Canadian snow sports expands
First Ski Resort Offering Year round Skiing in North America
Plans for a new Canadian ski area which will eventually be the first in North America to offer year-round skiing, and which will also offer the continent’s new biggest lift-served skiable vertical, have taken a major step forward.
Valemount Glacier Destinations Ltd. (VGD) and the Province of British Columbia have completed a Master Development Agreement (MDA) approving the “major year-round glacier sightseeing and skiing destination” which is to be built near the small town of Valemount in Eastern British Columbia, close to the Jasper National Park and Alberta provincial border.
“This location opens lift access to one of the best snow zones and reliable climates for snow sports on the continent,” said Tommaso Oberti of Oberti Resort Design and the Pheidias Group, who added “A modern lift system designed for both sightseers and skiers will take visitors to the summits of Mount Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Twilight Glacier, and the majestic McLennan Glacier. It will be a true multi-peak experience surrounded by stunning glaciers. VGD embodies the best of B.C. – environmentally sustainable design coupled with some of the best vistas and mountain experiences in the world.”
The MDA is the culmination of an approval process that began in 2012. The project is in the Premier Range, in the territory of the Simpcw First Nation, from whom VGD has secured support and has worked with from the beginning.
“We have appreciated that Chief Nathan Matthew and his Council have seen positively the promise of a significant tourism destination in their territory” says Oberti. The Simpcw have participated extensively in the project through their environmental consulting company, Estsek.
This upcoming summer will be dedicated to final surveys and engineering of the lifts, the company says. The project team is preparing for the permits and the construction work for summer 2018 with the objective of an opening for Christmas 2018.
The higher lifts to access the glacier will not be part of the initial resort development but will be added in a later phase. At build-out, which is expected to occur over a 15 to 20-year period, there will be public access to large glaciers at over 3,000 meters (9,850 feet) elevation – the only such access in North America – and there will be a vertical drop of approximately 2,050 meters (6,726 feet), the largest in North America and one of the largest in the world.
The Master Plan can be downloaded from the project website: www.valemountglaciers.com
Patrick Thorne, also known as the Snow Hunter, is an industry expert in all technical developments in snow sports. In addition to his work Patrick is also father and knows the importance and fun of kids on snow www.thesnowhunter.com