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Banff Sunshine Has So Much Snow, They’re Reopening for a Week

It’s been over 30 years since the resort opened for skiing in July, but the late-season snowpack had resort operators asking “why not?”

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For the first time since 1991, there will be skiers schussing down the slopes of Banff Sunshine in July. The Alberta resort opens tomorrow (June 28) for five days, meaning that there will be skiing on Canada Day—the holiday which celebrates the anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, when Canada officially became a sovereign country (sort of like our 4th of July). That’s pretty cool.

The 355 inches of snow that fell last season combined with cold spring temperatures and Banff Sunshine’s high elevation (the base is at 7,200 feet) have all contributed to the resort, which closed for the season on May 23, still having a good amount of snow this late in the year. Resort operators figured, “How cool would it be to possibly ski [on] Canada Day??”

“Basically, we had over 900 centimeters of snow on our slopes this season and we found ourselves in June with a (lot) of snow, so we thought ‘why don’t we see if we can open?’ “ Banff Sunshine brand and communications director Kendra Scurfield told the Calgary Sun. “Fortunately, Parks Canada has been really collaborative with us and is letting us reopen once again for summer skiing.”

The resort’s Strawberry Express will open June 28 with the goal of operating through July 3, turning from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Expect cruisey blues and greens, plus a small terrain park. Your new or renewed 2022-’23 Ikon Pass gets you free access, while last season’s pass holders get 50 percent off of the $59 CAD day tickets (about $45 at press time). Mountain Collective pass holders from either last season or next also get the 50-percent discount. Find out all the deets here. And don’t forget your sunscreen.