Improvements & Upgrades for the Upcoming Ski Season
As we close out a beautiful Autumn in the Crowsnest Pass and turn the page into November and the upcoming winter season, we’d like to share some of the upgrades we’ve undertaken since we saw you all last in March.
Probably the most noticeable improvement guests will notice this season is the significant amount dirt that got moved around this summer. Thanks to a $25,000 project donation from the Teck Resources Community Investment Program, a special budget allocation from the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and help from the Pass Powderkeg Ski Society, we were able to address many longstanding inefficiencies related to the terrain and layout of Pass Powderkeg.
The big outcomes of this project are:
More Novice Friendly Terrain – To make the terrain a better learning environment for beginners, we’ve re-contoured several aspects of the lower mountain. Specifically, the steep section of Bush Trail (easiest way down) has been widened and had bumps/dips removed, the cliff on The Face has been taken out to take away a dangerous blind spot/icy section and make it more intermediate friendly and the lower lift line has been re-graded to make it easier for those just learning to ride the T-bar.
Improved Navigation of Mountain – A few examples of this are the regrading of the upper lift load area to accommodate a longer line, taking out the big dip between the upper lift unload and the entrance to Angel/Easy Street (no more uphill skiing!), better access to Spina Trail/Xpresso/Chinook and the widening of Easy Street.
Increased Safety – Aside from upgrades mentioned earlier to make the hill friendlier for Novices, the main safety upgrade is that the upper lift line has been widened in its narrowest section and re-graded to remove the left leaning slope in the steepest section. With the improvements, more of the lift line can be groomed and accessed with snowmaking equipment.
Reduction of Required Snowmaking – With so many areas of uneven terrain levelled and a few rock faces removed, the amount of snowmaking needed to open the hill and maintain great conditions will be considerable reduced. Not only will this help to ensure an early start to each season (including earlier opening of the upper lift), it also reduces the operating cost of the hill with is important to the long term viability of this not-for-profit facility.
Heated Washroom Trailer
With the increase in visitors that past few seasons, we are a little short on washroom facilities. Thanks to a generous grant of $15,000 from the Community Foundation, we have purchased a heated washroom trailer which we be located at the base of the hill. This should help alleviate congestion in the Lodge.
We also tore up our kitchen and upgraded it with new appliances and a work area that will be easier for staff to deliver great food. The updated area will include a grab and go area. Something to watch out for this season is our new Hot Dog roller!
This summer also saw the replacement of the Lodge roof. Thankfully, everything under the shingles was in good shape and the new rubberized roofing will help get our beloved lodge through many more winters.
Snowmaking Master Plan & Facility Efficiency Study
To help us better plan for the future, we commissioned a snowmaking master plan to take a deep dive into our snowmaking system that was originally designed over 30 years ago. The plan focused on next steps forward to open more terrain, faster and more efficiently. We also received a grant under the Recreation Energy Conservation Program to assess areas of improvement and future grant eligibility to increase the energy efficiency of Pass Powderkeg. Both these studies are important elements in mapping out future development of the ski area.