Castle Mountain Resort
That hidden little gem you may have been to or have heard someone that has been. Tucked away in the Pincher Creek area, this mountain resort has more to offer than you may think. From its friendly staff, knowledgable ski guides, good food and EPIC mountain terrain. This place has a history and a heart. On the brink of bankruptcy, more than a couple times, a few locals put their means and minds together and bought the resort themselves. This mountain resort is the definition of local.
We stayed at the Castle Mountain Hostel, it was clean and simple, a place to rest your head after a long day taring it up! The staff are very friendly and they have a great rec room in the basement with a full kitchen, pool table, books and common area to meet and hang out with fellow lodgers.
Why Castle Mountain when there are more “mainstream” resorts near by?
Now, let’s get to the goods (for once, I don’t mean the wine!) I mean the CAT SKING! Or what I call cat ‘boarding’, because that’s what I did! This was a last-minute decision for us as there just happened to be room on the cat a couple days before we arrived. It has always been on the bucket list to try but since it is only offered in a couple places across the Rockies, the opportunities are limited. So we decided to go for it!
I am not going to lie, I was very nervous. The guides were stressing advanced ski terrain, advance skills required and having a good knowledge of avalanche training and gear. I am confident in my abilities and I am confident on my board but how do I know if I am advanced enough? I brought up my concerns, stressing I haven’t done much, to any, powder terrain in years, nor have a really been out as much this last couple seasons, being super pregnant and all! He reassured me everything was going to be just fine! And it was. After going through about a half-hour lesson and a mini hands-on search and rescue demo, I felt confident in, not only my own skills but mainly the skills of the guides if something was going to go wrong in the backcountry.
Although safety is key and skill level is important to sign up for this, I would say that this is the best place to try it. If you have ever thought about Cat Skiing or wanted to get into backcountry touring, this is a GREAT opportunity to see what is it all about while being in safe and regulated conditions. Not to mention the pricing is actually super reasonable.
Photos by @_jackogrqady_ (via Instagram)
The other fun thing about this resort is all the little cottages and rental suites literally on the mountain, huckleberry ski chair goes right over the top of them and ‘the road’ skis right between them! There is one pub, called the T-Bar, where you can get all the drinks you need and massive portions of food. If your lucky, You will get to meet Dieter, the second generation and Alberta’s only avalanche search and rescue pup!
So I guess what I am trying to say is…. if you haven’t gone… go. If you haven’t done it… do it. And all and all the food is good, the drinks are cold, you’re going to get a hug from Mary at blue chair and you’re going to have a great day riping pow while supporting a great community.