Words & Photos by Tanya Koob
I remember our first family downhill ski trip in great clarity because I had been extremely apprehensive of the whole sport as a “family experience.” My husband and I had done a lot of resort skiing back in the “good old days” before kids but had been nervous to try it with a child in tow. We were both envisioning the worst when we thought of taking a small child to a busy ski resort for a day, of having to find parking and get all of our gear to the day lodge, and of having to find space in a crowded lodge for our family to eat and rest. Add other fears such as having to get out of the house early in the morning to reach the hill in time to find parking, dealing with a cranky child who’s missed his afternoon nap, and having to deal with a tot who may or may not appreciate the long car ride out to the hill (and back) – and you can see why I was just a teensy bit apprehensive of the whole experience.
All I can say in a quick response to the above fears is thank god for Nakiska! One half day at Nakiska and all of my fears were relieved. We had a fabulous first day downhill skiing as a family and my son would now consider it to be his favourite winter sport.
Tips for a Relaxed Morning at the Hill
We tried to pack for our ski day the night before to save time in the morning. When we got up, we just had to have a quick breakfast and jump in the car. Other things we did to save time were booking our son’s ski lesson in advance rather than just showing up at the hill to register him, and buying him his own gear rather than renting at the hill. If planning to rent, allow for at least an extra half hour at the hill before you will be able to start skiing. (Something to keep in mind if you have lessons booked first thing in the morning.)
We arrived at the hill with plenty of time to find a good parking spot, to find our way to the day lodge, pick up our lift tickets, and to make our way to the meeting spot for lessons. We quickly discovered that registering our son in a lesson for first thing in the morning was the smartest thing we could have done as beginners to family downhill skiing. We only had to worry about getting one person dressed and set to go rather than getting all three of us ready at the same time.
As soon as our son was in his lesson, I distinctly remember grabbing a coffee and thinking about how relaxed the whole process had been. Because of the lesson, my husband got to ski on his own all morning and was able to do a bunch of his favourite runs rather than spending the morning on the bunny hill. Meanwhile, I spent a relaxed morning with my coffee near the day lodge and kept close tabs on the lesson process.
Lunch without the Crowds
We headed in for an early lunch after the lesson and discovered another secret to success: Eat early to avoid crowds! We had left a duffle bag with our personal belongings and lunch under a table in the day lodge and had no problem finding it when we went inside. We easily found space to eat, and had an enjoyable time in the non-crowded dining area.
Family Bonding at the Hill
We’ve gotten into a habit where we try to take advantage of children’s lessons in the morning whenever possible and then we spend the afternoon skiing together as a family. We can now bomb down the blue runs together with our 6 year old who’s become quite the proficient skier but on our first day at Nakiska, we enjoyed the bunny hill together and took a few spins down in the tube park. The Tube Park was a great add-on to our ski day and allowed some rest time from skiing. We had a snack in the lodge mid-afternoon and then left the hill early to avoid congested roads on the drive home.
- Bring a sled to haul gear into the lodge with or load your gear (and youngest tots) into a Chariot stroller
- Go as a group and alternate child care duties with friends or go with another couple and take turns with the men doing bunny hill/day lodge duty while the women ski, and vice versa.
- Bring a grandparent or family member along who is content to hang out in the lodge with babies or young tots not old enough to ski yet
We’re making some exciting ‘behind the scene’ upgrades over the summer to our snowmaking system including rerouting & cooling!
Step one of our new snowmaking pump house is to reroute the existing pipe. Pictures show us putting the new pipe together, ready for trench and back filling. Once done the new pump house will allow us to make snow in one continuous trail from the top of the gold chair to the day lodge.
The photo on the right is of our new closed loop cooling system for the snowmaking compressors, prior to this the compressors were cooled using water, eliminating this saves 800 gallons per minute. That water is now available to go up the hill for snow production and is no longer dumped back into the river.
Did you know?
Depending on the time of year the system can produce between 1 and 2 feet of snow over an acre in an hour. In terms of football fields, (the north American variety and including the end zones), we can cover one of them in between an hour and a half and 45 minutes!
Read more about our Commitment to the Environment.
While some people might not be very excited by the Farmer’s Almanac prediction of having a ‘harsh and cold’ winter, here at Nakiska Ski Area we’re looking forward to it! The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been published since 1792 and using over 200 years of weather data, makes predictions for the upcoming seasons each year when it’s released on the second Tuesday in September, with this winter being forecasted as colder & snowier.
Jack Burnett, editor of the Farmer’s Almanac appeared on CTV’s Canada AM recently and said we are in for “the T-Rex of winters”. To check out the full predictions visit this CTV article.
Here’s to hoping that prediction holds true, help motivate Mother Nature and start doing your snowdance. Post your snowdance pics & videos using #skiclose and start the anticipation of winter now!
Fernie Alpine Resort & Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in British Columbia have both opened for their summer seasons! Visit Fernie Alpine Resort this summer to experience lift accessed Hiking & Mountain Biking, or try the Aerial Park and a visit to Nature Bob’s Interpretive Centre. At Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, climb Terminator’s Peak on the NEW Via Ferrata feature, or enjoy the only Gondola accessed hiking & biking in the region. Have a Nakiska season pass? Give us a call to inquire about your season passholders vacation discount, vacation specialists and standing by to book your summer getaway at 1-800-258-7669!
It’s your last chance to take advantage of our Earlybird Season Pass & Ski School sale. Sale ends on Saturday, June 27th! Order Online now!
Posted June 2015
The deal that took the entire industry by surprise last season has returned for the 2015/2016 ski season! With a season pass at Nakiska just $199 during the Earlybird Season pass sale again guests as well as media have noticed.
“AWESOME NEWS!!!! Am amazing opportunity for family fitness!”
– Kathy P.
“Thank you! We had so much fun here last year and will be getting passes again!”
– Jennifer L.
“Definitely buying this again and getting one for my daughter. I got out about 10 times last season because of this pass. It was the most I’ve ever skied in a year.”
– Drew S.
“Thank you sooooo much!!!”
– Irene B
“Area ski hill compete as Nakiska slashes season pass price by more than $600…again”
Read on Calgaryherald.com
“Alberta ski hills Nakiska and Norquay slash season pass prices”
Read on CBC.ca
“Canada Super Deal”
Read on snowhq.com
You didn’t read that wrong! This season, purchase the $199 Nakiska Adult Season Pass during our Earlybird sale and ride Nakiska all season long with no blackout dates!
Other money saving offers at Nakiska include;
Family Season Pass
Purchase a Nakiska family season pass during our Earlybird sale for just $499. With a family of 4 that takes just 2 visits to pay off, worth it!
The Grade 2 Funpass
Get those little ones on the slopes early! All children in Grade 2 (or 7 years old), can get a Grade 2 Funpass, valid at Nakiska Ski Area, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Fernie Alpine Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort for just $20! Valid all season long and (you guessed it), no blackout dates! Buy online or drop by anytime throughout the season to pick one up.
Tube Park Pass
The Wanidu Tube Park is the newest adventure at Nakiska Ski Area. This season, you can tube all season with a Tube Park pass, just $199 for a family (even less with a family season pass purchase, add it on before checking out of the new webstore for further savings)!
Anyone who is 80 or older and still skiing deserves benefits! Pick up your season pass for just $59, use it all season without blackout dates. Purchase online or by calling 1-800-258-7669.
Wings Gear Lease Program Returns on or before 17th April 2016.
If Equipment is not returned, before the cut off date, credit cards will be charged $99+GST at that point.
NEW this season with your Nakiska season pass purchase, you can ‘add on’ two tickets at your choice of Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort for just $59.95 (regular value up to $179.90)! Don’t forget to add it onto your pass before you check out!
Purchase your pass online or give us a call at 1-800-258-7669 to purchase over the phone.
Wintergreen Golf & Country Club, in Bragg Creek, started the golf season early, opening on April 24th! Book your Tee Time online or call 403-949-3333, head out this weekend to check out the Mother’s Day specials in the Pro Shop and have treat her to a meal in the Clubhouse.
2014/2015 Season Passholders can print off their coupon to use at Wintergreen Golf & Country Club from the Members Benefit website.