With an accuracy rating over 80 percent, we hope they nailed it again this year. I’m particularly pleased about the very snowy prediction for December and I’m sure the ski resorts feel the same.
When you do head up to Marmot, you’ll notice several food service changes. In the main Caribou Lodge there’s a new station serving pasta, stir fry, and noodle bowls with several healthy options. My guess is the vermicelli bowls will be a big hit. For all you Starbucks lovers, you’ll be pleased to know this brew will be available throughout the resort. Dana Hospitality is entering its second year providing food services at Marmot and Dave Szabo, food services director, has tinkered with menu options at all of the restaurants. Finally, happy hour times have been extended from 2 pm to 5 pm on weekends with the shuttle running as late as 5:15 pm. If you are staying to partake in a little apres ski, I encourage you to make use of the shuttle.
Sunshine and Louise opening terrain daily
In a surprise move last week, Sunshine Village opened Delirium Dive stating that early season snow favoured the off-piste terrain. There are several stipulations for use, including all participants carry an avalanche transceiver, shovel and a probe—plus be with a partner. To access this area, gather up the appropriate gear and head up the Great Divide chair and check in with staff to ensure all precautions are taken.
Make sure you check at ski services as well. “The Dive” continues to be open because it is subject to frequent weather and snow safety closures.
Lake Louise is open with five lifts and over 60 runs available but they do have a caution about limited beginner terrain. It sure sounds like good snow up top, but the lower half is waiting for winter to kick in.
Unfortunately this scenario forced the International Ski Federation (FIS) to cancel this weekend’s World Cup races at Louise. Surprisingly, this is the first time in 29 years that the race was cancelled as a result of poor snow conditions. The women’s races continue to be scheduled for early December.