Alpine Ski World Cup at Lake Louise
Every year, the world’s fastest alpine skiers descend on Lake Louise Ski Resort to kick off another season with the Alpine Ski World Cup. If you’re looking to take in some go-for-broke action, then head on up November 29 and November 30 and cheer on Canada’s best in the men’s. Unfortunately, World Cup champion Erik Guay will not be ready to compete this year as he’s still recovering from this summer’s knee surgery. He should be back on the slopes by mid-December, if all goes well. Let’s see if Jan Hudec and Manuel Osborne-Paradis can rise to the occasion.
The ladies get their turn December 5 – 7, and the party starts all over again. The European tradition of ringing cowbells holds true in North America, so get your bells and go cheer them on.
The World Cup is part of Lake Louise’s annual WinterStart Festival and the on-hill events near the finish line are free for everyone. If you’re taking kids with you, you’ll receive two free lift passes for any of your under-12 kids with every purchase of an adult lift pass.
Go local: resorts open
Early November snow and frigid temperatures have allowed snow guns to blast the white stuff at Rabbit Hill, Snow Valley, Sunridge and the Edmonton Ski Club and they’re all open for the season. There are minimal runs and only mini terrain parks so far, but operators are working hard on adding more runs daily and they’re building the bigger terrain parks now.
All of our local ski hills have a number of great weeknight specials. For example, there’s the Sixes @ Six on Tuesday nights at Rabbit Hill, where lift tickets, rentals and meals are all $6 from 6 pm – 9 pm.
News from the Mountains
Mountain resort operators have reported very little in major facility upgrades for the upcoming season. Given the massive amounts of capital dollars spent over the last five years, that’s not a big surprise.
Sunshine Village and Marmot Basin do have a couple of big projects in the works. Sunshine has started work on a new chairlift that will replace the cruel freeze-your-butt-off Tee Pee Town double chair. Dubbed “The Hottest Chair in Canada,” this new quad will feature heated seats and bubble covers for wind and snow protection.
Marmot Basin announced Parks Canada approval to add snowmaking to their upper slopes. This is great news, because some of the upper windblown areas have trouble holding snow early in the season so getting piles of snow on the rocks will open numerous runs earlier in the year. V