Ski Canada - Alberta
Welcome to the Ski Canada page providing a regular round-up of the skiing conditions and current snow reports for the main Canadian ski resorts. Over recent years some of the best piste conditions averaged over several seasons have been reported at Big White, Sunshine Village, Kicking Horse and Sun Peaks. However, during any given week in the ski season the best slope conditions may be found at any of the great Canadian resorts. For off-piste powder, Big White, Silver Star, Sunshine Village and Kicking Horse have proven pretty consistent either because of low average temperatures, sun aspect, snowfall or because they may be slow to get tracked out.
Many of the other Canadian resorts regularly come to the fore during the season as the best off-piste destination so check out the snow reports below for current ski conditions.
Canada is one of the world’s leading ski nations with more than 300 ski areas spread across the country over four time zones with Canadian ski resorts in every province.
The ski areas range from the world’s leading heli-ski region of BC (British Columbia) in the West of the country to the four small to mid-sized areas of Nova Scotia on the Atlantic coast in the East, which is the world’s first ski region to make helmet wearing on the ski slopes a legal requirement for all skiers and boarders.
Most of Canada’s best known resorts internationally have come to global attention over just the past few decades as the world’s skiers and boarders have spotted that Canada offers some of the biggest ski areas in North America, the continent’s biggest lift-served verticals, great powder snow, friendly people and high value skiing.
Most famous of all of Canada’s ski resorts is of course is Whistler (Whistler Blackcomb), host to the 2010 Winter Olympics which is now one of the world’s most popular ski resorts with more than two million visitors annually and of course it has the biggest ski area in North America and its second biggest lift-served vertical.
But there have been ski areas in the country for at least a century and one of the world’s first dedicated ski lifts opened in Quebec in the late 1920s for the first people to Ski Canada. Quebec and neighbouring Ontario both have the most ski areas in one province in Canada with nearly 100 small to medium sized ski areas each. That puts them in the same bracket for number of ski areas as regions like Tyrol in Austria and Savoie in France.
There’s another French parallel for Quebec as it’s the only North American region where French is the first language for most of the population. What’s more you can often get higher value skiing and better homemade French food here than on the south side of the English Channel.
Indeed for families Canada is a high value proposition because resorts charge children only 20-40% of the adult price and throughout their childhood. This is another favourable comparison to France for example, where children are expected to pay 60-80% of the adult price from age 3 to 5 and the full adult price from age 12-13.
Quebec is home to several internationally well known ski areas, most noteworthy of which is Mont Tremblant – one of the world’s most popular destinations with nearly 4 million visitors., Its most recent attraction is a state-of-the-art casino.
North America’s oldest city, Quebec City, which recently celebrated its 400th birthday, is also here and a city and ski break is easy, with famous resorts like Le Massif Ski Area and Mont Sainte-Anne a short distance away by road or rail, offering great skiing above the mighty St Lawrence river.
Another interesting Quebecois ski region is known at the Eastern Townships and is located on the border with the US in the south of the country. Here small resorts like Mont Sutton offer skiing as they used to be with tradition and ambience.
But it’s Western Canada that is the main draw for international skiers with a dozen or more famous resorts. In BC, Kicking Horse only opened in 2000 but has built a reputation for its spectacular skiing and steep chutes, while Fernie is famed for its deep powder. The newest addition, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, overtook Whistler to offer the biggest lift-served vertical on the continent. Other major resorts include Big White, Panorama Mountain Village, Kimberley and Sun Peaks – all attracting a high proportion of international guests from the US, Australia and Europe.
Finally, Alberta and the Canadian Rockies have been a major international attraction since the Trans-Canadian railway arrived in the late 19th century, followed by the roads. Banff’s local ski areas of Banff Mt Norquay and Sunshine Village are more than 80 years old and located in some of North America and the world’s most spectacular scenery – the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Other major areas here include Lake Louise, home to North America’s first World Cup competition each ski season, and also the first World Cup downhill races in the Northern Hemisphere. Head further north for 100 miles through the stunning glacial scenery on one of the world’s most spectacular drives and you reach another classic resort, Marmot Basin. All four are among the world’s most snowsure, open from early November to May.
Canada - Alberta: latest snow conditions round-up
Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Canada - Alberta. Fresh snow is forecast at 7resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.