Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay, ski resorts in Banff National Park, Alberta, are the first to crank up the lifts in Canada. Both open at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, with limited terrain. Both will offer discounted lift tickets until more runs can be opened.
"The Canadian Rockies is the place to ski in November," Matt Mosteller, Vice President of Marketing for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, told OnTheSnow.com. "It's the time of the year to go feel the wind on the face and the skis sliding down the snow. Following last season's epic winter, there is no question that this is an indication that we are on the same track as last winter."
Lake Louise plans to fire up its high-speed Glacier Express quad chair for skiing on Wiwaxy Run. Full day ticket rates are $38 for adults, $26.40 for seniors and youth, and $12.50 for children. Lake Louise Card holders can purchase lift tickets for $25.00, without having to use their first free day.
Lodge of The Ten Peaks will open its Powder Keg Lounge and Slopeside Coffee. Retail, rentals, the snow sports school, and daycare will all be operating, too.
Saturday starts up Lake Louise's daily operation for the season. The resort will return to regular lift rates with adult tickets costing $74.95 when more slopes and lifts open.
The new Calgary-Lake Louise ski bus will operate over the weekend with three convenient Calgary pick-up points. Call (403) 477-0999 for reservations.
Mt. Norquay plans to run its Cascade Lift for skiing and snowboarding on Speculation Run. Tickets will be $20 for youths and adults, $10 for 6- to 12-year-olds, and free for 5-year-olds and under.
The Cascade Lodge cafeteria plans to heat up the grill to serve a limited menu of hot dogs and burgers. However, daycare, rentals, and the ski and snowboard school will not be open. Rentals are available in the nearby town of Banff for those who need gear.
"We've been getting tons of calls about opening this weekend," guest services supervisor Andrew Antal told us. "So people are definitely excited."
Norquay will open for weekends only until Dec. 5, when the resort plans its full mountain opening. Lift tickets at that time will return to regular rates: adult tickets will cost $55. Youths 13-17 years old and seniors can purchase lifts for $43 while children 6-12 years old pay $17. Norquay also will sell hourly tickets by the half-hour increment.
Two other resorts in the Canadian Rockies plan to open next week. Sunshine Village and Marmot Basin are targeting Nov. 14. Silver Star and Sun Peaks both aim to open first in British Columbia Nov. 22. Mont Saint Anne in Quebec, is shooting for Nov. 15, while Tremblant eyes Nov. 21.