Hunting Easter Eggs at Alberta and BC Ski Hills
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Skiing recently at an Alberta ski hill, I came across something I’d never seen before in my nearly 20 years there. It was like discovering an “Easter egg” in a favourite movie that I’d rewatched again and again. I knew these lines by heart. And yet, here was something new!
Here at SnowSeekers HQ, we got wondering, are there Easter eggs hidden at other ski hills and tucked away in mountain towns, waiting to be found by those hill faithful? And how many of you out there know of a few, or more, of these? The idea quickly became one we thought would be fun and challenging, for ourselves, our ambassadors and our community.
And so we’re putting the challenge to you: read on and test yourself against our quiz to see if you can identify the locations of these Easter Eggs and claim bragging rights for your Western Canada ski hill knowledge.
Hunting for “Easter Eggs” at AB & BC Ski Resorts
All questions are scored out of a total of three points. To get full points for a given question, you must match the criteria under the 3 point category, or know the answer without any further clues.
If you can’t answer the question at the 3 point level or clue, move on to the 2 point category, and so on. The more clues you need to get the answer, the fewer points you score for that question.
At the end, check your answers against the answer key and tally up your score to see how you did.
This is on the honour system - so be honest and challenge yourself!
1. Where is this “Inception” Egg?
Like matryoshka, the classic Ukrainian nesting dolls, the egg I discovered was nested inside a larger egg.
The larger egg is the clue: it’s only been open for parts of the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons so far, later in the season, in terrain that was previously part of a permanent closure, accessed by traverse across from the highest chairlift at this Alberta resort, which is named after the hardware of a door. Got it?
Okay now: within this larger egg, I found this incredible perch.
3 points: I can name the resort and general location on the mountain.
2 points: I can name the resort.
1 point: Need a little more help? If you're thinking Jasper, you're not off Basin.
Take an additional 3 points if you’ve stood on this exact spot.
If you haven’t stood here but you’ve skied past it, take two points.
2. Can you name the resort and location with a hydrological apex?
Undoubtedly some geoscience nerds like us already know the answer from the title. Give yourself full points!
3 points: For those still scratching their heads, a hydrological apex is a high point from which water flows in opposite directions across the continent. If you can guess it now, score full points.
2 points: Still unsure? Try a Divide and conquer approach… (if that hint clued you in, take 2 points).
1 point: Still wondering? Perhaps you need more vitamin D in your ski diet, which you might get from strawberries.
3. Can you find an Underwear Tree?
Seekers correspondent Tyler Dixon fancies himself a bit of an expert on this one: he wrote a history of the phenomenon, detailing some of the familiar locations of these trees. (It’s in the suggested reads below, for after.)
Can you pinpoint the on-hill location of an underwear tree at an AB or BC ski resort?
3 points: I can name the resort, the run and the chair (and may have placed something there.)
2 points: I can name the resort and the chair.
1 point: I can name the resort.
We’ll include the location of a few in the answer key below.
Three points if you “may have” placed something on said tree.
If you didn’t place an item but have a photo of your local underwear tree, take two points.
4. Where is the newest t–bar in the West?
Shameless plug: this one’s a gimme for any of our newsletter subscribers who've been reading up recently.
For the rest, here are some clues - and you can sign up any time to find out what you’re missing!
3 points: The natural halfpipe on this hill is a legacy of the 2010 Arctic Winter Games
2 points: the glowtubing here helps this place live up to its “evening raptor”-inspired name
1 point: It won’t cost you a Grande
5. What is the easter egg alluded to in this clue, and where can you find it?
Hans isn’t sad, he’s happy. And if you know where to find Hans, you will be too!
“There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird
Is popping out to say "cuckoo"
- So Long, Farewell (The Sound of Music)
3 points: Gunter glieben glauchen globen - I don’t even need a countdown
2 points: Platzl is a space you know
1 point: Little Bavaria in the Koots
6. Have you seen the sign?
It says “Best Place on Earth.” And the locals here ain’t kidding. Do you know where it is?
3 points: Fee fi fo - forget it, I got this one
2 points: Wells, that’s all folks
1 point: You can find Shrek-stasy here
7. Where is Alberta’s newest chairlift, and what is it called?
Gin is in! There’s a new chairlift spinning in Alberta this season. Do you know where it is? And what its name is?
3 points: Two doors down from a Grizzly
2 points: Key ingredient in gin
1 point: Just ___ it (no, it’s not a Nike slogan)
Take an additional point if you’ve ridden this chair.
8. Do you know this Nordic gem, connected to this popular downhill resort?
Quite a few staff at this ski area praise Rainbow run as one of their favourites, connecting to various ski terrain across this Island ski hill, famous for alternating major precip and sunny skies (thus rainbows). But just down the road there’s a Nordic secret stash for cross-country skiing and fat biking, as SnowSeekers’ own Stevie Gaultier discovered (SPOILER ALERT).
Have you ventured far enough off-piste to find it? Name the ski area and the Nordic location #ftw.
3 points: It’s a “State” of mind (or name, at least)
2 points: You’re still in this - don’t go raven mad
1 point: It’ll all come out in the Wash
9. Where did the Queen once not visit?
Rumour has it the Queen was to visit Marmot Basin, in Jasper, but in the end the visit never happened. In jest, the hill named a run after the non-occasion. What’s the run called?
3 points: Got it - my friends do this all the time (I need new friends)
2 points: “So you thought you, might like to go to the __” (- Pink Floyd)
1 point: Show up to Marmot Basin or you’re a “__” (We can’t make this any more obvious)
10. Do you know where to find the trapper’s cabin?
After putting the Easter Egg question to our Seekers Ambassadors, Shaun Hutt and Sue Shih both wrote in to share about an old trappers cabin that still resides on one of Alberta’s ski hills.
“I was there in March of '21,” wrote Hutt. “Still standing. We usually clean up the empties and bag ‘em while we stop in there.”
3 points: I know the resort and can describe the location.
2 points: I know the resort.
1 point: Google gave me the answer in less than a minute.
BONUS POINT: take a point if you’ve been to the cabin.
11. Where can you do the Ski Out?
Yeah, you know what we’re talking about. You’ve had a big day of shredding and it’s the end of the day at the resort, but you’re not quite done so you’re gonna ride to the end.
We only know of two official ski outs where you can ski from the resort back to a location below the base of the ski area itself. Do you know them?
3 points: I can name them both.
2 points: I got one of them for sure.
1 point: I think my heli chauffeur just landed…
Give yourself a bonus point for each of the ski-outs you’ve skied before.
The ski out is always the end of the day, and it’s also the end of our quiz.
Wanna see how you did?
- Marmot Basin - Stinson’s/Upper cat track (boulder at top of hike from Knob traverse to M1L)
Score some more advanced Marmot tips in this story.
- The Great Divide Rock Cairn, Sunshine Village (top of Strawberry Chair)
- Underwear Tree locations:
Marmot Basin - under Knob and Eagle Ridge chairs
Sunshine Village - under Angel Chair (plus other locations?)
Lake Louise - Paradise Chair
There are more out there! If you know, you know. Give yourself a big three points. And if you like, pop over to Facebook and let us know where yours is!
- NItehawk Year Round Adventure Park
Read how Nitehawk revitalized its ski area after a devastating landslide.
- Happy Hans Cuckoo Clock, Kimberley Platzl
- Troll Mountain Resort
Celebrating 50 years this year - read up on Troll history and shred-story here!
- Juniper Chair, Lake Louise Ski Resort
- Raven Lodge, Mount Washington
Read about the Nordic gem you wish you'd found sooner!
- No-Show, Marmot Basin
- Sunshine Village - old trapper's cabin off Jackrabbit Chair
- Hudson Bay Mountain Resort and Banff Sunshine Village
Get the local line on Hudson Bay Mountain in this article.
Bonus story: read Tyler Dixon's history of the underwear tree for some deep ski trivia.
How did you do? Tally up your points from each question, to see how your western Canada ski knowledge ranks.
25 - 33 POINTS: Double Diamond Detective
15 - 24 POINTS: Blues Clues Grad
7 - 14 POINTS: Greenhorn gumshoe
0 - 6: Bunny, you’re ok
Want to ace next year's Easter ski trivia?
Get out skiing this spring with more SnowSeekers fun and tips.