Banff, Lake Louise, Sunshine & Norquay

AWJ

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 8, 1999
1,765
602
363
Canberra
Looks like Lake Louise is getting a new chair - saw this on facebook:
Lake Louise New Chair.JPG


So had a look to see where it was going and found their long range master plan was approved last year, with a whole stack new chairlifts and lodges.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5896863/lake-louise-ski-resort-renovations/

Big renovations approved for Lake Louise Ski Resort

Canada’s third-largest ski hill is set to get a makeover. Parks Canada approved a long-range plan for Lake Louise Ski Resort and the major renovation project will include some big environmental gains.

The plan includes two new lodges, up to six new lifts and access to the newly acquired west bowl.

In exchange, summer hiking will be moved to a higher elevation to protect prime grizzly bear habitat.

The leasehold is also being reduced by 669 hectares — which is about the size of both Norquay and Jasper’s Marmot Basin combined, according to Parks Canada.

“It’s not an expansion of any sorts, we are just going to be improving what we had in our leasehold,” Dan Markham with Lake Louise Ski Resort said.

“We should be able to expand our capacity another 3,000 people — so up to 9,000 on a busy day.”

Parks Canada said ecological integrity was paramount when approving the plan but environmentalists still have their concerns.

“This is the most heavily developed national park in North America by far and every incremental pressure we put on it is a problem,” said Banff conservationist Harvey Locke.

Locke agreed there are some good steps being taken but said he worries about the long term future of the newly acquired west bowl.

“There’s no way you’re ever going to be developing that so we need to watch that closely,” Locke said.

There are no plans to do so, according to Markham.

Designs are being finalized for the renovations and work is expected to start next spring.
 

AWJ

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 8, 1999
1,765
602
363
Canberra
Another article on it:

https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/long-range-plan-for-lake-louise-to-build-up-not-out

Long-range plan for Lake Louise to build up, not out
Author of the article:
Alanna Smith
Publishing date:
Sep 07, 2019

The footprint of the Lake Louise Ski Resort will be slashed by almost 30 per cent, with skiable areas expanding under the new long-range management plan released Friday by Parks Canada.

Years in the making in collaboration with stakeholders, the 15-year plan emphasizes ecological protection and enhancement to ensure the winter hot spot in Banff National Park remains profitable in the long term.

“We’re very, very pleased with the report,” said Dan Markham, spokesman for Lake Louise Ski Resort, who added that protecting the environment, both flora and fauna, was imperative in their decision making.

Under the new plan, there will be a permanent reduction in the ski area leasehold by 669 hectares from its current leasehold of 2,190 ha. This cutback will allow Parks Canada to protect wildlife habitat in that portion of land — home to grizzly bears, mountain goats, wolverines and other species.

Additionally, summer hiking will be relocated to an alpine location at a higher elevation to better protect grizzly bear habitat, investments will be made to protect an at-risk species whitebark pine and there are plans to significantly reduce water withdrawal.

While Lake Louise will give back this section of high-value wildlife habitat, the resort will, in exchange, gain valuable space in lower-value wildlife habitat to expand its seasonal ski terrain.

Currently, the resort has 551 ha of skiable territory. In accordance with the 2015 site guidelines, which establish growth limits and specific parameters to guide future development, the resort will be able to add approximately 315 ha of skiable terrain, bringing the total to 816 ha.

Markham said this will be particularly beneficial to beginners.

He said the resort currently has few green and blue runs, which means first-timers graduating from the training areas to lifts face a steep learning curve.

With the new plan, the resort aims to add a significant amount of novice routes.

Visitors will also see improvements to food, beverage and lodging services, with plans to develop two day lodges at the Whisky Jack Base Area, an expansion of the Temple Lodge and a warming hut built on Whitehorn Ridge.

“We have been quite limited in our capacity to accommodate people in the food and beverage area (and) beginner terrain,” said Markham. “This is giving us the ability to solve a lot of those challenges we’ve had in the past to ensure the quality of the experience is better going forward.”

The Lake Louise long-range report comes just months after another popular Alberta ski destination, Sunshine Village, expressed its displeasure over future development plans.

Although that ski resort reluctantly signed a new lease with Parks Canada in January, its leadership had grave concerns about the effect on operations.

In contrast, Markham said operators of the Lake Louise resort are happy with the report and expect expansion to begin next summer.

“All in all, we are very pleased and looking forward to the next steps.”
 

AWJ

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 8, 1999
1,765
602
363
Canberra
And ski lift bits of the long range plan:
The Lake Louise Ski Area is blessed with varied and challenging terrain and dramatic views of Victoria Glacier and Lake Louise and iconic, 360-degree vistas of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The area is internationally recognized and often rated as one of the top ski areas in the world. As a result, the ski area contributes significantly to the economy of the communities of Banff and of Lake Louise, as well as to the whole southern Alberta region. To respond to the evolving nature of the winter snow sports industry, and to continue to meet the expectations of local and international guests, we are looking to the future by renewing our services and facilities.

With new chairlifts and upgrades to existing chairlifts, we’ll be able to provide a high-quality ski and park area experience to accommodate approximately 9,000 skiers and riders and 1,000 non-skiers a day.

A comprehensive map of our existing and proposed facilities can be downloaded here.

Specific projects would create additional skiable terrain within a smaller overall footprint.

Proposed New Lifts:
  • Juniper Beginner Lift
  • Upper Juniper
  • Beginner Lift
  • Meadowlark
  • Eagle Replacement
  • Summit Chair
  • Prunepicker
  • Richardson’s Ridge
chairliftfamily.jpg


Proposed projects to improve the on-mountain experience include:
  • Improved ski trail connections for beginner and intermediate skiers between chairlifts and runs
  • Other ski terrain safety improvements and egress trails
  • Glading in several ski pods
  • New runs on Richardson’s Ridge
  • New Juniper Adult Learning Area
  • Sunny Side Learning Area and Tubing Park improvements
  • Two new runs to parallel the existing Meadowlark ski run
  • New runs associated with Prunepickers Lift
New chairlifts and terrain will allow us to offer much-needed beginner and lower intermediate ski runs and a range of opportunities for young people and families, as well as new areas for expert skiing. We will also better meet the needs of FIS World Cup competitions, amateur and grass roots events and training. In addition, we will be able to reduce points of congestion on the mountain and upgrade mountain operations for enhanced safety.

https://lrp.skilouise.com/lrp
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Was a work party scheduled this coming weekend for upper mtn wiring improvements, start house base, etc. With no nth american WC rounds this season, that work party was canceled. Bullet dodged.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
The council sprayed the streets in town with mag chloride today, possible snow expected overnight. Ultra early if it happens. Haven't even had first frost yet down here in the valley and grape harvest is still in progress.
 
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Chalkie

A Local
Ski Pass
Jul 1, 2002
6,246
12,878
563
Vancouver, Canada
The council sprayed the streets in town with mag chloride today, possible snow expected overnight. Ultra early if it happens. Haven't even had first frost yet down here in the valley and grape harvest is still in progress.

There's a frost predicted for Vancouver overnight tomorrow night!
 

AWJ

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 8, 1999
1,765
602
363
Canberra
https://www.rmotoday.com/banff/mt-n...814623?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Mt. Norquay set for earliest opening day in 95 year history
For opening day, Mt. Norquay will be operating the Cascade Chair, with the Cascade Lodge accessible to guests
about 12 hours ago By: Evan Buhler

BANFF – Get out the wax and sharpen those edges, the ski season is here.

Banff’s Mount Norquay Ski Resort is preparing to open the mountain on Saturday (Oct.24), the earliest date in its 95th year of operation.

Norquay will be the first ski hill to open in the country this season, and is typically one of the first resorts to open for the ski season.

“We’ve received over 30 centimetres of snow with great overnight temperatures that allowed us to make a lot of snow,” said general manager Andre Quenneville.

“We have also made some improvements to our snowmaking system since last winter, which has increased our efficiency. Having overnight temperatures hovering around -9, -10 is what has really allowed us to open up so early.”

Previously the earliest opening day at Norquay was Oct. 25 for the 2012-13 season.

Having enjoyed a busy summer at the Norquay via ferrata, which recently closed on Oct.12, Quenneville is optimistic for the winter season and feels that skiing will allow people to enjoy outdoor recreation, just as people enjoyed biking and golf this summer.

“The general public has shown us that they want to ski – people are buying ski equipment, they are buying ski passes and wanting to be outdoors," he said. "I think skiing will offer people a similar experience like golf where you can recreate socially distanced and we can control the elements to make it safe.”

Due to COVID-19, the ski season will be unprecedented, but Mt. Norquay is responding accordingly and adapting what the ski experience will look like this year.

The hill is able to open thanks to consultations with health authorities and working with official guidelines to ensure everyone is as safe as possible with this season’s protocols in place.

“We didn’t have these great resources in March when we had to close last season" Quenneville said. "Now we have had seven months to prepare and we are set up to open.”

Quenneville said this season will feel different in terms of the social setting. He said this is not the year for leisurely time spent in the lodge and feels people will be more eager to be on the slopes.

“It’s quite fitting that for our 95th season, we can make the best of it by simply embracing the more traditional, no-frills, ski day … we’re expecting tailgate lunches and packed snacks in backpacks, as an alternative to a lodge refuel," he said. "We think our guests will just enjoy putting on the ski boots and getting to the runs.”

For opening day, Mt. Norquay will be operating the Cascade Chair, with the Cascade Lodge accessible to guests. The Sundance Carpet learning terrain will also be open.

The resort will be limiting the capacity for the opening weekend through day ticket sales online.

"We are limiting the capacity so that we know what our numbers are like, at the end of the day we want to create a safe environment for our guests," Quenneville said.

To follow, will be the opening of the Spirit Chair, Mystic Express Chair, North American Chair, and the tube park, as soon as conditions allow.
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
Good work LL! This is what is possible when the weather cooperates and your snowmaking system isn't busy making snow for the world cup DH track. FIS's loss is the public's gain. Entirely possible that they could have lifts open for seven months this season.
 

Gumbie

Hard Yards
Jun 18, 2019
37
113
83
Illawarra
ski louise.PNG
Interesting looking at the cams this morning. The base cam from the lodge has shown the base of the gondola and the carpets all pre-season. This morning you could see folks lined up for the gondola - let's say "learning to social distance". The cam now appears to look up the main slope avoiding the views of the queues.
 

Gumbie

Hard Yards
Jun 18, 2019
37
113
83
Illawarra
IMG20201030160126.jpg
IMG20201030133657.jpg
We made it to Mt Norquay today. A little of each: mizzle, sleet, snow and sun. Great little beginner run was the only one open but more than enough for stretching the legs. A great cover in the open run, a little thin back towards the lodge.

Mt Norquay has one day available on the mountain collective pass. This was not advertised but Skibig3 appears to have included the day somewhere or somehow. This was a bonus.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
I wonder why the switch to a chair at the summit. So high up in the alpine you'd think wind would make a surface lift more practical.
 

AWJ

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 8, 1999
1,765
602
363
Canberra
I wonder why the switch to a chair at the summit. So high up in the alpine you'd think wind would make a surface lift more practical.
I've had the same thoughts...

from the times i've been up the old poma, there wasn't much breeze to speak of. Can't say i've ever felt the wind in the Banff resorts anywhere near as much as at Thredbo!

4 seater chair though, that would have a decent amount of weight even with out people sitting on it.
 

jgm

Addicted
Jul 3, 2000
796
182
113
76
Geelong, Vic, Australia
A couple of thoughts:

1. The place is big enough so that closing 1 or 2 lifts doesn't have a great impact.
2. The reduction in capacity for a surface lift isn't justified due to the limited number of days when a chairlift would be on hold.
3. The great majority of N. American skiers have grown up with chairlifts only, and don't handle surface lifts well.
 

SnowKid

First Runs
Jul 16, 2020
7
14
3
Vernon
Skiied LL on Friday and Saturday just gone. Friday was pretty quiet in terms of crowds, hardly any wait times for lifts. On Saturday the queue for day tickets would have been over 100 people at 9:30am and the gondola had a fairly long line for most of the day. Conditions deteriorated by midday on Saturday - some rocks started to surface as it got skiied out. The black runs that were open already had skinny coverage so we left those for the next visit. With a decent dump of snow and their snowmaking capability, there should be a lot more runs (40/160 were open) available with improved coverage. Some of the runs they opened on Saturday (e.g. Grizzly Gully) were very borderline in whether they should be open, it was definitely a day to have your rock skis/board with you. The enforcement of mask wearing could probably improve, especially in lift lines where there were often no lifties actually in the area where people queued up and in close distance to each other.
 

Sbooker

One of Us
Sep 28, 2015
2,598
3,942
363
Skiied LL on Friday and Saturday just gone. Friday was pretty quiet in terms of crowds, hardly any wait times for lifts. On Saturday the queue for day tickets would have been over 100 people at 9:30am and the gondola had a fairly long line for most of the day. Conditions deteriorated by midday on Saturday - some rocks started to surface as it got skiied out. The black runs that were open already had skinny coverage so we left those for the next visit. With a decent dump of snow and their snowmaking capability, there should be a lot more runs (40/160 were open) available with improved coverage. Some of the runs they opened on Saturday (e.g. Grizzly Gully) were very borderline in whether they should be open, it was definitely a day to have your rock skis/board with you. The enforcement of mask wearing could probably improve, especially in lift lines where there were often no lifties actually in the area where people queued up and in close distance to each other.
Skite.
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,290
16,075
1,063
Penticton, BC
A couple of thoughts:

1. The place is big enough so that closing 1 or 2 lifts doesn't have a great impact.
2. The reduction in capacity for a surface lift isn't justified due to the limited number of days when a chairlift would be on hold.
3. The great majority of N. American skiers have grown up with chairlifts only, and don't handle surface lifts well.
Number 3 is the most likely reason. Boarders especially struggle with drag lifts.

Nice to see they're getting some cover. Will be weird not heading to LL in a couple of weeks for the DH. No Whistler Cup at the other end of the season either.
 
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