BANFF, Alberta, Canada – Mt. Norquay and Lake Louise Ski Area will be the first two ski resorts to open in Canada!  Both openings on Saturday 8th November will see lifts start at 9am, benefitting from the recent snowfall on Canada’s Protected Playground, Banff National Park.

The high speed Glacier Express quad chair and the Wiwaxy run at Lake Louise, and the Cascade Lift and Speculation run at Mt. Norquay will be open for skiers and riders to hit the earliest snow in Canada.  The three resorts of Banff-Lake Louise; Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village, enjoyed another 11cms of snow in the last 48 hours.  With more winter weather in the forecast, there will be extra terrain opening soon, and Sunshine Village is scheduled to open on 14th November.

 “We’re very excited to have our world’s finest resorts opening!  In Banff National Park we’re lucky to have such great snow and the teams at Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village have been working hard to ensure the mountains are ready”, said Dan Markham of Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine.  “Being the first resorts to open in Canada, we hope the world will join us in shaking off the summer rust and kicking off a great season.”

Mt. Norquay’s opening, earlier than predicted, will enable skiers and riders to hit the snow for weekends only while staff prepare the resort for full opening on 5th December.  Both resorts are offering discounted lift tickets to help skiers and riders get the first runs for less.  Please see the rates below.   

The dependable snow conditions from mid November to May are why Lake Louise hosts the first Men’s and Women’s World Cup races of the year – the only Canadian stop on the World Cup circuit.  This years Men’s races will be held on 29th to 30th November, and the Women’s on 5th to 7th December.  The International Ski Federation (FIS) last month recommended Lake Louise to host the races until at least 2011, showing confidence in the resort’s performance on the world stage.

Lake Louise is Canada’s largest single ski area with 4,200 acres of skiable terrain and over 3,000 feet of vertical. With unparalleled skiing and riding in an unsurpassed setting, Lake Louise’s beautiful terrain is both vast and varied.  Its unique layout of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs down from every chair means groups of all abilities can ski or ride together and, combined with challenging and remote bowls, chutes and glades, Lake Louise is a favourite for snow-lovers across the world.

Family-friendly Mt. Norquay offers outstanding conditions to beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers and riders.  Since its opening in 1926, Norquay is the local’s gem.  Offering the only night skiing in Banff-Lake Louise, including a fully lit terrain park (starting January 2009), Mt. Norquay is just minutes from the Town of Banff.

More information on Sunshine Village’s opening will come soon.

Early Season Lift Ticket Prices:

Mt Norquay

$20 for adults, $10 for 6-12 year olds, free for 5 year olds and under.

Lake Louise Ski Area

Full day - $38.00 for adults, $26.40 for seniors and youth, $12.50 for children.

Full day - $30.75 for adults, $21.00 for seniors and youth, $10.00 for children.

Lake Louise Card holders - $25.00, without having to use their first free day.