Mount Norquay

This is a ski resort within Banff National Park in southern Alberta province. The resort is in the Canadian Rockies and is one of the major skiing destinations which can be found within the park. The mountain was named in the 1900s after John Norquay, Manitoba province's premier in the late 1800s. The resort is a favorite destination among skiers from various parts of Canada and other countries. The skiing terrain in the resort is excellent and the large amount of snowfall that the resort experiences every year adds to the wonderful skiing conditions that the resort offers. Skiing season in the resort is from December to April.

The resort was already operational since the late 1920s but there were only rudimentary skiing facilities then. The Canadian Rockies has long been a popular skiing destination for many Canadian and Banff National Park in particular proved to be an ideal place to establish a ski resort. Mount Norquay has expanded since its opening, in terms of skiing terrain as well as facilities and activities to suit skiers of all ski levels who frequently go there.

The resort has 190 acres or 77 hectares of skiable terrain, making it the smallest of the three major areas located in the national park. Annual snowfall in the resort averages at three meters or 9.8 feet. The highest accessible point in the resort is 1,650 feet or 503 meters up. There is a total 33 trails for skiers at all ski levels. You should know, however, that 80 percent of the trails are appropriate for experienced skiers. The resort also has night skiing and is the only resort in Banff National Park that provides such an option.

Most of the resort's guests have intermediate or more advanced skills, reflecting the resort's reputation as a destination where there is serious skiing to be had. Although the resort has a smaller ski area than the nearby resorts, the variety of the terrain more than makes up for this shortage with some of the runs will give you a picturesque view of Banff village and the nearby slopes. Banff residents flock to the resort during work breaks but even then, the lines to the chair lift are very short during weekdays.

Most of the resort's guests are singles or those who have just gotten married. The resort's two-story day lodge is adequate for them but it should think of providing larger accommodations to attract more travelers bringing in their families. There is also a small restaurant and a cafe available in the day lodge, sometimes with live performances from local musicians. Parents, however, can take advantage of the quality ski instruction Mount Norquay provides, as well as the park for snowboard, freestyle skiing and snow tubing.

If you are thinking of a place to go to on your winter vacation, Mount Norquay may be the perfect place for you, that is, if you are planning to do a lot of skiing. It has a variety of skiable terrain that will really challenge your mind and your skills. Mount Norquay still has far to go if it plans to be a more family-oriented ski resort, but that is probably a good thing for serious skiers who frequent the place.