A Winter Sport Wonderland – Alberta is Awesome!
Winter is coming back to Canada, and while that means the season of scraping windshields and shoveling driveways upon us – it also means the snow sport season is back!
Located just a couple hours from the city of Calgary, the Rocky Mountains are home to some of Canada’s most breathtaking scenery and wildlife, as well as world-class outdoor activities. Every winter, adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts from all across Canada travel to Alberta to visit the powdery peaks from Jasper down to Waterton.
Ski or snowboard thousands of acres of terrain at some of Alberta’s most popular resorts, including Sunshine Village, Nakiska Ski Area and Lake Louise – who celebrated their earliest ever opening date this year on October 29!
For summer water sport enthusiasts, the winter equivalent to wind and kite surfing can be found in snowkiting, a modern mix of all the major snow sports: skiing, snowboarding, and skating. “A truly unique way to explore the mountains”, snowkiting transforms inaccessible snow flats and frozen lakes into absolute playgrounds for skiers and boarders. Kiterr.com describes Alberta’s Spray Lakes as 400 square kilometres of “secret heaven”, where snow-kiters of all ages and abilities can go to enjoy the best of what the Rockies have to offer.
Snowshoe tours are massively popular in the Rocky Mountains, where the backcountry scenery and wildlife is beyond beautiful. However, if snowshoeing is a bit too slow, you can always experience the Alberta winter on the back of a snowmobile! There are thousands of kilometres of groomed snowmobile trails crisscrossing the backcountry, and a number of available options for snowmobile rentals and tours in Banff and Canmore.
Many of Alberta’s mountain lakes are world-famous in the summer for their beautiful turquoise water, which transforms in the winter into a series of glassy mountain ice rinks. Skate, sled or play the most Canadian game of shinny ever in the heart of the Rocky Mountains at places like Lake Louise, Two Jack Lake, Moraine Lake, and more.
As winter settles back in, bundle up and beat the blues by exploring Alberta’s beautiful backyard!
For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.
Drying conditions return in Alberta, crews see more intense fire activity
A burnt metal sign hangs from a tree, damaged by recent wildfires, in Drayton Valley Alta., on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. As more wildfire evacuees are being allowed to return home in Alberta, provincial officials warn that warm, dry conditions are returning this weekend in some areas.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
As more wildfire evacuees are being allowed to return home in Alberta, provincial officials warn that warm, dry conditions are returning this weekend in some areas.
Melissa Story with Alberta Wildfire says the elevated fire conditions were anticipated and that crews on the ground are seeing more intense fire activity on the perimeters of wildfires.
But she says most fires haven’t grown substantially and she doesn’t believe any have jumped their containment lines.
The number of evacuees as of Saturday afternoon stood at 5,257, down from over 7,200 on Wednesday, following cooler and wetter conditions in the last week.
Nearly 50 wildfires in Alberta’s forest protection area are burning, with 14 of those listed as out-of-control.
Cyndee Evans, executive director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, says the situation remains serious despite recent positive news.
“While we can take heart that more Albertans are starting to return home, we cannot afford to drop our guard. Now is not the time for complacency. Please continue to do your part and help prevent the spread of wildfires and further damage from occurring,” Evans told a news conference Saturday.
Story noted that showers were forecast for some parts of Alberta later Saturday, reducing fire danger, but also cautioned they bring the risk of lightning.
Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said in a tweet Saturday that an extension for the deployment of Canadian Armed Forces personnel to assist in firefighting efforts has been approved.
Story said firefighters from New Zealand were welcomed to the province Friday and that nearly 200 firefighters and support staff from Australia would be arriving this weekend.
Alberta remains under a provincewide state of emergency, although some bans on fires, ATVs and off-highway vehicles have been relaxed in recent days.
Parkland County west of Edmonton lifted a state of local emergency on Friday that had been in place since April 29, and downgraded a fire ban to a fire restriction. It said that meant “safe fires in approved fire pits with a screen are allowed and do not require a permit.”
Fires without screens still required permits, however, and open fires in the county are still banned.
The High Level Forest Area wildfire update noted the Pasqua fire located in the community of Fox Lake saw an increase in fire activity after warm and dry weather on Friday, and that temperatures and fire behaviour was expected to pick up on Saturday.
Fox Lake remains evacuated, but residents are being permitted to sign up for tours of the community on Monday to view damage. A statement from the Little Red River Cree Nation said priority will be given to people who have lost their homes.
“Tours will be visual only, as it is still not safe for members to walk around the community or house sites due to hot spots as well as possible toxins and hazards in the areas that have been burned,” said a statement posted online by the First Nation on Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2023.
UCP leader Smith says she is ‘delighted’ by endorsements from Harper, Poilievre
United Conservative Party leader Danielle Smith, centre, makes an election campaign announcement in Calgary, Alta., Friday, May 26, 2023. Albertans go to the polls on May 29. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
United Conservative leader Danielle Smith says she would aim to lower the level of political polarization in Alberta if her party wins what has been a tight and often bitter election race.
She made her remarks during her last news conference before Albertans go to the polls on Monday.
Smith says she would consult broadly and make decisions based on what she’s heard.
She adds her door is always open to people from all backgrounds and all political persuasions, and she would learn by exchanging ideas.
The UCP leader also says she was delighted to garner endorsements from former prime minister Stephen Harper and federal Conservative Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre.
The rival New Democrats have been endorsed by high-profile former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2023.
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