Skiing Nakiska in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
I’m writing this back in Kananaskis Village after an awesome day of skiing Nakiska Ski Area which is just down the road in Kananskis Country. This was my first foray skiing in the Rocky Mountains and I really enjoyed it, thoroughly. The snow was great and what started out as a grey old day turned for the better. I went on a photo taking tear when the sky was blue but it can’t be sunny all the time as well, we’re in the clouds here. It’s unreal that there is this type of mountain so close to a major city; I can see why Nakiska is known as a racer’s mountain but also very family friendly and a great place to learn.
At about 9:30am I was fully setup with some rentals and met my gregarious guide named Piotr who happened to be from Poland. After some random chat about how much fun it is to party in Krakow, we hit the slopes. For starters, there are several chairs here with bronze being the easiest and gold being the toughest. The core chair bringing you to the mid-way point of the mountain is the silver chair. From there, countless runs are available and if you’re looking for something a little more intense, you take the gold chair to the very top. We skied all sorts of terrain from bumps, glades, freshly groomed slopes and even a few steeps. There are also plenty of easy green trails though so regardless of your skill, you’re covered.
As it happens the resort was built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games because it’s an Olympic regulation to have the ski facilities within an hours drive from the city limits. Today the resort is a hub for ski racers with two runs dedicated to training. They host World Cups and often have provincial and national teams training there. On this particular Monday morning, the place was near empty. After our first run, we remarked that it’s not every day you get to rip an entire trail from top of the mountain to the base of the resort without passing more than just a random solitary skier, on the weekends this place gets quite busy as its Calgary’s closest resort.
If you’re in the area and a good skier, I suggest you take the Legacy Training Run as that thing is blazing fast on good snow conditions like today. A word of warning though, there is a lip half way down and if you aren’t aware of it, you could literally fly back to Calgary; thankfully Piotr warned me about that prior to the descent. The glades are also some of the biggest additions to any ski resort in the region for quite some time aka new territory. If you’re looking down the mountain from the top of the gold chair, to the left is just untouched glades and for the first time in my life, hit so much powder that I just sunk. We get snow out east but never like this. The glades were pretty casual and I recommend checking them out if you visit.
After some skiing we had lunch at the Finish Line Restaurant which is at the base, they have a solid selection of lunch or après ski styled meals and beverages. All and all, I had an awesome day and I’d still be out there if it wasn’t for my pesky knee. It is fine just I want to keep it that way and tomorrow morning I’m off to Canmore to try some cross-country skiing which I’m very much looking forward to before driving to another resort.
It’s late afternoon now which means it’s time to unwind with some après ski consisting of a cocktail and a hot tub soak. Woody’s has this drink called “The K-Town Krippler” and it seems appropriate for this gentleman, so time to wrap this up and get on it. I’d really like to thank Nakiska Ski Area, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, Tourism Canmore and Travel Alberta for my experience here. Hopefully one day I’ll get to play the golf course next to Kananaskis Village, it looks good covered in snow so I can only imagine what it’s like in the summer?!
P.S: In no mood to leave tomorrow but elated to have had the opportunity to visit.