By Doc Pow for #RockiesExploring
Crowsnest, AB – For those who have yet to step into this part of southwestern Alberta, welcome to Crowsnest Pass, one of North America’s top year-round outdoor adventure and events destinations. If you’ve ever experienced “The Pass,” then you’ll know what I am talking about.
Annually, thousands of people flock to Alberta’s southwest corner for a shot of adrenaline, taking in all kinds of unique outdoor experiences. We’ve rounded up a few that are guaranteed to make your 2020 more action-packed.
There are more than three ways to winter in Crowsnest Pass. The majors include Nordic skiing at Allison Lake Provincial Park, Pass PowderKeg downhill skiing, and snowmobiling and snowshoeing in this mountain mecca.
For the past two years, local outfitter Heather Davis of Uplift Adventures, has taken snowshoers to new heights with the Crowsnest Pass Friday night snowshoe experience. You’ll meet a group of new friends for a thrilling three-hour tour under the stars.
“Snowshoeing here is off the beaten path. Most times, I am breaking trail as there are not many people around here,” says Davis. “It’s so remote, hiking past frozen waterfalls or up into the mountains and into our dark sky.”
If you’ve been wanting to learn how to downhill ski, this is the place. Why not do it in one of the world’s top spots in the Canadian Rockies? Pass Powderkeg Ski Area in Crowsnest Pass recently launched its Learn to Turn initiative.
“We lived at the hill growing up and my kids live there now,” says local skier and trail runner Jody Peebles. “They have a really done a lot of great work reinventing the beginner hill area. I have friends who have a two-year-old and it’s free for the family to go experience, right next to the lodge, super accessible.”
For more on Pass Powderkeg’s Learn to Turn initiative, read this ZenSeekers’ story, “3 Ways to Winter.”
You’ll also learn about the CrowSnow Riders, the sledding club for people who like to motor through the mountains. If you can make it to the March 21 CrowSnow Riders family ride, you’ll discover a landscape that will leave you in awe. Details about the event can be found on the Riders Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CrowSnowRiders/
If running in the mountains is your thing, then here are a few epic Crowsnest Pass experiences that you’ll want to start training for this spring.
Ever heard of a sky race? The Meet The Minotaur is an incredible event happening in Crowsnest Pass in June, and making its only North American stop. Check out this mountain ridge running experience here.
“Best race I have ever ran,” says Peebles, who was born and raised in the Crowsnest Pass. “The course is taking you into parts of the backcountry you might not be comfortable going to if it wasn’t for the race,” she says. “It shows you that there is a lot more mountain peaks you can get to that are way more accessible then you think.” It’s a running experience unlike any other, she says. “You are ridge running and you’d literally think at some points you are running into the sky.”
Another cool race is The Run the Rocks at Frank Slide. This is the site of one of Canada’s biggest natural disasters, but now home to an impressive attraction. For one day only, it turns into a unique running racecourse. In its second year, this September, head to Crowsnest Pass to run the rocks – literally.
When you Go
- Crowsnest Pass is tucked into Alberta’s southwest corner, along the Crowsnest Highway with guaranteed 360 mountain views.
- GoCrowsnest, the region’s tourism website, is the perfect welcome mat to help you step into new adventures. https://gocrowsnest.ca/
- Experience winter three ways in The Pass and surf over to ZenSeekers for the full scoop: https://www.zenseekers.com/story/crowsnest-pass-three-ways-winter
Let us know what you find, using the hashtag #RockiesExploring and #goCrowsnest, and you could be featured on our social media channels.