Hey Alberta, Ski Season is Closer Than You Think

We get it – Alberta winters are tough. 

But they’re a lot tougher if you decide to stay in the city the whole time.

While mountain sports really do make it worth suffering through the -30 degree, they’re not cheap. But because Notable loves you, we’ve done our homework and we’re willing to share some tips and tricks to make the most of the season to come.

And if the mild temperatures in the city are causing you to question reading on, Norquay, Lake Louise, and Sunshine Village have tentative opening dates of October 31, November 7, and November 14 respectively.

Tickets, get your tickets!
If the Nakiska seasons pass deal, or the Ski Big 3 is a bit more commitment than you’re ready for (we get it), there are lots of options for cheap one-off lift tickets throughout the season. Costco is an option, as usual, if you can stand the lines (and the suburbs), as are the Lake Louise Plus and Ski RCR cards.

Also, check out Liftopia for up-to-the-minute deals if you’re flexible about where you’re heading.

Speaking of flexible, irregular work schedules are key to great skiing, thanks to shorter lines and deals like Twoonie Days at Norquay.

And if you’re really devoted, there’s a new card in town: Mountain Collective gets you onto the slopes at top resorts across North America, including our own.

Powder Highway, here you come.

Gear Up
Having a notable season on the hill is highly dependent on your gear. Don’t worry if you missed the spring and summer sales, because two of Calgary’s biggest and best events are coming up soon.

Your $8 entry fee gets you into a winter sports wonderland in the form of the Calgary New and Used Ski Sale on October 24-26. The sale is also your opportunity to consign the dated stuff you’ve been riding on for a few years.

‘Cause we all know looking good is half the battle.

MEC Snowfest is another option for swapping or splurging, as the parking lot at 10th and 10th SW transforms into a marketplace of winter wear and gear, with lots of staff on hand to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Live music and clinics round this out as a perfect way to get you feeling as ready as you’ll ever be for an adventure with altitude.

Stay the Night
If you’re more the après-ski type, you know that spending the night closer to the hill is way better than driving home after a day out. You likely also know, however, that prices get jacked up this time of year, so you need to be savvy to find the gems.

As annoying as those group-buying e-mails can be, we’ve seen some steals for nights at resorts in Canmore and Banff.

There’s often fine print that limit your dates to weekdays, but like we said before, that’s not always the worst thing.

And finally, for those of you who plan to spend the majority of your time outside of your room and at the bar, don’t be afraid to book into Banff’s cheaper accommodations.

The Inns of Banff (the lodge-y ones along Banff Ave.) will give you 15 percent off your room if you buy your lift pass from them, which could easily be worth it if you’re simply looking for a bed to crash in. And if you’re really budgeting, we guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find for under $40 a head at the HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre and the HI Banff Alpine Centre.

Attractive skiers included.

So there it is. You now have no excuse for whining that there’s nothing to do when the snow flies.

And fly it will – that we can promise.


Cover photo from: istock.com/dell640

Want more updates on the most Notable things happening so you know before your colleagues do? Get our exclusive newsletter here and follow us on Twitter for all the latest.