The run-down on Canada’s ski resorts this season

Ski Canada?! I thought there was too much snow there for that. Ok, so I have heard something about this place called Whistler… But what about the rest? I found this Canadian Press article and hacked it to bits, dispensing of all the fluff to give you the low-down on skiing, Canuck style…

“Mont Tremblant spokeswoman Julie Charbonneau says the Quebec resort will introduce helicopter rides over the Laurentians this season as well as a treetop ropes course and dog sledding.

Horseshoe Valley spokesman David Belsey says the resort just north of Toronto will offer visitors snowmobile and ATV tours through the forest and will keep its rooftop aerial park open through the winter for the first time.

Whistler-Blackcomb spokeswoman Tabetha Boot says the B.C. resort has made some $22.1 million worth of capital improvements this year, the largest being its $9.2-million Symphony Express high-speed quad chairlift on Whistler Mountain.

“That specific chair accesses 1,000 acres of high alpine terrain, so it’s for low intermediates right through to advanced,” she says.

Here’s a look at what’s new at some other resorts this season:

Big White, B.C.: The $7-million Snow Ghost Express, at 1,890 metres, will be Canada’s longest six-passenger chair lift. It will take less than six minutes to get to the top and will accommodate up to 5,400 skiers per hour.

Kicking Horse, B.C.: The resort has spent $15 million on improvements, including a new tube park. It has also added a $300,000 groomer to its fleet and has begun work on a new snow-making facility. The new ski-in, ski-out Palliser Lodge will also open this season.

Lake Louise, Alta.: Several vehicles have been added to the grooming fleet, and $3 million has been invested in snow-making equipment. The Minute Maid Wilderness Adventure Park for kids is also new this year.

Sunshine Village, Alta.: The resort has expanded its extreme zones for advanced skiers and boarders. To enter these zones, participants will have to carry an avalanche beacon and shovel and partner up with at least one other person who’s carrying the same. This will also be the first full season for Sunshine Village’s new terrain park complete with some 20 different activities including rails, boxes and a half-pipe. The resort has also announced that food and beverages at its facilities have all gone trans-fat free. Some 21 new passenger buses will make it easier for guests to make their way from the parking lot to the mountain.

Blue Mountain, Ont.: Boarders will see improvements at the Badlands Terrain Park. The half pipe is bigger, and summer grading was done to allow for better snow coverage and a smoother ride. The park will also feature some 16 new box rails for skiers and boarders of all skill levels. A new spa will make apres-ski that much more relaxing.

Mont-Sainte-Anne, Que.: The resort will feature eight hectares of new black-diamond and double-black-diamond glades serviced by a triple-chair lift and gondola.

Le Massif, Que.: Since 2001, the resort has invested more than $50 million in improvements, including a new access road at the summit, two panoramic chalets, a mid-mountain hut, 23 new trails and glades, two high-speed quad lifts and snow-making equipment. The resort is now working on a $230-million, four-season project that will include accommodations near the mountain and increase the ski area by more than 30 per cent.

Poley Mountain, N.B.: The resort has become the first in Eastern Canada to introduce a $150,000 “Wonder Carpet” lift aimed at helping beginners get started. It will once again offer a weekend babysitting service and has introduced day-care season-passes.”