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Fortress Mountain

Fortress Mountain Ski Resort Guide

Fortress Mountain, Canada

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForIntermediates, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Highest Lift2,370m7,776ft
Resort Height2,040m6,693ft
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Fortress Mountain

Full-service ski area located 45 minutes from the facilities of Canmore and close to the Nakiska Ski Centre.

The base area complex at Fortress Mountain is situated at an altitude of 2040 m (6,692 ft), the highest in the Alberta Canadian Rockies. This lofty elevation ensures Fortress an annual snowfall 630 cm (21 ft) and a ski season that stretches from early November until late April. Fortress Mountain is thus often the first Alberta Mountain ski area to open for the winter and is the pre-season training site for the Canadian National Freestyle ski team. The casual and relaxed resort offers wide-open cruising as well as serious bumps.

Summary

The Canadian ski resort of Fortress Mountain is at an altitude of 2,040m6,693ft.

Fortress Mountain has direct access to 47 marked pistes, served by a total of 6 ski lifts.

The ski resort itself is at 2,040m6,693ft, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 2,370m7,776ft, snow cover is generally reliable.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Fortress Mountain?

The next notable snow forecast is 5cm2in, expected on 30 October, with around 5cm2in forecast over the next 7 days.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Fortress Mountain
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Ski Area Stats

Fortress Mountain Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Pistes
Number of runs
47
Cross Country
Total Length
100km62 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
6

Altitudes

Fortress Mountain Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift2,370m7,776ft
Lowest Piste2,040m6,693ft
Resort Altitude (Fortress Mountain)2,040m6,693ft
Max Vertical330m1,083ft

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Fortress Mountain
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

Fortress Mountain Overview

Fortress Mountain is located in Kananaskis Country, 80km/50 miles from Calgary and 70km/43 miles from Banff. Its base area at 2040m/6692ft is the highest of the Canadian Rockies resorts and its lofty elevation ensures an annual snowfall of 630cm/21ft and a ski season that stretches from early November through until late April. Often the first of Alberta's ski resorts to open for winter, it is the pre-season training site for the Canadian National Freestyle Ski Team and hosts several freestyle skiing. This casual and relaxed resort offers wide open cruising, serious bumps, large gladed areas and natural halfpipes which make it popular with freestylers.

Fortress's reputation as an unpretentious ski area with affordable prices has made it popular with families and those who appreciate powder snow, uncrowded runs and downhome friendly service amidst the ruggest scenery of the Canadian Rockies. Fortress has 2 curved T-bars which are among the world's most unique ski lifts. The ski area covers 2 mountain sides and another on the backside with 55% of the terrain classed as intermediate, 25% for advanced skiers and 20% suited to beginners.

Within Kananaskis Country there are 4 provincial parks; Peter Lougheed, Bow Valley, Bragg Creek and Elbow/Sheep Wilderness. The area is a real winter playground with a host of winter activities including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and dog sledding as well as downhill skiing and snowboarding. Accommodation is directly adjacent to Nakiska in Kananaskis Village.

When Captain John Palliser led a British scientific expedition through this area between 1857 and 1860, he wrote in his journal about the legend of an Indian named Kananaskis, giving account of his most wonderful recovery from the blow of an axe to his head, which stunned but failed to kill him. Palliser gave the name Kananaskis to the Bow River tributary in the area. He named the Kananaskis River and the pass that he crossed, the Kananaskis Pass, which led him through the Rocky Mountains. The word Kananaskis is said to mean meeting of the waters.

Today Kananaskis Country is not only a multi-use recreational area, but other activities such as timber harvesting, ranching and natural gas operations also co-exist with the diversity of recreational uses. Nearby Canmore Nordic Centre, which hosted the cross-country skiing, biathlon and nordic combined events of the XV Winter Olympics is considered to have some of the best developed nordic ski trails anywhere in the world.

Skiing

Fortress is the pre-season training site for the Canadian Freestyle Team - it is the perfect resort for freestylers, whether skiers or boarders. This casual and relaxed resort offers wide open cruising, serious moguls, large gladed areas, natural halfpipes and backcountry powder bowls. To help you make the most of your ski holiday its a good idea to join one of the twice daily guided mountain tours which Fortress provide. Friendly ski hosts will show you around the mountain and answer any questions you may have.

Its an affordable place to take the family out on the slopes and younger skiers can enjoy the uncrowded slopes while learning to ski. The ski area climbs over 2 mountain sides, and then up another on the backside. The mountain is serviced by 6 lifts (1 triple chair, 2 double chairs and 3 t-bars). 55% of the terrain is suitable for intermediates with 25% for the more advanced and 20% for beginners. More advanced skiers looking for powder and a challenge can head off into the numerous gladed tree areas that Fortress has to offer, or dive into the backcountry bowls via Fortress' daily Snowcat tours.

This is the perfect place to try Snowcat skiing. Fortress Mountain Snowcat Skiing offer full or half day trips with lunch included. Six runs are guaranteed with extra runs at no extra charge. Skiers wishing to try Snowcat skiing should be at least of intermediate ability and easily able to ski powder snow, this is a wilderness environment and conditions can vary in the extreme. The snowcat is a Piston-Bulley 200 with a closed cabin accommodating 12 passengers. A typical day of Snowcat skiing begins at the day lodge with a safety talk and signing off on liability waivers. The group then proceed to the Snowcat to do a warm-up run on lower angle terrain. Three to 4 runs are made in the morning after which there is a one hour break when lunch is served. The balance of the guaranteed runs are made after lunch, as well as any extra runs (the number of runs is dependant on the slowest skier in the group). The longest runs are 1700 ft while the shortest are 300ft with the average run length about 1000ft. The general areas used are Broken Pole Bowl, Super Wall Street, Fortress Lake Valley, Fortress Lake Ridge Glades, West Woody Ridge, The Artesians and the South Chutes.

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Fortress Mountain offers good sking, particularly, for Intermediate skiers.

Snowboarding

As the pre-season training site for the Canadian Freestyle Team, Fortress is the perfect resort for freestylers. This casual, relaxed resort offers wide open cruising, serious moguls, large gladed areas, natural halfpipes and backcountry powder bowls. Its easy for boarders to get around on the triple chair and 2 double chairs. The Freestyle Park and halfpipe are located parallel to the triple chair on the Third Chute.

Location and Map

Where is Fortress Mountain?

This ski resort is in Snohomish, Washington, Canada.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The six ski lifts are able to uplift 8,400 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Season Dates

When is Fortress Mountain open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Fortress Mountain, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Fortress Mountain Tourist Office for the latest.

Fortress Mountain