Thursday, December 17, 2015

Off to a Great Start at Nakiska Ski Resort

We spent two days skiing at the Nakiska Ski Resort while staying at the Delta Kananaskis Lodge last weekend and it's safe to say that my son would prefer we do a LOT more downhill skiing and much less x-country skiing or winter hiking.

Our first day at Nakiska looked like this:
My Mighty Skier
First run down the hill - 6 year old crying and wailing upon seeing the first steep pitch off of the Silver Chair. (Normally we would have started off on the easier Bronze Chair but it was not open yet for the season so we had to start on intermediate terrain.) There was much falling, many tears, and we almost headed back to the hotel.
Second run down the hill - tentative skiing but less falling, no tears, and we sighed a breath of relief that the day was going to improve.
Third run down the hill - I actually stopped at one point and exclaimed "My gosh, the kid is almost as fast as me! How did this happen?" - and he definitely wasn't falling anymore.
 Fourth and Fifth runs down the hill - I stopped trying to keep up. My 6 year old was definitely flying down the intermediate runs at a much faster pace than I was (without falling and in complete control.)

Obligatory Family Chairlift Selfie at Nakiska

The second day skiing at Nakiska continued where the first left off with more speed and confidence. My son even progressed to the Olympic and Gold Chairs, and successfully skied his first black run after we discovered that the intermediate runs were all closed for a race. I won't say that it was a graceful run, but he made it down in one piece and there were no tears.

All in all it was a very successful first ski weekend of the season and we are excited to go back to Nakiska over the holidays.

Perfectly Groomed Ski Terrain at Nakiska

There are a lot of ski resorts near Calgary but we like Nakiska for a variety of reasons.

My 6 year old that was doing black runs on day two!
  • Nakiska's hashtag says it all - #SkiClose (the resort is only a 45 minute drive from the NW Calgary city limits.)
  • As evidenced by my son's improvement over the first day out this season, people can learn to ski quickly and with great confidence at Nakiska. It's a small hill, the runs are immaculately groomed, and it's great learning terrain
  • My husband went off to do some skiing in the new Glades off the Gold Chair and came back with a huge smile on his face. (This from somebody who normally prefers skiing in the backcountry)
  • Mama who is normally quite terrified on downhill skis (yes, me) had a lot of fun and I felt very confident on the groomed terrain at Nakiska. And then when I got tired of downhill skiing I had other nearby options including x-country skiing and snowshoeing.
  • Show up at noon and there is still parking relatively close to the lodge (find that at a larger hill!)
  • There's always space to drop family members and skis off in the 5 minute loading zone (which means we don't have to carry skis all the way from the car.)
  • Small resorts are easier to find your way around at. My 6 year old is already quite familiar with the hill, knows all of the runs by name, and would be able to ski by himself in another few years with zero risk of getting lost.
  • Nakiska is family-friendly!! The hard core skiers tend to go to the bigger resorts leaving Nakiska for families and for those of us who want a relaxing day close to home.
  • Beginners of all ages ski for free with a special pass for the learning area and magic carpet. (and this includes adults)
  • Seasons Passes are affordable. We all have passes and this means we can show up at 9, and leave at noon when the rest of Calgary shows up. We get the best snow and leave when the runs start to get icy. We'll be skiing at Nakiska a lot this winter and we'll have the freedom to ski as long or as little as we want based on conditions, weather, and crowds. (And with a 45 minute drive, we don't mind coming out for just a few hours.)

Bluebird Day at Nakiska

It's going to be a great winter and we are very grateful to Resorts of the Canadian Rockies for their support this winter. They graciously arranged our stay at the Delta Kananskis Lodge last weekend and have provided me with a seasons pass so that I can help promote this great ski hill.

I'll be writing a few pieces on the Nakiska website this winter as well and will make sure to share them when they are published.

Finally, we'll be visiting a couple of other RCR ski resorts this winter as well and I can't wait to tell you all about our adventures.

Disclaimer: As always, all words in this story are my own and I was not paid to write this story.

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