What to Do in the Mountains in January 2018
Whether you're into skiing, skating or spelling, this is what's going down in the mountains near Calgary this month.
Improve your Nordic skills this month at Nipika Mountain Resort's Ski Week in the Rockies instructional camp, running January 14 to 19.
Photo courtesy of Nipika Mountain Resort
The Lake Windermere Whiteway is a 30-kilometre groomed track that runs between Invermere and Windermere, B.C. The track has a cleared section for ice skating as well as groomed tracks for Nordic skiing (classic and skate skiing). The Whiteway is run in partnership by the Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance and the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club. Users are asked to support the project with a day-use fee of $5 that can be dropped into donation boxes.
The ski area just up from the Banff townsite has night skiing from 5 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. If the idea of skiing when the sun goes down has you a bit spooked they also have night tubing during those same times. Follow up with a pint at the Lone Pine Pub in the base lodge (or, if you’re staying the night in Banff, plan to take the free shuttle back to town and have as many pints as you like).
Pass Powderkeg, a community-owned ski area in Crowsnest Pass, is offering a six-week series of women-only guided snowshoeing adventures starting this Saturday, January 6. You can sign up for all six events or drop in for single events (space permitting — calling ahead is recommended). The snowshoe tours meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Pass Powderkeg Day Lodge for coffee and treats and the snowshoeing part goes from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with a trail snack along the way.
January 8 was Elvis Presley’s birthday and in honour of the King you can ski free at Sunshine Village that day — provided you show up dressed in full Elvis regalia (thank you, thank you very much).
Never Ever Days is a promotion aimed at those who have never ever skied or snowboarded before. Billed as the “ultimate beginners’ package,” you get a lift ticket, equipment rental and lesson for the ridiculously low price of $25. The days are being offered at 80 ski areas throughout Canada over the 2017-2018 ski season, including this month at Lake Louise (nine different dates between January 8 and January 28), Sunshine Village (January 8 and 11), Castle Mountain Resort (January 13 and 14) and Mt. Norquay (January 21).
For a full list of dates and participating resorts visit skicanada.org/never-ever-days/.
The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is screening selections from the 2017 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival at the Lux Cinema in Banff every Saturday night throughout the winter. On January 13 and 27 you can see Blood Road, a film about endurance mountain biking in southeast Asia, along with Imagination: Tom Wallisch, a short by the always-engaging Sherpas Cinema crew.
Lux Cinema Centre, 229 Bear St., luxbanff.com
Nipika Mountain Resort’s Ski Week in the Rockies is a five-night instructional cross-country ski adventure camp for anyone — beginner through advanced — who wants to improve their technique. Participants receive expert instruction from Olympic-level coaches and personal technique video analysis all in the lovely setting at Nipika, an eco-resort in Kootenay National Park near Radium Hot Springs, B.C. Ski Week runs January 14 to 19 and includes all meals.
To register call 1-877-647-4525 or go to nipika.com/adventurecamps.
The annual Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival returns January 18 to 28. The 24th annual competition brings in international professional ice carvers who turn the grounds of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise into a frozen sculpture garden. Tickets are required if you plan to visit the carving site during peak hours of 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the weekends of January 20 and 21 and January 27 and 28 (unless you’re an overnight guest of the Chateau or one of the other Lake Louise hotels). Outside of those times, it’s free to attend.
To purchase peak-time tickets online visit banfflakelouise.com/ice-magic-festival.
Even if you’ve been touring the backcountry for decades, you can always benefit from more knowledge when it comes to avalanche safety. The Banff Centre in partnership with Avalanche Canada Foundation is presenting an Avalanche Awareness Night on Sunday, January 21 at the Max Bell Auditorium. The free event (suitable for ages 14 and up) starts at 7 p.m. and features presentations by snow-safety experts, film screenings and a trade show.
Banff Centre, 107 Tunnel Mountain Dr., banffcentre.ca
Looking for something to do in Banff that doesn’t involve going downhill in the snow? The Whyte Museum is hosting its annual Jon Whyte Spelling Bee and Trivia Challenge on Tuesday, January 23. The free event starts at 7 p.m. and is designed to be a test of “wit and memory.” Call 403-762-2291 (extension 322) to register a team of six, or just show up to watch as spectators are encouraged.
Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, 111 Bear St., whyte.org