What To Do In the Mountains In July
New mountain bike trails, new ziplines, new via ferrata routes and more. Here's what's going down in the mountains near Calgary this month.
Mt. Norquay has added two new routes to its via ferrata adventure this summer: the five-hour Skyline route and the the six-hour Summiteer.
Photograph courtesy of Mt. Norquay
Sunshine Village has opened its ski-in-ski-out hotel, the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, to summer guests this year. It's the first time the hotel has been open during the summer since 1992. A stay at the gondola-accessed lodge means easy access to the hiking trails in Sunshine Meadows, which are suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels. And if you're a regular skier or snowboarder at Sunshine, it's pretty cool to see what the resort looks like under all that snow.
Camping high up on a mountain is something a lot of people dream about but ultimately shy away from attempting on account of the long, strenuous hike loaded down with gear and provisions. The new Lost Boys Camping Experience at Fernie Alpine Resort lets you skip the hard part and take the chairlift up the mountain to your campsite. The camping experience is being offered on Saturday nights throughout the summer (additional dates may be added). It starts with an afternoon ride up the Timber Express chairlift to the camping area near the resort’s Lost Boys Cafe, where hosts are on hand to help you set up your tent (tent rentals are available for an extra $20). You also get a raclette dinner at the café, campfire s’mores and Sunday morning breakfast, as well as a ride down again the next day. Call 1-250-423-2435 to book.
Brewster Adventures is doing weekly Western barbecue dinner-dance events throughout the summer at its Dance Barn venue in Lake Louise. The dinners happen on Wednesday evenings and include dancing to a live country-rock band and a horse-drawn wagon ride around the lake. To make advance reservations call 403-522-1608 or 403-762-5454.
Mt. Norquay opened two new via ferrata routes on Canada Day. The five-hour Skyline route includes a high traverse as well as a 55-metre suspension bridge, while the six-hour Summiteer is a continuation of the Skyline route that includes a three-wire suspension bridge over a chasm. The new routes double Norquay’s via ferrata program from its previous two routes and ups the difficulty factor as well.
Fairmont Hot Springs has partnered with Mineral Mountain Ziplines to launch a new zipline adventure at the resort. The zipline opens this weekend and features six different tracks, with the longest line running 1,500 feet.
Panorama has a new set of lift-accessed mountain bike trails opening this summer. The Hopeful Bike Trails are named after the original Hopeful Trail, which was used by prospectors and hunters in the region. The high-alpine descent trails are accessed by taking the Mile 1 Express and Champagne Express chairlifts and require either a $52 lift ticket or a $20 add-on to a regular bike-park lift ticket or bike-park season pass. The Hopeful trails will be open Saturdays and Sundays from mid-July through early September.
Award-winning journalist, author and syndicated columnist Naomi Klein, (author of No Logo, The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything) will participate in a moderated stage conversation about her body of work on Thursday, July 13 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. The ticketed event (from $22) is at 7:30 p.m. in the Margaret Greenham Theatre. Klein and her partner Avi Lewis are currently in residence at the Banff Centre as guest faculty in the Literary Arts' Frontline: Environmental Reportage program.
The 24 Hours of Adrenalin is an all-day-all-night mountain bike race that goes back 20 years. The race is held annually in July at the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park and the goal is to complete the most laps of the race course over a period of 24 hours. The race can be done as a team or, if you’re one of those hardcore ultra-marathon types, as a solo rider. Racers camp on-site which leads to a sense of festival-like camaraderie, particularly among those who end up riding the course between midnight and 6 a.m. This year’s race weekend is July 14 to 16. To register, visit 24hoursofadrenalin.com.
If you’re hankering for an authentic Western voice on the last weekend of Stampede, head out to the mountains to see Albertan Corb Lund at the Banff Centre’s Shaw Amphitheatre on Saturday, July 15. The show kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and also features fellow Southern Alberta singer-songwriter Leeroy Stagger. Tickets are $50, available through the Banff Centre.
The Willi XC Challenge (a.k.a. “The Willi”) is an annual hang-gliding and para-gliding gathering held at the Mount 7 flying site in Golden, B.C. The event is named after the late legendary Canadian flyer Willi Muller and has been going on since 1997. This year’s Willi runs July 28 to August 7, with designated “flying days” July 29 to August 6 and camping at the Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch.