Canmore is kicking it Celtic Style in March

When you think of March we all imagine Shamrocks and Irish Music to celebrate the world-wide heritage of St. Patrick’s Day!

Canmore has a few tricks up their sleeves to get everyone in the Celtic mood. Warming up with a “St.Patrick’s Day Warm Up Party” at our local legion Saturday March 15th, featuring our local Celtic band The Last Order. Special guests are Tinkerbell and the Tiny Green Terror, Sue Chick Denton, St.Patrick’s Singers and our local legend Sean McGoldrick. Tickets are only $15.00, and being as this is the legion, drinks are affordable!

If you in the mood for a little more Scottish flavor, on March 13th, the winners of “Best Live Act” from the Scots Trad Music Awards, the Peatbog Faeries are playing at the Cornerstone Theater. The legendary band based on the Isle of Skye is reinventing Celtic dance music. It’s a must see! And in my opinion, men in kilts are amazing.

Then there’s “D-Day” March 17th, the day your liver hates you more than ever. Nearly every bar in Canmore has entertainment, special Celtic menu options, and is crowded with all of our favorite colorful locals. Be sure to start early as bars will start filling-up around lunch and go all day and night. And make sure to hit up the dollar store to add some green accessories to your regular pub wear.

Romancin’ in Canmore

I fell in love with Canmore last spring. The incredible beauty of the town, the people and the surrounding mountains is enough to steal anyone’s heart. Located just an hour from Calgary, and without the crowds of Banff, Canmore has become my favourite place for a weekend escape. When my boyfriend decided to embark on a boy’s trip to Europe for three weeks, I knew I wanted to steal him away for a romantic weekend before he left; naturally, we booked a room and set out for Canmore.

An adorable welcoming committee!

An adorable welcoming committee!

We arrived early afternoon on a bright sunny Friday to a welcoming committee of elk. It was too early to check-in to our hotel but early enough for a delicious lunch at the Georgetown Inn.

I ordered the Georgetown’s legendary Fish n’ Chips; unfortunately, I was a little too impressed with my meal to remember to take a picture beforehand but the remnants of my meal managed to make their way on to my camera.

Left overs from the Georgetown's Fish n' Chips.

Left overs from the Georgetown’s Fish n’ Chips.

Right from the oven shortbread.

Fresh-from-the-oven shortbread.

Just as we were about to leave, the chef came out of the kitchen with a plate of fresh-from-the-oven shortbread cookies that he let us devour.  This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

 

One-Bedroom Suite at Silver Creek Lodge.

One-Bedroom Suite at Silver Creek Lodge.

Looking for relaxation and romance, I booked a gorgeous one-bedroom suite at Silver Creek Lodge. We checked-in just in time to watch the sun set.

Initially, we had planned to go snowboarding, check out the shopping in down-town Canmore and explore the town; however, the temperature sat at an uncomfortable 30 below, colder if you included the wind chill. We decided to forgo our outdoor plans and relax in the room while debating which of Canmore’s many fantastic restaurants to have a romantic dinner at.

The large soaker tub in our room!

The large soaker tub in our room!

To kill some time before dinner, I took advantage of the room’s large soaker tub and kicked back with a glass of wine while my boyfriend took a nap. This was the perfect way to unwind and relax.

We decided on Sage Bistro for dinner and sat in the wine lounge. The service was fantastic and my boyfriend and I shared the Antipasto, which was incredible. We sat and laughed, had some fantastic wine and really enjoyed the ambience of the restaurant before walking back to Silver Creek, which was just across the road. Once we were back in our room, we lounged on the couch in front of the fire chatting late into the evening.

We awoke the next morning to a beautiful blue bird day and after a bit of sightseeing, we headed back to Calgary.

Sightseeing around Canmore.

Sightseeing around Canmore.

The only downside from our trip was the speeding ticket I received in the mail a few weeks later! Otherwise, it was the perfect little romantic escape and the beautiful suite, comfortable bed and delicious food really made the trip special. I would definitely recommend taking a weekend to experience some romancin’ in Canmore.

 

And The Winter Experiences Here in Canmore Just Keep On Coming!

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If you were lucky enough to join us any day between November 28th until New Years Day for Christmas In Canmore, just wait until you see what Canmore has in store for you Starting January 31st until February 23rd, 2014

The Canmore Winter Carnival kicks off our much needed desires to play outside. With Canmore co-hosting the Alberta Winter Games and the Sochi Winter Olympics just around the corner, Canmore wants you to come out, participate and get active.

The Canmore Winter Carnival has been a tradition in Canmore for more than 20 years, and the expectations for 2014 is for it to be bigger and better than ever.

If you have ever been to Canmore during this carnival, it’s that weird time of year where the entire Main Street is purposely closed off and covered in snow for dog sled racing, cross country ski races and 4 people are tied to one set of skis and race against each other and time for the win, fun to watch and to get involved.

To incorporate the Olympics in downtown Canmore, the Canmore Civic Centre will be turned into an Athletes Village, with vendors, food, activities and a huge outdoor screen broadcasting the Olympics.

To ensure an amazing day, make sure to layer your clothes, wear winter boots, and bring a backpack with some extra jackets as it gets pretty cold out here. Also, anything you wear, make sure you’re ok with it smelling like camp fire as there will be fire pits randomly located throughout downtown for visitors to stop and warm up. And bring your winter sporting gear like cross country skis, winter bikes, and skates, if you don’t have any of these items, we have vendors that will rent them to you.

This is truly a community event you have to come and experience for yourself!

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New Year’s Party On The Pond in Canmore

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Bundle up the kids, drag the partner out and meet the community of Canmore on the Pond for an amazing New Years Eve.

Picture this scene; skating around on a festive lit pond with holiday music and laughter filling the air. The night sky filled with snow capped mountains and the air cool and crisp with the smells of hot chocolate; doesn’t this sound delectable.

Every year the Town of Canmore holds their traditional New Year’s celebration and concludes it with not one, but two firework shows. What’s amazing is if you have youngsters, you can have them in bed before 10pm as the first firework show starts at the pond at 9:30pm. For the older crowds there is a second firework show just minutes away at Millennium Park at midnight.

To break-up the evening, I recommend making reservations at one of more than 70 restaurants here in Canmore, most have a fabulous New Years menu to try.

Definitely a magical night to start a near year!

Sleigh Bells Ring, Are you Listening….

It is with heavy hearts, that our friends at Rafter Six will be closing their doors for good January 1st  2014. For the millions of us that have visited the ranch, we will remember the kindness of the Cowley Family and staff that have entertained us, welcomed us into their ranch and gave us a ride of a lifetime in the foothills of the Rockies for over 38 years.

For those who have not shared in this amazing experience, the doors will be open, the sleigh bells will be ringing and the hot chocolate will be brewing until the moment they close.

Rafter Six is truly a real cowboy western lifestyle, and is a great stop for families and friends of all ages.

Be prepared to get a little dirty as all of their horses, miniature horses and donkey roam free and are eager for snuggles, petting and sniffing, along with the numerous furry friends (cats and dogs) that man the inside of the lodge and outside all yearn for a scratch behind the ear.

Hop on a horse, jump in a sleigh or Getty Up and take the fast route on a toboggan behind a horse, just get out there and see for yourself what an amazing place Rafter Six really is.

For more information, or to book a package visit http://www.raftersix.com/index.php

horseboggan

The Canmore Christmas Festival Is Coming This Weekend!!

Bundle up the Family and Experience a true Rocky Mountain Christmas Extravaganza!

Starting November 28th, downtown Canmore will light-up and look and feel like a Rocky Mountain Christmas Wonderland. The festivities continue through the holiday season until January 1st. 

For 5 weeks everyone can enjoy extended Christmas Shopping hours on weekends, outdoor movie nights, and skating on our downtown pond.

Bring the little ones to enjoy their own unique shopping experience, with a village build only for four-foot and under tikes. Gifts will be available to buy for mom, dad and grandma and grandpa with the help of shopping elves.

For more information and a detailed calendar of events, visit Tourism Canmore website.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!

For those who are ski and snowboard enthusiasts

The hills are alive with the sound of screams of joy, the air is filled with excitement and anticipation as the last of our local ski hills open.

Whether you are a downhill skier, cross-country skier or just want to enjoy a leisurely tube ride down the hill, Canmore Kananaskis is the dream place to stay and play. We hold 2 of the ’88 Olympic venues, Nakiska Mountain Resort, for downhill skiing, and the Canmore Nordic Centre for Nordic skiing. Lake Louise Ski Resort is the home to the Annual Men’s and Women’s downhill World Cup.

If you’re a fan of Canadian and US Olympian’s, you’d be surprised how many you can bump into on the tracks or on the hills!

Just a note, only a select green and blue runs are currently open at each ski resort until further notice or until it snows a great deal more here in the Rockies. A great opportunity for beginners to get out there and get some mid-week lessons in before the season really kicks off.

Enjoy yourselves out there!
And for more information on our current local conditions, live cams and weather report, visit these great websites
http://www.skilouise.com/conditions/snow-report.php for Lake Louise Ski Resort
http://www.skibanff.com/conditions/ for Sunshine Village
http://banffnorquay.com/local-information/weather-conditions-webcam/ for Banff Norquay
http://www.skinakiska.com/conditions/snow-report.aspx for Nakiska
http://www.albertaparks.ca/canmore-nordic-centre/advisories-public-safety/trail-reports.aspx for Canmore Nordic Centre

Nakiska Ski Area

Nakiska Ski Area Courtesy of TCK/John Everly

The Triple Crown of Canmore – Open for Business

Thanks to the tireless efforts and generous contributions of many, most of the areas around Canmore and the Kananaskis region have been re-opened to the public.  This means that it is time to issue the Triple Crown of Canmore challenge to all Canmore visitors and residents. The Triple Crown challenges hikers to reach the summits of South Rundle, Ha Ling Peak, and Lady MacDonald within a single hiking season. To conquer the challenge, hikers need to receive a Punch Card from The Georgetown Inn, have a photo taken at each summit, post those photos to The Georgetown’s Facebook page, and bring in their Triple Crown Punch Card to be redeemed for their prizes. Conquerors win a beer mug that gets you discounts on refills at The Georgetown, a Triple Crown shirt, and a place on the Glory Board.

The Hikes

Mt. Rundle, South

A moderate three-hour hike leading you to the South Summit of Mt. Rundle. Several of the routes will require attention to footing as loose rocks and steep inclines may bring some unsteadiness. Just below the summit is a nearly level area at 2300 m (7544 ft) known as “The Bench”.  At this point, have a rest and a snack while taking in the incredible scenery; grab a photo to submit to The Georgetown’s Facebook page before heading back down.

Mt. Lady Macdonald

This hike is best attempted starting in April. The hike will take anywhere from four and a half to seven hours to reach the Shoulder at 2300 m (7544 ft); here you will have the opportunity to view the foundations and helipad of what would have been a tourist tea-house which was abandoned due to the noise-pollution it would have created for the town of Canmore. After another thirty minutes of trail, you will be able to see the neighbouring peaks as well as the Cougar Creek Canyon below.

Mt. Ha Ling Peak

Ha Ling has become one of the more popular trail-heads in Canmore due to less laborious inclines and can take anywhere from ninety minutes to four hours. The hike meanders through the forest and then leads to steeper territory. Once you reach the summit, you will gain a stunning bird’s eye view of Canmore and the Canadian Rockies.

Triple Crown of Canmore – Update

The Triple Crown of Canmore, hosted by The Georgetown Inn, dares hikers to reach the summits of South Rundle, Ha Ling Peak, and Lady MacDonald all in a single hiking season. To complete the challenge, hikers must receive a Punch Card from The Georgetown, have a photo taken on the top of each summit, post those photos to The Georgetown’s Facebook page and bring in their Triple Crown Punch Card to be redeemed for their prizes. Conquerors of the Triple Crown will win a beer mug that gets you discounts on refills at The Georgetown, a fantastic Triple Crown shirt, a place on the Glory Board and bragging rights amongst your friends.

Unfortunately, due to the recent flooding, many of the hiking trails around Canmore have been temporarily closed, Mt. Rundle among them; Lady Mac was also affected and the status of the trail is undetermined at this point. These trails are under repair but it is difficult to predict when they will reopen. With two of the three hikes closed, the Triple Crown has been forced to take a bit of a hiatus this year but not to worry, the following are a few fantastic hikes in the Canmore/Banff area that are open for adventurers.

Ha Ling Peak

Ha Ling has become one of the more popular trail-heads in Canmore due to less laborious inclines and can take anywhere from ninety minutes to four hours. The hike meanders through the forest and then leads to steeper territory. Once you reach the summit, you will gain a stunning bird’s eye view of Canmore and the Canadian Rockies.

Rockbound Lake

This moderate hike is approximately 17 km long and leads to Tower and Rockbound Lake. The hike will provide you with great views of Castle Mountain and the Bow Valley. The hike is well marked and just a short drive from Banff and Canmore.

Larch Valley-Sentinel Pass

Larch Valley-Sentinel Pass is a moderate to difficult hike averaging around six hours round trip. It is recommended that you travel with four or more people as Grizzly’s can frequent the area. The trail winds through a number of switchbacks before reaching the Larch Valley. Continuing down the trail, you will reach the summit of Sentinel Pass where you can gain some spectacular views of the Paradise Valley.

Make sure to check this site often as updates about the Triple Crown and hiking in Canmore will be posted as details become available.

For more information about the status of other hiking trails, and other attractions, in the Canmore area please check out the following link.

Our Quick Trip out to Canmore, AB for Relaxation, Visiting and a Great Game of Golf

Driving out to Canmore this past weekend was, as always, a mental memory postcard shot in time with so many green vistas and views to look at, as well as the changes from the floods to see for the first time. Our favourite hikes will be an all-new adventure this summer given the alterations to the terrain and contours of the trails caused by good old Mother Nature and the recent flooding in the area; I cannot wait to see all the changes.

Sunshine and blue skies.

Sunshine and blue skies.

We were welcomed to Canmore by the shining sun and were so happy to note all the signs of affirmation and positivity that Canmore and its residents were intact and thriving.

The boil water advisory had just been lifted and the town was thrilled; it just makes life so much easier.

 

We enjoyed a great game of golf at the Canmore Golf and Country Club; the course has never looked better. It was obvious that the staff worked very hard to protect and service the course as there was no visual damage to fairways or greens.

 

The town was beautiful and the golfing was superb; we will definitely be back soon.

Happy tee offs,

Nancy