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Snow-loving clients have plenty of options when it comes to taking a ski vacation in North America, but true slope fanatics head to Canada for one of Alberta’s many ski resorts that are offering creative ways to play in the snow.
Clients can ski or snowboard in Banff National Park.
Meanwhile, the hybrid sport of skijoring has taken over. Originating in Scandinavia and introduced at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics, skijoring combines skiing with dog sledding. That’s right — skiers get harnessed up to three sled dogs and off they go. Not only is it a great activity for families, but some sled operators even offer to train the family dog to become a part of the action. Whether clients wish to experience skijoring on their own, or participate in a race, it’s an experience they will never forget.
But if you’re looking for ways to help your clients develop their skills, booking with the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in Banff National Park offers the chance to partake in the Fairmont Snow School. With each course tailored to the individual student, clients have the opportunity to receive one-on-one instruction from highly qualified teachers, most of whom have been involved in elite coaching with the National Ski Team. Plus, instructors have an intimate knowledge of the area, giving clients a uniquely personalized experience.
If any of your clients’ time was spent in Sunshine Villages's new Freeride zones, they will definitely want a commemoration. Known to skiers as one of the best inbound backcountry experiences, the village’s two Freeride zones were carved out by ski patrol and feature a vertical drop of more than 2,000 feet and an average pitch of 40 degrees. Clients will need to have double-black diamond skills for this one.
And then there’s the ultimate skier’s dream: heli-skiing. CMH Heli-Skiing — the oldest and largest heli-ski operator in the world — is a Banff-based company that has been offering adrenaline junkies the best heli-trips for 43 years and boasts a worldwide fan base that comes from all corners of the globe to experience some of the best powder anywhere on earth. CMH has a multitude of options for clients of every level looking for that amazing isolated feeling, like Steep Skiing for those looking to hit the most challenging terrain, family packages that can be tailored to accommodate every skill set and age, and an introduction to powder for those looking to learn how to wilderness ski complete with specially trained guides.
Regardless of skill level — or adventurous spirit — Alberta ski hills have something for everyone. The question is will your clients be able to choose.
Amazing ChaseBooked at Lake Louise Mountain Resort, Fernie, Kimberley and Nakiska, RCR offers the Amazing Chase for a minimum of $750 for an all-day excursion. Customized experiences run an extra $35.800-258-7669www.skilouise.com
CMH Heli-skiing packagesCMH spans more than 12 different lodges and skiing areas all located in the Columbia Range, the mountains running west and parallel to the Canadian Rockies. Prices vary for packages.800-651-0242www.canadianmountainholidays.comFairmont Snow SchoolFull six-hour lessons start at $565, but booking before Dec. 12 gives an early season discount starting at $452.www.fairmont.com SkijoringPrices vary, so check with individual sledding operators associated with each ski hill for more information.
Sunshine Village’s Slopetracker and FreerideSlopetracker rentals run $25 per day, while Freeride is included in lift prices.877-542-2633www.skibanff.com
Click here for Managing Editor Janeen Christoff's fave five North American ski destinations