Mt Norquay

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mt. Norquay
Norquay Logo.jpg
Mt. Norquay in March 2008
Mt. Norquay in March 2008
Mt. Norquay is located in Canada
Mt. Norquay
Mt. Norquay
Location in Canada
Mt. Norquay is located in Alberta
Mt. Norquay
Mt. Norquay
Mt. Norquay (Alberta)
LocationBanff National Park,
Alberta, Canada
Nearest major cityBanff, Calgary
Coordinates51°12′14″N 115°35′56″W / 51.204°N 115.599°W / 51.204; -115.599Coordinates: 51°12′14″N 115°35′56″W / 51.204°N 115.599°W / 51.204; -115.599
Top elevation2,133 m (6,998 ft)
Base elevation1,630 m (5,348 ft)
Skiable area0.77 km2 (0.30 sq mi)[1]
Longest run1,167 m (3,829 ft)[1]
Lift system4 chairlifts
- 1 hi-speed quad
- 1 fixed-grip double
- 2 fixed-grip quads
1 surface lift
Terrain parks1 snowboard park
Snowfall300 cm (120 in) /year
Night skiingWednesday and Friday 5-10pm (January - March)

Mt. Norquay is a mountain and ski resort in Banff National Park, Canada that lies directly northwest of the Town of Banff. The regular ski season starts early December and ends mid-April. Mount Norquay is one of three major ski resorts located in the Banff National Park.


The mountain was named in 1904 after John Norquay, premier of Manitoba from 1878 to 1887. Norquay climbed the mountain that now bears his name in 1887 or 1888 but, contrary to some reports[example needed], did not actually reach the summit.[citation needed]

The mountain can be scrambled on the western side but involves a number of difficult steps and some exposure. Ascent is not advised while snow persists on the route.

The first ski runs date as far back as 1926, with the opening of the ski lodge in 1929.[2] Rope tows were installed in 1942 and the mountain was the second in Canada to install a chairlift in 1948 (Red Mountain Resort was the first, in 1947), with a vertical drop of 1,400 feet (425 m).[3] Norquay offered three regular big vertical daily awards in the form of a pin for 25,000 feet for a bronze, 30,000 for silver and 35,000 for a gold, that regulars and staffers have collected over the years.[4] In 1978–79 they also had 50 copies of the platinum 50,000 feet as a celebration of 50 years of the clubhouse at Norquay. Since 1978 Ski Norquay has partnered with Ski Banff, Lake Louise, Sunshine to promote its activities. This created a joined up tri-area lift pass system, which includes shuttle bus transport to and from the resort.[5]

Since October 2006, the Mount Norquay ski resort has been owned by a group of Alberta-based investors. This ownership group consists of Ken Read, a former Olympic and World Cup Olympic alpine ski racer; Len, Peter, and Robert Sudermann of Fortune Resorts; and Stephen Ross of Devonian Properties in Canmore.[6]

Ski racing at Norquay[edit]

Mount Norquay has a long history supporting the sport of alpine ski racing. The Dominion Championships were early efforts by the local community to promote winter tourism and Norquay hosted the Championships on three separate occasions. The resort was part of two Olympic Winter Games bids (1964 and 1968) and did host the World Cup in 1972, running giant slalom and slalom races on the North American run.

The resort was also famous for ski jumping, hosting many international competitions. The ski jump is still homologated and was recently used by the Altius Ski Club of Calgary.

Today the Mount Norquay Ski Resort is a popular ski destination and one of the most important ski resorts supporting alpine ski racing in Canada. The ski hill hosts many local events as well as major international ski races. Well-known Canadian ski champions who are members of the Banff Alpine Racers, the home ski club for the resort, are Thomas Grandi and Cary Mullen, as well as current Canadian Alpine Ski Team members Paul Stutz and Erik Read.


Lodge at Norquay ski resort


There are a total of 60 runs which total 16,382m in length. 85% of the skiing terrain is covered by snow making.[7] The ski area has 3 quad chairs, 1 double chair and a magic carpet. The double chair, North American, services some of the hardest terrain in North America.

With a vertical drop of 503 m (1,650 ft) and 16.4 km (10.2 mi) of runs, it is considered challenging, with 20% easy, 36% medium, 28% difficult and 16% expert runs.[1]

On Friday and Saturday nights between December and March, Norquay hosts night skiing between 5-9pm. It is the only Banff resort to offer night skiing. In 2009 Mount Norquay added lift accessed winter snow tubing.

Lift System[edit]

Name Type Vertical Length
A. North American 'Norquay' Chair 2 person fixed-grip chair 396m 945m
B. Sundance Magic Carpet Surface lift 10m 64m
C. Cascade Chair 4 person fixed-grip chair 122m 579m
D. Spirit Chair 4 person fixed-grip chair 196m 654m
E. Mystic Chair 4 person hi-speed chair 395m 1016m

Rental Facilities[edit]

Mount Norqyat (upper left) seen from Johnson Lake

Norquay is able to provide rental equipment to guests from its rental shop, located opposite Cascade Lodge.

Summer Activities[edit]

The North American chair lift operates for sightseeing in the summer. The lift provides access to the Cliff House Bistro/tea house and, since 2014, the only via ferrata in Banff National Park.[8]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

• Cheryl Williams, The Banff Winter Olympics: Sport, tourism, and Banff National Park, University of Alberta, 2011
• Brian Patton, Bart Robinson, Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, PP 22 - 24


  1. ^ a b c Ski Norquay. "Maps and Statistics". Archived from the original on 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
  2. ^ "The Crag and Canyon". The Crag and Canyon.
  3. ^ Williams, Dick (January 1, 1962). "New Banff, Norquay lifts". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 15.
  4. ^ Gamify: How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things, Brian Burke, 2014
  5. ^ Ski Big 3
  6. ^ "Ken Read Part of New Ownership Group for Mt. Norquay Ski Area". Archived from the original on 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  7. ^ Mt. Norquay Facts
  8. ^ "Mount Norquay opens via ferrata high above Banff". CBC News. June 30, 2014. Retrieved 2019-05-05.

External links[edit]