Mt. Norquay Opening Day: Big Chair will open early

Travel to Canada - What to Expect

Mt. Norquay Opening Day: Big Chair will open early

Mt. Norquay opened today with excellent snow coverage thanks to intense early season snowfall over the past three weeks. The resort is also getting ready to start spinning its beloved North American Chair, or “Big Chair”, tomorrow for Remembrance Day long weekend.  

Big Chair will open this weekend

“Three weeks ago, we were in flip flops and today, we’re getting ready for one of the earliest openings in the Big Chair’s 74-year history,” said Jasper Johnson, Marketing & Communications Manager at Mt. Norquay. He continued, “conditions up here are looking great and we’re so happy to return to welcoming back locals and visitors from all over the world!” 

No less than three weeks ago, the Canadian Rockies was experiencing one of the warmest and driest autumns on record. Now, with 64cm (25.5”) of recorded snowfall and 41cm (16.5”) of new snow in the last 7 days, Mt. Norquay looked like the depths of winter on Opening Day.  

Generous early-season snow conditions made it possible to prepare Big Chair for Opening Weekend, something that has only happened a handful of times since the chair started spinning in 1948. The terrain under Big Chair, known as “steep and deep” (exclusively black and double-black runs), requires deep snow coverage and usually opens mid to late November. 

This season, however, skiers and riders will be able to steal sublime powder turns as early as November 11, just in time for the long weekend.  

mt-norquay-opening-day-skibig3-cascade
Conditions could not have been more perfect for Mt. Norquay Opening day with crystal blue skies. | Photo by Jillian Tester

Military ski free on Remembrance Day

On November 11th, Mt. Norquay will be observing a moment of silence and stopping its lifts at 11:00am, to pay respect for those who fought and continue to fight for Canada’s freedom. Canadian veterans and active Canadian-based members of the military are invited to ski free on Remembrance Day at Mt. Norquay all day.  

Mt Norquay Opening Day: On the mountain 

On Opening Day, Mt. Norquay was a happy mix of locals, visitors, former Olympians and young ski racers all excited to be playing once again in “Banff’s Backyard”. Located just 10 minutes from town, Mt. Norquay is the closest SkiBig3 resort to the Town of Banff. 

As of 9:00am, Cascade Chair was spinning as well as the magic carpet in the Sundance Learning Area. Cascade run was groomed to perfection and clear, bluebird skies framed Mt. Norquay’s iconic view of Mount Rundle and the Town of Banff in postcard-like fashion. Cascade Lodge was warm and welcoming and once again felt alive with the buzz of friendly chatter and the familiar click of ski boots. 

mt-norquay-opening-day-skibig3-view-rundle-mountain
Cascade run was groomed to perfection and clear, bluebird skies framed Mt. Norquay’s iconic view of Mount Rundle and the Town of Banff in postcard-like fashion. | photo by Jillian Tester

All SkiBig3 resorts now open 

As of today, all three SkiBig3 resorts – Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay are now open. They are among only four ski resorts currently open in Canada, all of which are in Alberta. 

No more Canadian travel restrictions

As of October 1, 2022, all Canadian COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, meaning this winter it’s easier than ever to book a ski trip to the Canadian Rockies. Border requirements including proof of vaccination, use of the ArriveCAN App, and any testing and quarantine/isolation requirements have ended for all travellers entering Canada whether by land, air or sea. 

Flexible cancellation policies this winter

Who doesn’t love flexibility? SkiBig3 offers a No Questions Asked Cancellation Policy, allowing for free itinerary changes and full cancellation refund on ski & stay packages up to 14 days from travel. Book now until November 28 and save up to 30% on SkiBig3 Ski & Stay packages. 

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