Skiiing in Alberta SouthWest
Castle Mountain Resort
Castle Mountain Resort is reputed to be a "skier's mountain" because of its variety of terrain, deep powder, and longest continuous fall-line in Canada.
Five lifts provide access to 67 trails. 15 percent are classed as Beginner, 40 percent Intermediate, 35 percent Advanced, and 10 percent Expert. The longest run is 5 km.
Base elevation is 1,410 meters (4,630 feet). Summit elevation is 2,273 meters (7,463 feet). Vertical rise is 863 meters (2,833 feet).
Castle Mountain is a boutique resort with strictly constrained residential and commercial development.
Pass Powderkeg is a small community ski hill in sight of the boutiques and cafés of Main Street Blairmore (Crowsnest Pass). Night skiing under lights is an attraction unique in Alberta SouthWest. This is an ideal family hill for young learners and their grandparents.
Allison-Chinook Cross-Country Ski Centre
Tucked between the Continental Divide and the landmark Crowsnest Mountain, Allison Chinook Cross Country Ski Centre provides 31 km of track-set trails through 300 hectares of gently rolling, densely wooded terrain.
Access is from a parking area at the end of Allison Creek road. A donation box is available for the requested contribution of $2 per skiier. Funds are used by Crowsnest Pass Cross-Country Ski Association to maintain the trails.
While the surrounding area is often snow-free in winter, the ski centre's micro-climate and well-shaded trails usually maintain excellent trail conditions.
It is possible, but hazardous, to ski across the Continental Divide into British Columbia at Deadman Pass. Avalanche danger is ever-present and trails are shared with high-speed snowmobiles.
Allison-Chinook is the most extensive and best-maintained cross-country facility in the Canadian sector of the Crown of the Continent region.
Syncline Cross-Country Trails
Fifteen kilometres of trails are maintained between the West and South branches of the Castle River. The centre is south of Beaver Mines on Secondary Highway 774.
Opportunites for independent backcountry skiing abound, but are for highly accomplished and well-equipped adventurers only. Avalanches are an ever-present hazard. Death is a not infrequent consequence for backcountry skiiers venturing into untracked, unpatrolled terrain. Always check avalanche conditions before skiing the backcountry.