Summer sightseeing season winds down at [R368R, Lake Louise] on Oct. 2. But it's not lazy fall days at the ski resort as the grizzly bears wanders off to den. Winter preparations have already begun.

Lake Louise has scheduled its opening day for Nov. 5. The resort is usually the first to open in the Canadian Rockies and often the first to run its lifts in Canada.

Not only does the resort aim to open early for recreational skiers and riders, but the Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup is scheduled for three weeks after opening. The FIS World Cup at Lake Louise is the first speed event of the season, featuring Downhill and Super G races. The men race Nov. 26-27 followed by the women on Dec. 2-4. Winterstart is also the only time Canadian athletes compete in a World Cup in Canada.

Lake Louise World Cup by Chris_Moseley_5

The Lake Louise Winterstart launches the World Cup speed events for the season. Photo By Chris Moseley, Courtesy of Lake Louise.

In late September, volunteers hauled fencing and posts to the top of the race course on dry slopes turning red and gold with fall color. Chris Moseley, mountain operations supervisor, reported on The Lake Louise Lowdown, that 25 volunteers showed up to install fencing at the top of the course. The fencing helps trap the snow instead of letting the wind whip it across the above tree line slope. The fencing will start trapping drifts when the first snow sticks; then, groomers will compact the snow for the race course, and the fences can be removed.

Snowmaking starts up in the middle of October. Parks Canada permits the ski resort to begin making snow Oct. 15. So the resort turns on the guns as soon as possible—right after midnight on the night of Oct. 14. Snowmaking is used to beef up the base area and the race course.

Lake Louise snowmaking by Chris_Moseley_3

Lake Louise begins to cover the base area and race course with snowmaking in mid-October. Photo By Chris Moseley, Courtesy of Lake Louise.

With resort operations underway to prepare for the season, the Lake Louise preseason pass sale is in its last weeks. Season passes, which can be purchased online here, are discounted by 10 to 21 percent until Oct. 15.

The resort introduced the new Parents' Share Pass this year. It allows parents to share one pass to trade off skiing and childcare.