Canadian Rockies

#DYK Jasper, Alberta Canada is one of the only five places on the planet earth that McDonald’s went bankrupt and had to close its doors because the locals didn’t support it? This is my kind of place, this is #MyJasper.

Snow sloughs over the hump of the large cliff I’m standing above, trickling down over the rocks below. I wait poised on the shoulder of a spiny chute dropping into the new Tres Hombres area, via the second gate off Marmot Basin’s Paradise area.

“Every time I drive into the park it's so breathtaking,” Pat Morris tells me on a sunny afternoon in Waterton Lakes National Park. Morris, has lived here for 18 months and is still in awe of the awesome landscape. I couldn’t agree more. In Alberta’s southernmost mountain park, jagged peaks rise dramatically from the prairies, wildlife wanders the streets, and recreational opportunities abound.

Waterton Lakes National Park and I have been best friends for half a century. It was our go-to for camping as kids, our place for summer hikes, epic cross-country ski treks and a pitch or two of ice climbing. But now, it’s my private escape from the hubbub of life. It’s silent. 

Nestled in the far southwest corner of Alberta, Waterton is one of the most distinctive mountain parks on the planet. Shaped over centuries by wind, fire, glacial ice and floods, the park’s ecosystem is so distinctive that it was designated a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations.

The chairlifts at Marmot Basin started turning in earnest today. The entire upper mountain was open along with seven run on the lower end. With a solid 51cm base, Marmot welcomed those lucky enough to not work today with a beautiful day on the slopes and a 20% discount on lift tickets - not all the chairlifts are running yet, after all.

Temperatures have dropped, snow has tipped the mountains, and just like that, ski season is upon us. Check out the photos from opening day at Nakiska on Saturday, November 4th.

It's official - you'll have somewhere to ski or snowboard this weekend. After receiving 30cm of snow overnight, and another 30cm expected over the next couple of days, Nakiska will have runs and chairlifts open on the weekends as of Saturday morning! 

We may love our winter skiing, but spring snow can really amp up the fun factor. Places like Marmot can make all of our spring skiing dreams come true. And 60cms of snow only adds to our glee.

I was pumped to head to the Purcell Mountains in southeastern B.C. It would be a fitting end to my B.C. ski tour. The last time I was in this area, I was thousands of feet up in the sky paragliding from the summit of Panorama Mountain.