Winter in Alberta

By | Category: Travel destinations

Alpha or Omega?

Alpha or Omega?

Just as Europe has had early good snow that will please skiers everywhere, so has Alberta, the Canadian province that it is probably better know for the name of its cities and attractions than its name. Think Calgary, Edmonton, Banff and Jasper and you will know what I mean.
The ski season opened a month ago in Mount Norquay, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Marmot Basin. Last weekend, Nakiska and Castle Mountain opened and early signs are that there is quite a bit of snow at the bottom with some fanatics calling it the best start to the season for some time. Combined, they offer the longest snow skiing season in North America as well as over 13,000 acres of skiable terrain. Already they have held both the men’s and women’s world cup weekends. And at, Mount Norquay, following on from celebrating its 125th anniversary as part of the Banff National Park, next year, they will be celebrating its 85th anniversary as a specialist ski resort, making it not only one of the oldest in the world but also one of the most appealing for avid skiers.
Marmot Basin is within the Jasper National Park which, along with the whole province, has received quite a lot of publicity this year when it was used as the backdrop for the animated film, Alpha and Omega, which opened over there in October. That film told the story of two wolves as they made their way back to Jasper through a series of adventures. Linking the wolves to Jasper helps the tourist board emphasise this huge (4,200 square acres) UNESCO World Heritage site for visitors. Any film or TV tie-in always attracts visitors to see $if it lives up to the picture conjured up. And Jasper should always do that. Here there are grizzlies, and black bears, elk and mountain sheep, glaciers and mountain peaks, lakes and forests, hot springs and ice walks as well as the wolves. Outside winter, other seasons attract walkers and hikers, canoeists and kayakers, mountain bikers and white water rafters to enjoy the flip side of this wilderness.
For those thinking of visiting Alberta over the winter and spring, you might want to be aware of some events that will add to the enjoyment of any visit. Edmonton has a new festival called Winter Light which combines an ice carving festival from 13-23rd of January, a ski festival from the 11-12th of February and, later that month, that toughest of sports, a triathlon, from the 19-20.th In Calgary you will find a two month celebration of light at the zoo. 1.5 million lights will present a dazzling spectacle up until January 2nd.
(image courtsey of Tourism Jasper)

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