We got to try Nakiska’s brand new Tube Park while we were at the resort before Christmas. First impression, I honestly thought it looked like a miniature toboggan hill. It didn’t look like much and it wasn’t very big. I’d never tried tubing at a resort before so I guess I had built it up in my mind to be something much larger. I quickly changed my opinion after the first ride down though. It was the most fun I’ve had on a sled or tube – EVER. And it didn’t hurt!
I’m not generally a big fan of sledding because honestly, this body is just too old to handle all the bumps and jarring anymore. Tubing at Nakiska on the other hand was completely gentle, smooth, groomed, and adult-friendly! I’d go back again any day!
Nakiska Ski Area is well known for a few things, including its super long ski season and often being the earliest resort in Canada to open as well as it’s immaculately groomed, wide, Olympic sized runs and also its snowmaking abilities.
Nakiska is a public ski resort today, however, it owes its entire existence to Calgary winning the bid to host the XV Olympic Games in 1988. Being constructed to host to world’s best alpine athletes, a state of the art world class snowmaking system was built into the resort. Often opening for skiing and snowboarding right at the beginning of November (sometimes even at the end of October) the credit is owed in part to Mother Nature, of course, and also largely to the snowmaking capabilities.
Nakiska Snowmaking Fact – 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), Nakiska’s system can cover one of them in between an hour and a half and 45 minutes!
Each season, Nakiska makes upgrades and improvements to the snowmaking system to ensure it’s the most cutting edge it can be. This season, the focus was on environmentally friendly improvement. Some of the work done over this summer and fall including installing a new cooling system to save water and reuse it back into snowmaking and building a new mid mountain pump house with a continuous pipe from the base to bring the water saved and turn it into snow.
Nakiska Snowmaking Fact – our water license gives Nakiska the capacity to make 6 feet of snow to cover the entire mountain!
Visit Nakiska this season to enjoy it’s Olympic caliber terrain & great snow – don’t forget to check out the Monster Glades where there is no grooming required and often powder stashes to be found for days after a natural snowfall!
Read more about how our snowmaking system upgrades in our Getting Ready for Winter news post and read more about our Commitment to the Environment and new Trees are for Glades project on treesareforglades.com.
Location, location, location. A mantra for real estate agents and brokers everywhere, but also a great (unofficial) slogan for Nakiska Ski Area as location is perhaps one of Nakiska’s greatest assets.
Nakiska Ski Area is located in Kananaskis Country, Alberta – being a unique ski resort it’s not located in a stereotypical Canadian Ski town, in fact it’s not even located nearby one, it is however still in one of the best locations a ski hill could be in. Nakiska is the closest mountain to the dynamic city of Calgary and also within close driving distance to Canmore, Alberta’s outdoor adventure centre, as well as Banff and Lake Louise – both destinations sought out by travelers from around the entire world.
You might be wondering some things about Nakiska. For example – Why is Nakiska located where it is? Why was it built? What the heck is up with the name anyways?
Now, to tackle these questions one at a time. Nearly all of these questions can be answered by looking in Nakiska’s somewhat brief, yet rich history.
Nakiska was built from the ground up for the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games’ Alpine Events, being the closest ‘real’ mountain location to Calgary it was the most convenient and sensible option. (1988 Olympic games’ fun fact – it broke a record at it’s time for having 57 nations competing)! Since it was built to host the world’s best alpine athletes, it is home to Olympic sized groomed runs and also a state of the art snowmaking system, still continually upgrade for increased improvement every year. With such a great snowmaking system built in from the very beginning Nakiska’s time it ensures great snow coverage throughout the season and is often the first ski resort in Canada to open and close to the last to close.
Okay, what is up with that name? Alberta is the home to the Cree First Nations tribe. Nakiska: (Na-kiss-ka) is a Cree word which means ‘to meet’, chosen to respect the people of the region and to designate the ski resort in its birth year as the host of the 1988 Olympic Games. Do you wonder where some of the name of Nakiska runs came from? Check it out on the About Nakiska section on our website.
These days, Nakiska is Calgary’s Closest Mountain and a family favourite, especially with the recent addition of a Tube Park to the base area of the resort. Being driving distance to Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise only add to its vacation appeal and contribute to its great location.
If it’s your first time to Nakiska this winter, read about one family’s experience and get some helpful tips on “Family friendly guide to skiing/snowboarding at Nakiska, Calgary’s Closest Mountain”.
Words by Cali Sammel
Photos by Nakiska, Abbydell Photography and Cali Sammel
So far, Mother Nature is in a great mood (that’s what we think anyways). She’s been recently bringing the snow to Nakiska and lowering the temperatures to allow us to increase production on our snowmaking!
Our weekend opening date is scheduled for November 7th – stay tuned to our online events calendar and Facebook page for updates leading up to opening day!
Feature image taken October 27th.
We like white on green here at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies; lots and lots of snow on our mountains and all over the trees on those mountains too. Because if you’ve never come rocketing through the glades, ripping up and down the natural moguls with powder hitting you in your grinning face until you blast back onto the trail, you really haven’t lived. And we kind of want to keep that around for a while, for future skiers and riders, for our kids, and for our kids’ kids too.
That’s why we decided to take a stand and be the first ski resort company to refuse printing a brochure this year, to do what we can to lessen our environmental footprint. On top of that, we’ll plant a whole tree for every email sign-up to our online newsletter. We hope this helps reiterate to consumers everywhere, that taking paper maybe isn’t the answer any more, especially if you can find that information online anyways.
So, help do your part and keep the Trees for Glades! Sign your email up on our Trees for Glades website and read our full story (plus enter our contest for the chance to win a spring event ski trip for you and 3 friends)!
Success So Far:
- 75,000 pieces of paper saved by this initiative alone
- So far: 3000+ trees planted – thanks to you!
Photo courtesy of Trees for the Future Facebook.
Our fall season pass sale is on now it’s your last chance to save on Season Passes & Ski School this season. Call 1-800-258-7669 to purchase or order online, buy before October 17th to save!
Looking for a great deal on skis? We’ve still got some stock from last year that needs to go! Available are high performance skis from HEAD for carving, all mountain and powder including the Rev 90 Pro, the Supershape Titan, Supershape Magnum and Mya 8, available from Dynastar – the Outland 87 and Outland 80 XT and from Rossignol the Pursuit 16, Scratch and the World Cup 9GS.
Email Steve at [email protected] for more information and pricing.
New York City-based OutdoorFest is expanding their popular Mappy Hour program internationally to Calgary this October! A Happy Hour night with a twist, it offers a chance to meet fellow skiers, backpackers, kayakers, climbers and adventure buddies and to plan adventure packed trips with a like-minded outdoor community. Launching this new event series in New York City in 2014 and Washington, D.C in early 2015, Calgary is a perfect next event location – being close to so many outdoor activity options it draws enthusiasts from all over to settle into city/mountain life.
With some already having fallen in the mountains, the backcountry skiing and fitness theme for October’s Mappy Hour comes at a fitting time, there’s enough time to get in shape before our tentative opening date on November 7th!
Who should attend?
Anyone who loves to hike, kayak, ski, surf, climb, and generally explore the great outdoors!
Free, just bring some guidebooks, maps, or interesting stories to share
For location and to RSVP visit the Mappy Hour website.
Our tentative weekend opening date for the 2015/2016 season will be Saturday November 7th, with full opening tentatively on December 4th. With a few snowstorms already having hit Kananaskis, hopefully it’s a foreshadow of a great winter!
Alpine Canada recently sat down with Jan Hudec for a candid interview discussing his biggest fear, favourite music, his long standing nickname, what he enjoys in the off season and much more. Jan is an accomplished skier, with a long career earning many accomplishments including being the first Canadian in 20 years to win an alpine Olympic medal in 2014 in the Super G in Sochi and being the first ever Canadian to win the Lake Louise World Cup Downhill in 2009.