Though Edmonton isn't one of the first Alberta destinations to come to mind for skiing, our river valley provides the perfect slopes for practicing before heading to the Rockies. There are four downhill ski areas within the city:
Edmonton Ski Club - 9613-96 Ave
Snow Valley Ski Club - 13204 Rainbow Valley Road
Rabbit Hill Snow Resort - 25512 Township Rd 510A
Sunridge Ski Area - 10980-17 Street
The Edmonton Ski Club is located in the heart of Edmonton's river valley with picturesque views of the downtown skyline. Guest writer, Amy Hancock, shares her conversation with Lorne Haveruk, General Manager of the Edmonton Ski Club.
“The awesome thing about urban ski areas is that it gives people a chance to learn how to ski without having to leave the city,” said Lorne. “Our hill is a great place for families to spend the day together, being active outdoors and it offers people the opportunity to fine-tune their skills before hitting the big mountain resorts.”
Like the other ski areas, the Edmonton Ski Club offers lessons for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities. They will also have ski and snowboard rental equipment, including helmets, so you don’t have to worry about having your own gear. If you are looking to try skiing or snowboarding for the first time, Edmonton Ski Club offers free lift tickets, discounted rentals and lessons on the first Friday of every month as part of their Servus Free Ski Fridays.
“The event is an initiative to introduce and promote skiing and snowboarding to people who haven’t tried it before,” said Haveruk. “Put on skis for the first time, have a lesson and you’ll probably leave with a love of the sport!”
Most of the ski areas in Edmonton also offer discounted lift tickets at certain times throughout the week. For example, many of the hills will offer lift tickets at a drastically reduced rate for the last two hours that lifts are open on weekday or weekend evenings. All of the hills offer substantial discounts for seniors, young children and offer special family packages too.
“Plus, when you ski in the city, you don’t have to be as worried about the snow conditions,” advised Haveruk. “We can make snow if the weather doesn’t call for it and we always groom our runs.”
Terrain parks have also become more popular at Edmonton ski hills. Jumps, rails and ramps have created an opportunity for those wanting to get into freestyle skiing and snowboarding and participate in local competitions. Lessons are also available for those looking to learn how to ride the rails, jump and jib!
Enjoying an afternoon or evening of downhill skiing in the city has its benefits. You don’t have to go far to experience this great winter activity, it’s family friendly and the river valley views can’t be beat!