Castle Mountain‘s the least known Canadian Rockies resort, and probably because there’s no mountain town near by, but there’s a lot of great terrain here and remarkably few people to compete with for fresh snow – of which it gets about as much as any other Rockies resort.
The only real snags are its remoteness and that its the winds can be fierce – often making life pretty unpleasant and sometimes even shutting lifts down. Pick a good day though, and it’s skiing paradise. And there’s the chance to go catskiing too, for a relatively inexpensive $375/day.
The skiing is largely on a single mountain: Gravenstafel Mountain though some slopes lie at the base of the neighbouring Haig Mountain. The cat skiing takes place on its upper slopes.
At a Glance:
Size: 6 lifts; 78 runs; 3500 acres; 863m vertical
Location: base 1410m; summit 2273m
Style: beginner/intermediate/expert 15/40/45 %
Snowfall: average annual 910cm + snowmaking
Facilities: daycare; ski school; rentals; lessons; day-lodge; restaurant; bar; accommodation; cross-country skiing.
Once you’ve mastered you basic turns, you’ll find Castle’s terrain pretty limited. The quietest runs are Tumbleweed and Buffalo Flats off the Huckleberry chair. The blue runs off the same chair are a good place to start trying harder runs.
Blue runs criss-cross almost every part of the ski area, but there’s no real zone to head for. Castle uses an unusual double-blue-square grading for its harder intermediate runs, which can be helpful to work up the scale, but this will tend to happen naturally as you find harder lines to follow in open areas such as the Tamarack Bowl or Sheriff Bowl.
When conditions are good, the place to challenge yourself is in the chutes on the southern side of Gravenstafel – but beware, in less optimal conditions the double-blacks here get icy.
Castle maintains three terrain parks which are all worth exploring.