What to do in the Mountains in October
Swap sales, film fests, a pride festival and more; it's all going down in the mountains near Calgary this month.
If you're looking for winter gear on a budget or you have items that you want to sell, there are a bunch of ski and snowboard swap events happening this month in Banff, Lake Louise and Calgary.
Shop the Swaps
Ski and snowboard swaps are great for getting geared up for winter on a budget. You can consign your own equipment, shop for second-hand stuff and also find good deals on unused gear, as local retailers will often use swaps to clear out last-season inventory. The Banff Alpine Racers and Bow Valley Quickies ski racing clubs are doing their annual Ski and Sports Swap on Saturday, Oct. 6 and Sunday, Oct. 7 at the Banff Elementary School. Consignment drop-off is on Saturday, with the sale on Sunday. You can pay $10 for early-bird access starting at 9 a.m., otherwise, the free-admission public sale starts at 11 a.m. There’s also a new swap event, Griff’s Winter Gear Swap happening this year on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Lake Louise Ski Resort (there will be free hot chocolate!) If you’d rather swap in the city, mark your calendar for the Calgary New and Used Ski Sale, Oct. 19 to 21 (equipment drop-off Oct. 17 and 18) at Max Bell Centre.
Don’t want to cook thanksgiving dinner this year? Take the family to Banff instead and enjoy a traditional four-course turkey dinner with all the trimmings in the Primrose Dining Room at the Rimrock Resort Hotel. The special thanksgiving menu will be available Saturday, Oct. 6, Sunday, Oct. 7 and Monday, Oct. 8. The cost is $54 for adults, $27 for kids 12 and under. Call 1-888-746-7625 to reserve.
300 Mountain Ave., Banff
The Lake Louise Ski Resort gondola is running this year until Sunday, Oct. 7. The fall programming includes “Ride & Dine” packages and guided interpretive hikes as well as prime larch-spotting opportunities.
The second annual Elk Valley Pride Festival is happening Oct. 9 to 14 in Fernie, B.C. The program features adult and youth-friendly events, including a performance by gender-non-binary recording artist Rae Spoon, a screening of the film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and a Dragalicious Party featuring performer Misty Meadows.
The residents of Bragg Creek have made it a thing to put out scarecrows during the fall. This year, the community is also staging the first annual Scarecrow Scurry on Saturday, Oct. 13, a one- or five-kilometre fun run with participants encouraged to dress up as scarecrows. The Scurry is open to solo runners, families and even dogs, with prizes for best adult, child, dog and group costumes. Proceeds from entrance fees go to Easter Seals Camp Horizon.
Biomimicry is basically the practice of looking to time-tested patterns in nature to innovate and solve human problems. You can learn all about it at a two-day immersive workshop put on by Biomimicry Alberta, Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14, at Barrier Lake Field Station near Canmore. The registration fee of $180 covers meals, class materials and Saturday-night accommodation. For an extra $50 you can attend the Friday evening meet-and-greet and get Friday-night accommodation as well.
Texan recording artist Sam Baker performs at the Margaret Greenham Theatre at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity on Sunday, Oct. 14. The gravelly voiced poet-musician has an intense backstory that includes almost dying when terrorists bombed the bus he was on while travelling in Peru. Baker’s show at the Banff Centre starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $35 for adults, $32 students/seniors, $30 kids.
107 Tunnel Mountain Dr., Banff
Shred Fest, an annual showcase of local ski and snowboard films at Wild Bill’s in Banff, takes place this year on Thursday, Oct. 18. In addition to getting everyone stoked for winter the event features prizes and giveaways galore. If you can't attend, check out films from previous years at shredfestrockies.com.
201 Banff Ave., Banff
Put on your finest micro-puffy jacket and toque — the Banff Centre’s world-renowned mountain-culture extravaganza launches this year on Saturday, Oct. 27 with a day of films, workshops, an art and craft sale and an opening party at the Maclab Bistro featuring bluegrass music by American band Rapidgrass.
107 Tunnel Mountain Dr., Banff
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise presents a series of transformative wellness retreats throughout the fall months. Check in and get grounded at Pause. Reboot. Recreate Your Life., a meditation-focused retreat happening Oct. 29 to Nov. 2.
111 Lake Louise Dr., Lake Louise