akiska, created to host the alpine events for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, was designed by computer to ensure easy cruising runs for average skiers-plus a few for Olympic downhillers-meaning that 70 percent of the 2,411-vertical-foot, 250-acre mountain is rated intermediate. Because it is located in a marginal snowbelt, 45 minutes from Calgary, the area has almost 100 percent snowmaking. The Kananaskis village complex, a 5-minute drive from the base, was also designed for the Olympics and includes three hotels.
Insider Tip Calgarians say you can ski for 3 hours and feel as though you've been there a full day, so consider Nakiska a great place to warm up if you land at the airport early in the day, or as a parting shot on your way to the airport from Banff.
Great Deal The Delta Lodge at Kananaskis offers two nights' lodging and two days' skiing for the starting price of $112 per person, double occupancy. However, Nakiska is really a regional area, so if you're traveling from the U.S. to ski, try day-tripping from Banff via bus on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Vital Stats Skiable acres: 250; number of lifts: 5; vertical rise: 2,411 feet; average annual snowfall: 98 inches; lift ticket price: $26.50.
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