Visitor reviews for Fortress Mountain Ski Resort

Fortress Mountain Ratings

Overall: 3.3. Based on 2 votes and 10 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 5.0

(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Fortress Mountain is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Variety of pistes: 5.0

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Fortress Mountain has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Off-piste: 5.0

(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.

Scenery: 5.0

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Access: 5.0

(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Fortress Mountain.

Public Transport: 1.0

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Fortress Mountain, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Accommodation: 2.5

(1) No places to stay in/near Fortress Mountain, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 2.5

(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

Luxury Hotels: 2.5

(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Fortress Mountain.

Ski in/Ski out: 3.0

(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.

Childcare: 1.0

(1) There are no child care facilities at Fortress Mountain, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowmaking: 1.0

(1) Fortress Mountain relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 1.0

(1) There are no snow groomers at Fortress Mountain, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Fortress Mountain are groomed daily.

Shelter: 4.0

(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Fortress Mountain is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

Nearby options: 3.5

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Fortress Mountain, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.

Regional rating: 5.0

(1) Fortress Mountain usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.

Lift Staff: 5.0

(1) The staff at Fortress Mountain are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Fortress Mountain are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 5.0

(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.

Ski Schools: 2.5

(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.

Hire and Repairs: 4.0

(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.

Beginners: 1.5

(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.

Intermediates: 5.0

(1) No intermediate terrain at Fortress Mountain, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 5.0

(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.

Snow Park: 5.0

(1) Not even a kicker at Fortress Mountain, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Cross-country: 2.5

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Fortress Mountain, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 1.5

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Fortress Mountain has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 2.0

(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.

Eating: 4.5

(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.

Apres-Ski: 2.5

(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.

Other Sports: 1.0

(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.

Entertainment: 1.5

(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.

Winter Walks: 2.5

(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.

Ski Pass Value: 3.0

(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.

Value (National): 4.5

(1) Overall, Fortress Mountain is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.

Value (Global): 5.0

(1) Overall, Fortress Mountain is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.

Show all 35 ratings

February 06, 2005
The kid from Ski Canada Canada
I went to fortress alot and it was amzing it sucks that it closed and it should be opened again. The powder and gullys/bowls kikass go to the farside for the best terrain.
February 11, 2006
Matt/calgary from Ski Canada Canada
The day was Feb 5th 2006... the snow amazing, Fortress was open earlier than that though. Feb 5th was when I got to be there and they opened a new feature.. groomer rides up the hill where once the old dopplemayer stood on the far side.. it was great. Coudos to the crew at the fort for all their hard work. come ride Fortress if you want some sick tree lines and a bunch of the white stuff.
May 14, 2006
graeham from Ski Canada Canada
Fortress has re-opened in the 2006 season after several years of closure. Unfortunately, the facilities were not properly maintained during the closure and they were not fully operational once the hill reopened. Fortress rarely has crowds. The runs are short, but sustained. There are many terrain features like gullies and roll-overs that are fun to take air off of, or just to feel the flow of going up and down. Fortress is smaller and less visited than other resorts near Calgary, and is one of the only ones where someone without local knowledge has much of a chance of finding powder a couple days after a storm. Also, it is much closer. Fortress can be reached from Calgary by car in under an hour. Fortress would be most enjoyed by advanced or better skiers. There is limited grooming, and the lodge facilities are not yet fully opened. It is more of an "old school" skiing experience: when skiing didn't come with spas, condos, buzzwords like "extreme-this", and fancy restaraunts. Skiing at Fortress is just all about what counts: skiing. Fortress now has cat-skiing terrain for a low charge ($5 per ride) on the Farside terrain until the farside lift can be replaced. Fortress also offers a cheaper ticket than other resorts in the area, especially for youths and students ($20 for youths, $30 for students, $40 for adults were the prices for this year if I remember correctly.) The new ownership of the hill seems very motivated and willing to let Fortress grow into a bigger resort. There is quite a bit of potential for terrain expansions, and Fortress gets a decent amount of snow (less than Sunshine, but more than most others in the Alberta Rockies). They are also known for getting epic dumps of snow, especially in the Spring. In five years, it is possible that Fortress could be a direct competator with Sunshine and Lake Louise (and be the winner), but it has a little growing to do.
December 04, 2007
4tress from Ski Afghanistan Afghanistan
yeah its permanently closed now, thanks
December 06, 2009
charlie from Ski Canada Canada
Just thought I would comment that Fortress Mountain has become an excellent destination for backcountry skiers and boarders... But there are no facilities, lifts, food, shelter or anything else there. Just some rusting equipment and a burned out building.
December 23, 2009
Kevin Lee from Ski Canada Canada
Even if one wanted to go to Fortress Mountain for back country skiing you should be forewarned that the bridge down by the highway is out, or has been taken out. Therefore, you can't drive up the road. It would be a several hour walk up to the Fortress Mountain area from the highway.
February 03, 2011
Jay D from Ski Canada Canada
Fortress Mountain is currently closed. However, plans are afoot to reopen for the 2011-2012 season, with at least one new lift.
September 13, 2011
Kathleen from Ski Canada Canada
I remember skiing Fortress back in the late 80's and loved it. Hope it will open again - hope they reopen the old lodge too - was a great place to stay - totally old school skiing and lots of good fun.
February 07, 2012
rowan harper from Ski Canada Canada
Fortress Mountain is currently open under the title of K-POW cat skiing. They offer private or walk on experiences. Check out K-POW.CA for more info on this experience.
March 01, 2015
Churchill from Ski Canada Canada
Re open Fortress! This place used to be one of the best hills in the country! Canada needs more ski hills with old lifts, friendly locals and deep pow than high-speed quads and Euros stomping on your skis! Canadian ski culture needs more resorts like Fortress!