Feel the sun on your face and breathe in the clear crisp of a blue sky day. Make snowmen and snow angels. Sip hot chocolate beside a crackling fire. These are just a few of the pleasures of winter in the mountains. Why not get out there and enjoy it at a ski hill? Hills offer seasons passes to make the slopes more affordable plus many have banded together to offer multi-mountain passes so you’re not just tied to one resort for the winter.
Here’s a sample of what season passes and multi-mountain passes you can get at Canada’s Western ski hills this winter:
Mt. Norquay – the original ski resort of the Canadian Rockies – is a family-friendly hill located just outside the town of Banff in Banff National Park. With a 503-metre vertical drop, 60 runs, terrain park and stellar mountain views, Mt. Norquay is a good bet for a family outing with a variety of terrain for all levels. A family season’s pass has no blackouts and includes night skiing.
Banff Sunshine: Just west of Banff on the Continental Divide, the three mountains at Sunshine offer terrain for skiers and boarders of all levels. Snow is typically consistently good thanks to Sunshine’s elevation, 1,660 metres above sea level with a top ski elevation of 2,730 metres.
Lake Louise: Named Canada’s Best Ski Resort at the 2018 World Ski Awards for the fifth time in six years, Lake Louise offers beginner, intermediate and expert runs from every chair. Situated 57 km west of Banff, Lake Louise offers a variety of ski pass and sightseeing ticket options.
Ski a lot? Like, a lot, a lot? Go big with a Ski Big 3 Season Pass; your family can ski and ride all three Banff resorts: Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise for $4,634.
Marmot Basin: Located in Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Marmot Basin is 22 km southwest of Jasper townsite and boasts Canada’s highest base elevation at 1,698 metres. The ski resort offers a wide variety of lift tickets, passes, rentals, lessons, family activities and gear. Does anyone in your family celebrate a birthday in the winter? At Marmot Basin they can ski or ride for free on their birthday.
The Powder Alliance offers season pass holders three free ski days on weekdays and half price on weekends at participating resorts, while the Power Pass offers three free days at participating resorts any day of the week. In addition to Marmot Basin, participating Powder Alliance ski hills in Canada include Castle Mountain Resort in Alberta, Silver Star Mountain Resort and Whitewater Ski Resort in B.C.
Big White: The season pass at Big White, 56 km southeast of Kelowna, offers just about every imaginable way to get the most out of winter. In addition to unlimited alpine access, the season pass includes free Nordic skiing, night skiing, ice skating and snowshoe trail access, plus discounts at the resort and year-round deals.
Other deals on offer include Big White’s Family Value Ski Week Accommodation and Lift Ticket Special Packages. Each family ski week package includes seven nights’ accommodation and six-day lift passes.
There’s something for just about everyone when it comes to having fun in winter. If you or a family member are new to skiing or snowboarding, you can always sign up for a lesson – ski school is open to children and adults alike. And many resorts include additional activities, from Nordic skiing to tubing.