Mount Norquay, Banff Alberta (Canada)

Ski Resort Review, Information and Guide

View from the entrance to the resort

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Mount Norquay Summary:

Base: 5,348 ft

1,630 m
Summit: 6,998 ft

2,133 m
Vertical: 1,650 ft

503 m
Ski runs: 28
Ski area: 190 acres
Total Lifts: 4
Terrain parks: 1
Snowfall: 120"

300 cm
Snowmaking: 85%
Night Skiing: Wed, Fri
5-10pm

Lifts:

hi-Quad Chairs: 1
Quad Chairs: 2
Double Chairs: 1
Surface: 1

Runs/trails:

Total Count: 33
Beginner: 20%
Intermediate: 36%
Advanced: 28%
Expert: 16%

Daily Report:

Status:
Summer Operations

Trail Map:

Virtual Tours:


Mystic Peak


Run BR-2


Base Lodge

Mount Norquay AB Conditions:
° Banff Weather
° Avalanche Conditions

Mount Norquay Description:

Mount Norquay is located just outside of the town of Banff Alberta Canada, a beautiful Western Canadian town nestled in a valley surrounded by majestic mountains. The proximity to the town of Banff allows easy access to Norquay for even very short trips or a full day of skiing. Norquay is the smallest of the three Banff area resorts (the other two are Sunshine and Lake Louise) and all of its terrain can be covered in a day. Norquay supports a variety of runs to accommodate all levels. The views from the peaks of the Norquay runs, look out into the local valleys and onto the Canadian Rockies. The views from the resort are spectacular and one should definitely take a moment to appreciate them. Norquay is also located in a Canadian National Park requiring all visitors to buy an access permit at the entrance to the park for the duration of your stay. (Banff National Park of Canada Fees)

While Norquay is a small resort, it is less expensive than the other Banff resorts, it is also usually less crowded and you can park near the lodge. One will find basic amenities on the mountain like lunch, lockers, ski school, rentals and washrooms. Anything else you might need can be found in the town of Banff. Norquay is the only Banff resort to offer night skiing.

Mount Norquay base view

View of Cascade Lodge and the base of Mount Norquay

View of resort and Lodge at Mount Norquay resort

View of the terrain park, tubing hill, lower resort and main lodge

Mount Norquay Terrain:

Norquay is a small resort but has a lot of interesting terrain. Avalanche conditions and snow coverage may limit what is open.

Beginners and Intermediates:

Abracadabra trail

Run: "Abracadabra" (take Spirit Chairlift)

The easiest trails can be found from the Cascade or Spirit chairlifts which service the lowest elevations on the mountain. There is also Sundance, a "magic carpet" conveyor lift for the very young and first timers. Beginners will also like the fact that Mount Norquay is rarely crowded.

Sundance kids ski school

Sundance kids ski school area and conveyor lift

Advanced Ski Terrain:

Mount Norquay has a variety of black diamond and double black diamond rated runs. The actual difficulty of the run will depend on snow conditions, the density and shape of moguls and grade of the various sections of the run. I found that one had to visit and ski the run to determine its' actual difficulty. A recent grooming will make an advanced run easy while a recent snowfall and mogul build up will make it more advanced. It is for this reason that I show BR-2 in this section with advanced runs, a run marked as a blue on the trail map, but with the mogul conditions of a black diamond run.

Rob's Run trail

Run: "Rob's Run" rated black diamond (take Spirit Chairlift)

Mogul Runs:

As you approach the mountain, your first view is of "Upper Lone Pine" and "Gun Run", which are usually peppered with moguls. These are accessed from the North American double chair. As with many ski resorts, there are also moguls located where one can embarrass themselves (or show-off) the most, under the lift.

Mogul run: Mystic Lift Line at Mount Norquay

Run: "Mystic Lift Line" under of course, the Mystic Chairlift

Mogul run: BR-2

Run: "BR-2"


A panoramic view in the middle of the run BR-2.
(best viewed in full screen mode)

Tree Runs:

Advanced skiers will have to dispel the common instinct of darting from a trail into the woods for powder. Brush and hazards will prevent entry into the woods except on cleared, marked trails like "FM-2" (requires a hike), "Sun Chutes" and Sheep Chutes".

Skiing trees

Brush blocks access to most of the wooded areas at Norquay

Skiing trees

Hike entrance at the top of Mystic Express Lift through the woods to run "FM-2"

Out of Bounds Skiing:

There is no skiing allowed beyond the resort boundary except for the gate at the top of Mystic Express Lift which leads to the run FM-2. There is nowhere to go if one leaves the boundary. The brush is too dense to ski the trees. The steep rocky terrain above the tree line is un-hikeable and generally too rocky to ski. You will want to stay in-bounds for the best terrain.

For guided backcountry guided tours on local mountains, ski hut tours and other adventures, see: Note that there are no helicopter operators in Banff National Park (not legal). All Heli operators are outside the park.

Mount Norquay Terrain Park:

This mountain has one terrain park:

Mount Norquay terrain park

Terrain park jump and rail

Mount Norquay terrain park

Terrain park features

Mount Norquay Tubing Park:

For those too young or un-interested in skiing or snowboarding, Mount Norquay has tubing.

Tubing park

Conveyor lift and tubing lanes

Village, Town & Shopping:

There is one guest lodge at the base of Mount Norquay, Cascade Lodge. It has a cafeteria, tables and rest rooms. The rental shop has its own building. There is an additional building for the ski school. That's it. The town of Banff is very close and can provide anything else one may need.


A panoramic tour of the Cascade base lodge area.
(best viewed in full screen mode)

Links:

Next: Mount Norquay Apres Ski, Dining and Nightlife

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