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Old 01-10-2012, 10:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fortress Mountain Backcountry

Not sure if anyone will know but can you go to the closed Fortress resort and do some back country runs? I;m thinking the green runs there would be good for practicing my splitboarding.
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Fortress is a popular pre-season shred spot for the Banff/Calgary crowd, often providing great powder turns in October and even September sometimes.
I've only done one day there while the resort was open, and 4 other pre-season days there.
Basically the main issue concerns the bridge along the sketchyish access road. The government made them do some work on it (since I was last there) so it's probably improved, but I doubt the road would be plowed so you would have to ski in a few kilometers.
Once you're at the resort it's a great place to do quick and easy laps, with some of the best pow Alberta has to offer. Of course just because it is on a ski hill land, don't forget you are 100% in the backcountry now so all of the requirements must be met.

The other popular pre-season spot for Banff loc's is Parker's Ridge up HWY 93 by the Columbia Icefields.

If you want practice with your splitboard I'd suggest starting out from Sunshine Village... some great trails out to the surrounding lakes with untracked pow to shred (and usually broke in with a skin track already because it's fairly popular). It will be much cheaper, quicker, and easier than getting into Fortress. (save that for next fall )
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, big news. Your post made me check back into what's up at Fortress and apparantly they about to start up a Cat Skiing Operation there!! That will be really good!
I found the info here: Cat Skiing at Fortress Mountain | Snow-Reports.ca
and sure enough it's on their website here: Fortress Mountain
So I guess the road is plowed and open
-- Edit --
The guys running it are a really good crew. Might have to check that out sometime... maybe March-April 2012. Not too stoked on the 14-seater cats... but the price is competitive compared to others. (Valhalla probably the best price-vs-quality op out there... same price)

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Old 01-22-2012, 03:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was thinking about the new KPOW Cat Skiing at work today and am sure that's a very good business venture... There are no other cat ski operators close to Calgary/Edmonton, so they basically have a monopoly on the Albertan customers. The next nearest choices would be a few hours further, near Fernie or Chatter Creek near Rogers Pass.
And throw in the fact the guys doing it are the same guys who were unjustly let go by Sunshine Village in that big fiasco last season makes me hope they succeed all the more.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I already signed up for their standby and have a couple of friends who are interested too. I am pretty committed to trying to get out this season.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chupacabraman View Post
And throw in the fact the guys doing it are the same guys who were unjustly let go by Sunshine Village in that big fiasco last season makes me hope they succeed all the more.
This the story about the patrollers who disciplined a kid for going OOB only to find out it was the owners son, and they all lost their jobs? I didn't know it was true, if so I'd much rather give these guys my money and never go to sunshine again.

Protecting the guys that rescue MY ass on the hill should be number one for any resort owner. Screw your kid who was potentially saved by alert patrollers...

Wish I could afford to cat ski, even at $300 for the day it's way out of my price range.
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poutanen View Post
This the story about the patrollers who disciplined a kid for going OOB only to find out it was the owners son, and they all lost their jobs? I didn't know it was true, if so I'd much rather give these guys my money and never go to sunshine again.
Protecting the guys that rescue MY ass on the hill should be number one for any resort owner. Screw your kid who was potentially saved by alert patrollers...
You got it!
Quote:
Wish I could afford to cat ski, even at $300 for the day it's way out of my price range.
Same goes for me, but there are ways to make it cheaper, and even free!
For example, book a trip during the low season rate, but at the best available time (ie: if low season is before Jan15, book a trip for second week of January... or if it starts again on Mar.15, book a trip for late march). This is how I've always done it and I've always scored primo conditions.
Also, most operators offer an incentive for booking an entire cat - usually 1 free seat towards the person who organised the group (since it is kind of a pain in the ass to get a dozen people together and collect deposits from each)
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chupacabraman View Post
You got it!

Same goes for me, but there are ways to make it cheaper, and even free!
For example, book a trip during the low season rate, but at the best available time (ie: if low season is before Jan15, book a trip for second week of January... or if it starts again on Mar.15, book a trip for late march). This is how I've always done it and I've always scored primo conditions.
Also, most operators offer an incentive for booking an entire cat - usually 1 free seat towards the person who organised the group (since it is kind of a pain in the ass to get a dozen people together and collect deposits from each)
Thanks for the advice, I might start getting groups together at Fortress. Would love to give cat boarding a try and being 1 hr from Calgary is pretty sweet!
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